SINGAPORE - For local band Jack and Rai, running has always been close to their hearts. The duo, comprising Jack Ho and Rai Kannu, will be performing on Sunday (July 16) at The Straits Times Run post-race festivities.
Aside from dashing in between gigs, soundchecks and rehearsals, the full-time musicians also make it a point to squeeze in runs and occasional races into their fitness regimens.
Of the two, Kannu has the more notable sporting background. He ran for Raffles Institution's track and field team with U.K. Shyam, who still holds the national 100m sprint record. The promising sprinter won bronze in the 400m boys' race at the 1996 Schools National 'A' Division Championships.
Kannu had planned to continue running competitively after junior college, but injuries cut short his fledgling athletics career.
"I wanted to carry on with a running club called Swift, but I tore two ligaments in my knee during national service and realised maybe it was time for it to take a back seat," said the 38-year-old.
Kannu now runs leisurely to complement his high-intensity interval training workouts at a local gym.
Maintaining fitness has become a habit for the former physical education teacher, who added: "It's a funny thing... If I don't go to the gym, I feel weird."
Ho nodded, saying: "Even when we travel overseas together, he'll be the one asking to work out."
JACK AND RAI'S RUNNING PLAYLIST
1 Killing In The Name (Rage Against The Machine)
2 The Pretender (Foo Fighters)
3 More Human Than Human (White Zombie)
4 Sixteen Saltines (Jack White)
5 Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes)
6 You Could Be Mine (Guns N' Roses)
7 Are You Gonna Go My Way (Lenny Kravitz)
8 Howlin' For You (The Black Keys)
9 Kashmir (Led Zeppelin)
10 Testify (Rage Against The Machine)
While Ho describes his musical partner as "the ideal representation of a fit and well-balanced lifestyle", he is not a complete slob himself as he goes on evening runs twice a week around his neighbourhood.
"I try to make sure I do 3km to 4km and that's manageable for me. I want to have a good sweat and let the heart pump a bit. I'm a happy man that way," the 40-year-old said. "Running is the main thing I do. I'm a very lightweight exercise kind of guy."
Both agree that music plays a vital part when they run. Ho finds that music helps him take his mind off the fatigue.
"You just feel the beat and rhythm and just go," he said.
"It keeps you going if it's driving enough. Some songs have lyrics that helps to push you. It tells you that you can do this," Kannu added.
According to them, a good running song should have a strong riff and backbeat with driving drums.
The band promise a good time on race day with a set list featuring high-energy songs and a debut of their latest single.
"We'll keep your spirits up. It'll be a nice way to end off your run with a party," said Kannu.
"Don't worry, there'll be no Adele's Someone Like You," Ho quipped, referring to the British singer's tear-jerking hit.