Melvin, our Sea Games 5,000m and 10,000m representative, made a return to the local running scene with a bang, winning 2XU Compression Run (21km) with a timing of 1:15:58. In this interview, JustRunLah! catches up with the champ.
JustRunLah!: How will you introduce yourself to Singapore running community?
Melvin Wong: Hi, I am Melvin – your running boy next door. I am an ordinary person with a simple lifestyle yet holding big athletic goals. Follow me as I look towards putting myself on the Asian map of athletics in the next 3 years.
JRL: When did you first pick up running and what inspired you to do so?
MW: I picked up running in 2004 via the support and encouragement of my army buddies in camp. There is no other way of enjoying the sport other than sharing the joy with like-minded individuals. Running fast is just a progression from running with joy. I like to enjoy my running and the various challenges and obstacles it brings along the way.
JRL: Would you say that one needs to have a certain mindset to take up running as a sport/exercise activity?
MW: Running with a mindset depends on individual’s perspectives. Running doesn’t require any perspective. However, running beyond the leisure enjoyment of the sport does require a direction as it shapes the progression and dictates the intention of the individual.
JRL: What would you consider to be your biggest running achievement so far?
MW: My 10,000m performance at the 2015 SEA Games.
JRL: You ran a very impressive 32:59.10 for a 10km. What are your future goals?
MW: To continue lowering the times for my 5 and 10,000m races.
JRL: What advice would you give to someone taking that 10/21km race?
MW: Commitment – Runners are routine creatures and once you have a structure and routine; commit to sticking to that structure. Your commitment will surely yield results faster than you expect.
Patience – While many are looking at short-cuts to running fast and building the body to run fast, a lot of us overlooked the fact that the body needs time to absorb the training and adapt to the stimulus. As such, be patient with running slow and steady in the beginning for I am sure it will prepare you to run faster and further at the end of the training cycle. I am a big advocate to this value.
JRL: Do you have any pre-race rituals? What goes through your head every time you run?
MW: I do have a warm-up jog and my usual stretches for pre-race but other than that, I do not have anything special before the race. I can’t wait to start the race when I am at the start line.
JRL: What is your mantra for when the going gets tough in a race?
MW: A series of form checks comes to my mind when I am struggling. I try my best to run tall, pointy elbows and have a slight forward lean especially during the later stages of the run.
JRL: What do you think makes a runner, especially someone who keeps at it, put feet to the ground day after day?
MW: Personal motivation to achieve a certain goal!
JRL: Finish this sentence: Running is…
MW: …my life story!