This morning, about 15,000 runners took part in the 2016 edition of the Great Eastern Women’s Run, which also saw several Olympians from various countries – including Singapore, Cambodia, Philippines, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic – taking part in the event’s 21.1km elite categories.
Some of the Olympians had included Mary Joy Tabal from the Philippines, Nary Ly from Cambodia as well as Singapore’s very own Neo Jie Shi.
And the guest of honour, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Ms Grace Fu, was also amongst the runners. She had taken part in the 10km category.
Jo Un Ok from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea wins the 21.1km Women’s Elite Open race
Emerging victorious in the 21.1km Women’s Elite Open category was Jo Un Ok from Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with a timing of 1 hour 14 minutes and 51 seconds.
Said her manager, Ri Un Hui, “I expected Jo Un Ok to win today and she performed well, so we are pleased with the results.”
Jo’s compatriot, Kim Hye Song, had finished in second position, with a timing of 1 hour 17 minutes and 5 seconds. Said Ri, who also manages Kim, “Kim Hye Song tried her best but unfortunately she was not on form today.”
Gulzhanat Zhanatbek from Kazakhstan rounded off the podium with a timing of 1 hour 18 minutes and 47 seconds.
Jasmine Goh wins the 21.1km Elite Closed category
Coming in first for the 21.1km Elite Closed Category was Singapore’s Jasmine Goh Mei Ling, 37, with a personal best timing of 1 hour 27 minutes and 18 seconds.
Said Goh, “I’ve been preparing since the beginning of the year by joining my coach for serious training, so I’ve prepared for this for a long time. Did I expect to win? I would say no because anything can happen in a 21.1km race. Everyone at the start line is just here to do our best. I think that to win is a bonus, to achieve a Personal Best is a double bonus, but to run with all of the ladies today, that’s out of this world.”
She added, “Sometimes I think it’s not the best athlete that wins, but the athlete who is the best prepared for the race.”
Goh’s winning strategy
What was Goh’s winning strategy this morning? She said, “Run your own race. The girls were strong in front but I paced myself and went out slowly. I ran my own race and when I could, I overtook.”
She added, “When you are at the start line, there is no other people but yourself and you need to overcome that. When you have the belief that you can do it, then you will become the best that you can be. If you are first, that is a bonus, but if you are last, then so what, there is always another race.”
Tips to run well and finish strong
And what are some tips that Goh has to share for runners to run well and finish the race strong? She said, “Always pace yourself and go out at your own pace. Don’t follow for the sake of following and if you go at your own pace without following for the sake of following, then you may overtake those who are in front of you.”
Rounding off the top three runners in the 21.1km Elite Closed category
Rounding off the top three in the 21.1km Elite Closed category was Anne QiHui in second, with a timing of 1:29:37 hours, and Rachel See in third, finishing the race in 1:30:50 hours.
Here is a full list of the race results for the 21.1km Elite categories for the Great Eastern Women’s Run 2016.