This morning, 27-year-old PhD student, Vanja Cnops, emerged as the women’s champion of the 21Km Half Marathon race category at the Straits Times Run at the Hub 2014.
Vanja, a talented runner, who is originally from Belgium, has been involved in running since the age of 12. She was even a part of the Belgium National Team for the European Championships and represented Belgium in the sport of running, from 2005 to 2009.
Since moving to Singapore in 2012, she has set the Singapore running scene alight and her victories include the North Face 100’s 25Km race and Saloman X-Trail Run in 2012, as well as the 21Km category of the 2XU Compression Run 2014.
I caught up with Vanja and asked her about her running and race strategy at the Straits Times Run at the Hub – the latest on her glowing resume of sterling running achievements.
Here is what Vanja said about her victorious run at the ST Run, in a short interview that I had with her.
How did you feel when you won the 21Km race at the ST Run at the Hub this morning?
It feels very good of course! I didn’t feel as tired as the last time and my timing was about the same too. Perhaps that’s because I’m improving!
What was your timing?
I did the ST Run in about one hour and 26 minutes this morning. It’s not my personal best timing though. That would be one hour and 23 minutes.
What was in your mind when you were running?
I tried to think of the positive things to keep me going. That is, the nice stuff that I would do later in the day after the race.
What was your race strategy like for this race?
I tried not to start too fast and wanted to pace myself properly. I wanted to do a negative split, that is, to run the second half of the race faster than the first half.
How did you feel about ending the race at the new National Stadium – and being one of the first few runners to complete a race there?
It felt really awesome. Unfortunately the stadium was quite empty when I got there and there weren’t any spectators – otherwise that would have been really good!
Today is not my first time coming to the National Stadium though. I have come here for training with the F1 Runners once before, so I knew how big and awesome it was. But coming here in a race was still really fun and I must say that I definitely enjoyed the experience.
What did you win and what will you be doing with your prize?
I won a 50-inch Panasonic SMART LED TV.
I think my flatmates and I will definitely be using the TV. We are all certainly very happy that they have a new TV now. We’ll definitely be watching all the shows on it!
Click here to read about my 21km race experience at the ST Run 2014.
Click here to read about training under Lexxus Tan and F1 Runners.
Click here to read about the Mizuno CBD Runners.