Ming also runs to help autistic children, telling Our Better World that it not only “feels good to do something for someone that you don’t know”, it adds a motivational boost to his running.
Koh Ming Hao is a serious sports enthusiast.
Running from as far back as primary school and participating in cross-county events in secondary school, the 29-year-old is either running, playing football or playing rugby almost every day of the week.
The business development executive at SystemsGo, who started running marathons in 2007, usually runs after work.
“I would say running to me is not really a sport; it’s more of keeping myself healthy and fit. It actually helps me to de-stress myself,” he says. “And in Singaporean style, running is free,” he jokes, before adding: “I feel free. There’s no one to stop you. You can just carry on you can just keep running, feel the breeze, fresh air. It is a very peaceful and enjoyable moment for myself.
Since last year, however, Ming Hao has had an added reason to run.
He ran to raise funds for children with autism at the Standard Chartered Marathon last year and he’s doing it again this year.
Explaining that his girlfriend of 14 years teaches children with special needs, the avid runner says he got to spend some time with autistic children and got to know them a little bit.
“They are very special,” he says with obvious affection. “That’s why I decided to run for the Autism Association. If you can do something good while running, why not?”
And he says helping the children has helped him in his running.
“It’s very motivating because you know that you’re running for a good cause. For marathons, when you hit the 30km mark, it’s very very tiring, so at least … there’s this motivating factor to actually push me to go further. I would tell myself ‘come on, every click counts.’ And when I cross the finish line, I feel fantastic, satisfied and proud of course. I actually feel that I’ve done something good for those kids – I’m being someone special to them.”
And the animal-lover who enjoys seeking out the best brunches with his girlfriend, adds that “it feels good to do something for someone that you don’t know”. “I would say if you do something good, you will get the same thing back again.”
Help Ming to help autistic children today.