Fit & Fab

Running with a special 'buddy'

Good health and enjoying the little things in life make Mr Andreas Wenger happy.
Good health and enjoying the little things in life make Mr Andreas Wenger happy.ST PHOTO: SHINTARO TAY

Joining Runninghour, an inclusive running club, has expanded Swiss-born Andreas Wenger's appreciation for life

What is your secret to looking fabulous?

Looking fabulous comes from the inside. It's about how we go through life and how we impact people. I am happy with my life and I am lucky to be healthy and to have a great family and friends. This might show on the outside or, at least, I hope it does.

Has there ever been a time when you were not fit and fab?

I don't always feel fit and fab, although this depends on my mood. I think how you feel inside will be reflected on the outside.

Joining Runninghour has enlarged my appreciation for life. It's an inclusive running club, where I run with a person with special needs.

What is your diet like?

There are times when I don't eat, simply because I am not hungry. However, I am always super thirsty.

I try to eat more regularly now. I also try to reduce or control my carb intake, which is tough as I have a sweet tooth.

What are your indulgences?

Sweet food like cookies, cakes and chocolates, especially white chocolate. I am quite addicted to Twix, which I sometimes find overseas.

  • BioBox

  • ANDREAS WENGER

    AGE: 40

    HEIGHT: 1.83m

    WEIGHT: 70kg

    He grew up in Bellwald, a small Swiss mountain village, and started skiing when he was just two.

    As a boy, he played soccer in the summer in a nearby town.

    "My dad was always doing sports with me when I was a boy," Wenger said.

    Then, he started running. "It's a sport I can do all year and whenever I want, independent of other people and their timing."

    He has taken part in many running events, including an Ironman race in Zurich in 2007. However, he stopped doing triathlons as he was not good in swimming.

    In 2011, he moved here from Switzerland for work and ran about three times a week.

    In 2014, he started doing more ultra-marathons, covering distances of 50km to more than 200km at each event.

    He also started training in a running group with a coach that same year and increased the frequency of his runs to four times a week.

    "I could quickly lower my marathon timings... Since then, I have become quite a 'running addict'," said Wenger, who is the Asia-Pacific general manager at Swiss-headquartered IMTF Banking Software.

    The bachelor, who also enjoys painting and travelling, runs about six days a week now and aims to cover about 100km each week.

    "On days when I don't run, I cycle, do yoga or sometimes take a rest," he said. "You can say being fit has always been a part of me."

How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

I am less of a workaholic now. I try not to work on weekends unless there's urgent work. This was partly influenced by my participation in Runninghour. It made me realise that work is not everything. What makes me happy is good health and enjoying the little things in life.

What is it like to run with Runninghour?

I joined Runninghour at the start of last year. It's great meeting different people and getting to know them. I try to talk to them and see how they react. Over time, one will know how a "buddy" runs and what motivates him or her.

I run with the faster runners, but sometimes, I walk with them instead. The most important thing is knowing the run is for the "buddy". Sometimes, when they don't feel like running, I will enjoy the time walking with them and being their friend. I've met inspiring people and I look forward to many more runs with Runninghour.

What are the three most important things in your life?

Family, health and friends.

What's your favourite and least favourite part of your body?

My answer is the same body part for both favourite and least favourite. When I am in good shape, it's nice to have six-pack abs. However, I can kiss my six-pack goodbye when I allow the white chocolate Twix and sweets to dominate my diet. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with my belly.

What are your must-dos before and after a workout?

A cup of espresso before my run in the morning. After that, I usually have a no-sugar isotonic drink. Sometimes, I do some stretching, but not as often as I should.

How important is it for you to keep up with your fitness routine?

When I don't run for a few days, I can get a bit moody and feel the urge to go for a run. I think my body is a bit addicted to the workout routine. My friends and I motivate one another and train together. It's easier to "suffer" together with others on the days I don't feel like training.

What's the most extreme thing you have done in the name of fitness?

Many people might think getting up at 6am to run almost every day is extreme. But the most extreme thing I've done was the Singapore 200 Miles Ultra race in 2016 because of the distance and the heat.

I had blisters after running 100km and at the end of the 321km run, I had blisters in my blisters.

I was so overwhelmed with emotion when I finished the race that I cried out of exhaustion, happiness and pain.

How many sports events have you taken part in?

I would say 30 to 50 events. Apart from the 200 Miles Ultra race, a few others stood out.

In 2014, I did the Mount Rinjani ultra-marathon in Lombok, Indonesia. The views were incredible, but the climb was brutal as it was very steep.

When I was on holiday in Hawaii in 2015, I joined the Kona Marathon and won the race. It was fun and totally unexpected.

That same year, I also did the Ultra Trail Mount Fuji in Japan. It was the first time I had completed 160km at an event.

How extensive is your collection of sports-related paraphernalia?

I have more than 10 pairs of running shoes and a lot of sports apparel and accessories. I also have a bicycle and all the cycling gear.

You can say I am a bit of a sports addict, especially when you see the shoe collection at my front door.

Would you go for plastic surgery?

No. I would consider it only if it is necessary because of an accident or for health issues. Looks are very subjective. I am far from perfect, but I am happy with myself, most of the time anyway.

Do you think you're sexy?

Sometimes yes and sometimes no.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2019, with the headline 'Running with a special 'buddy''. Print Edition | Subscribe