Athletics: SEA Games berths in sight for Singapore duo

Marathon runners Jasmine Goh (above) and Rachel See have both met the SEA Games qualifying benchmark after their performances in the Hong Kong Marathon yesterday.
Marathon runners Jasmine Goh and Rachel See (above) have both met the SEA Games qualifying benchmark after their performances in the Hong Kong Marathon yesterday.ST FILE PHOTO
Marathon runners Jasmine Goh (above) and Rachel See have both met the SEA Games qualifying benchmark after their performances in the Hong Kong Marathon yesterday.
Marathon runners Jasmine Goh (above) and Rachel See have both met the SEA Games qualifying benchmark after their performances in the Hong Kong Marathon yesterday.ST FILE PHOTO

Goh and See finish with first sub-3hr times in Hong Kong to reinforce claims for KL berths

In 2011, Jasmine Goh began running with one simple aim - to lose weight.

Fast forward six years and the 37-year-old is now on the cusp of representing Singapore for the first time at this year's SEA Games.

Yesterday, the mother of two clocked a time of 2hr 54min 51sec at the Hong Kong Marathon to win the Master 1 (35-44 years old) category.

More importantly, it was her personal best time and well below the SEA Games qualifying benchmark of 3:07:14 set by Singapore Athletics, the local track and field governing body.

The two fastest qualifiers will be picked to represent Singapore at this year's Games in Kuala Lumpur.

GROUP CULTURE IS A FACTOR

The marathon is a lonely (event) but you can complete it together with other like-minded people.

RACHEL SEE, marathon runner and a mother of two, on how training regimens help improve performances.

National team-mate Rachel See, who competed in the 2015 SEA Games and who was also in Hong Kong, clocked 2:58:27.

Reflecting on her feat, Goh, whose previous best time was 3:03:40, said: "I am pleasantly surprised (by the time) and really grateful (to my club). I trained very hard to achieve this goal."

The financial consultant credits coach Lexxus Tan's training programme for helping her crack the three-hour mark for the first time.

She trains at least six days a week, and her programme includes running up hills and speed endurance.

Goh, who won the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore women's category last year, said: "I believe the structured training programme set by my coach as well as training with a group of disciplined runners from my club F1, too, helped me to excel. I really enjoy running with the like-minded individuals at my club."

Indeed, while running a marathon is often a lonely toil of putting one foot in front of the other, both Goh and See lauded their training groups for their good form.

See, whose previous personal best was 3.00:37, said: "The marathon is a lonely (event) but you can complete it together with other like-minded people. I run with (2016 Olympian Neo) Jie Shi and a group of guys including our spouses."

The 34-year-old, also a mother of two, added: "I was down with flu the whole of last week so I am very happy with my performance.

"I just kept telling myself that I must do my best because I am representing the country."

The qualifying window for this year's SEA Games closes on May 31 and the duo are unlikely to run another marathon before then.

See, a civil servant, believes their results prove that women's marathon is on the rise.

She said: "I think the local ladies are all getting better. We push each other to run faster. And we get more experience with age and more races."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2017, with the headline 'SEA Games berths in sight for S'pore duo'. Print Edition | Subscribe