GE Run: Marathoner Jasmine Goh relishes chance to compete with her kids

Jasmine Goh with her two daughters - Faith, eight, and 10-year-old Cherish (left). She does not expect her daughters to run competitively but hopes that, through the sport, they take away values such as hard work.
Jasmine Goh with her two daughters - Faith, eight, and 10-year-old Cherish (left). She does not expect her daughters to run competitively but hopes that, through the sport, they take away values such as hard work.PHOTO COURTESY OF JASMINE GOH

S'pore marathoner to participate in run for sixth straight year but will race with kids for first time

National marathoner and SEA Games medal hopeful Jasmine Goh is all too familiar with challenging her limits.

Aside from training to lower her personal best of 2hr 54min 51sec, she also has to juggle her role as a single parent to two daughters and a full-time job.

The 37-year-old financial consultant attributes her ability to wear multiple hats to a strong support system and time management.

It also helps that running is a family affair where they bond, going on fun runs together whenever possible. When Goh trains, her daughters occasionally sit in the stands to lend support.

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Unsurprisingly, Goh's passion for running has rubbed off on her children Cherish, 10, and Faith, eight.

The sisters are regular participants at their school's (CHIJ Toa Payoh) sports day and recently completed their first competitive race. But while Goh is supportive, she does not expect her daughters to follow in her footsteps.

"I don't want to force them to run. They can do anything they want. More importantly, I want them to take away values such as hard work and commitment," she said.

NO KIDDING

I'm very excited to run together with my kids... My kids always say they want to be faster than me, so we'll see.

JASMINE GOH, national marathoner, on how the Great Eastern Women's Run gives her two daughters a chance to challenge themselves.

Every year, a key highlight on the family's calendar is the Great Eastern Women's Run, which Goh has taken part in since 2012.

"It's a wonderful event that brings all the ladies together. There's a lot of focus on family too. I know my kids will be engaged in activities such as bouncy castles," she said.

"Fathers and children have an outlet to play while they wait for their mummies to finish the run."

This year's edition, however, will be different as the family will get the opportunity to race together for the first time in the new 2km Mummy + Me category. The category is open for mothers with daughters aged between seven and 12 years old.

"I'm very excited to run together with my kids. It's a good way for mother and daughter to bond. They seem to think it's an impossible distance. But they know they'll be safe and other girls are doing it too. They get to challenge themselves and I find that empowering," said Goh.

"My kids always say they want to be faster than me, so we'll see."

At yesterday's launch event held at One Raffles Place, the public got a chance to beat Goh's speed in a unique challenge.

She sprinted across a specially marked out six-metre stretch, and her sprint was recorded at 5.56m per second. All women who turned up were encouraged to challenge the time.

Participants who managed to outpace Goh and make it onto the leaderboard stood to win prizes, including complimentary race slots and adidas shoes. All who attempted the challenge also had the chance to win a one-night stay at The Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore.

Janelyn Pascua was the first contestant to better Goh's speed, clocking 5.66m per second.

Said the 42-year-old Filipino domestic worker who signed up for the 21.1km category: "I was surprised because I've not been running for a long time and to beat a national marathoner... I didn't think it was possible."

For breaking Goh's record, Pascua won a pair of adidas shoes and a race slot, worth $76 ($59 for early birds).

• Registration for the Great Eastern Women's Run 2017 is now open. For more information, visit greateasternwomensrun.com

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2017, with the headline 'A GE Women's Run Goh will cherish'. Print Edition | Subscribe