This may be her first-ever marathon.
But in her maiden crack at the 42.195km distance at the StanChart Marathon Singapore 2015 (SCMS), Kenyan runner Doris Changeywo, 31, walked away with the top prize of $60,000 in the Women’s Open category.
Changeywo, who usually specialises in the 10,000m and cross-country running, completed the marathon in 2 hours 44 minutes and 26 seconds.
Had aimed to just complete the race
Said the marathoner, who is a professional long-distance runner, “I am happy to be the winner today because it was my first marathon and also my first time running in Singapore.”
She continued, “But the Singapore weather was terrible for me. In Kenya it is cold and always rains, but when I arrived here, the heat and humidity started to have an effect on me. So my only goal was to complete the race. Today, I am very happy with how things had turned out in the end.”
It is also the first time running in Singapore, for her fellow countryman Julius Maisei, who walked away with the Men’s Open title with a timing of 2 hours 17 minutes and 26 seconds.
Fast times are not possible in Singapore
Said Maisei, “I am happy with the win and the timing – I was quite pleased to do 2:17 because I realised very early on, that Singapore is not a place where fast timings are possible.”
He continued, “It was a tough race overall with the most difficult part of the run being along the Singapore River – because it was extremely humid. But I was so focused on the race that I did not have time to look around at the great landmarks of Singapore that we passed along the way. But I hope to come back to Singapore next year – to defend my title here.”
Mok successfully defends his crown
In the local category, Singapore’s Mok Ying Ren successfully defended his crown from last year, clocking a timing of 2 hours 43 minutes and 6 seconds in the 42.195km race. Today’s win makes it six victories for the veteran marathoner in the SCMS event.
Said Mok, 27, an Orthopaedic Surgery Resident at the National University Health System, “I am very happy to represent Singapore and other nationalities in this race, where the Kenyans traditionally dominate.”
Strategy had been to stay comfortable throughout
He added, “My strategy for this race had been to ensure that I stayed comfortable throughout the run. We were running with the ladies for the first 30kms and I felt comfortable after that, so I went out harder. The Singaporean runners were very strong today, with many of them having the ability to run sub 3 hours. I was pushed very hard by them.”
With the spate of recent injuries that he had been experiencing of late, including a freak eye injury, Mok – who is currently in Singapore for medical treatment and to pay a short visit to his family – did well to clinch the $10,000 prize money.
Said the marathoner, “I had to get out of the United States for 30 days anyway, because of the visa I am on. I was also due to complete a long run today – so I thought that I must as well join in the fun by taking part in the SCMS.”
Victory was a surprise for her
Winning in the Singaporean women’s category, was local 2015 SEA Games representative Neo JieShi, 30.
Said the Assistant Manager in Human Resources and Admin, “I was very surprised and happy to win as I was aiming for a 3 hour 15 minute timing. I managed to do this and the win was a bonus as I had only been looking for a top three position.”
She finished the race in 3 hours 15 minutes and 6 seconds. This result, which places her in 10th position overall, qualifies her for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janerio, Brazil.
Had access to a gym to train for the marathon
With the haze onslaught in Singapore over the past couple of months, Neo added that she had been lucky to have had access to a gym to train for the marathon.
She said, “I was fortunate to do my runs on a gym treadmill when the haze was bad. I also went for spinning classes and I think that really helps a lot too.”
Running is all about consistency
She added, “Running is all about consistency. If you are consistent and you put in the effort and training, you will certainly see rewards.”
Agreed Mok, “If you train regularly and do not slack on your long runs, then you will improve. Consistency is the key word. I realised this during my six months of training in the United States.”
From Straits Times.
Click here for my race review of SCMS 2015.
Click here to read about a Guinness World Record at SCMS 2015.