Soh Rui Yong is no stranger in Singapore’s running scene. As one of Singapore’s fastest marathoners, Soh was recently crowned as the winner of Singapore National Championships despite having never participated in the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) before. He is also a double gold medallist in SEA GAmes (2015 and 2017) and winners of many races in the region and around the world.
25 Fast and Awesome Facts About Soh Rui Yong
Here are 25 interesting facts about Soh Rui Yong that you might not have heard before.
- Soh holds the Singapore National Record for 10,000 metres with 31:15.95 at Portland Track Festival in 2014, according to Singapore Athletics.
- Soh only ran his first marathon in 2014 at the California International Marathon, where he finished the race with a stunning time of 2:26:01.
- Soh’s parents run recreationally. His mother represented Raffles Institution in cross country back in her school days and was their team captain.
- Soh has one younger sister, who is also a runner. Romaine Soh was the 2012 ‘A’ Division 2000m steeplechase champion, representing Victoria JC back then.
- Soh’s daily food intake consists of vegetables, meat, eggs, fruit, and lots of carbs.
- On a typical race day, Soh eats peanut butter and jelly sandwich with orange juice and a banana.
- As a Japanese food lover, Soh eats curry rice, ramen or soba noodles every week.
- Soh’s guilty pleasure foods are bacon cheeseburgers and fries.
- His favourite running place in Singapore is the 16km loop around the Kallang river that he does almost every morning before work. Follow Soh’s Strava account for details of his running routes.
- 1Soh met his girlfriend, Charmaine, at the 2017 YOLO Run. He said, “The race was a disaster but for the fact that I met her. See, good things happen when you run! :)”
- Soh is really grateful to have a supporting girlfriend like Charm, “She plans her day such that she catches me after work or after training. Sometimes, I run at lunch and she buys lunch for me and brings it to the office. Sometimes she even comes to the track and times my workouts despite not knowing anything about running. She makes me happy and brings balance to my life, and I’m really blessed to have her.”
- Whether Soh would dance or not depends on how many beers he has had. Charm has been trying to get Soh to attend dance classes and Soh would probably go for these classes on his next break from training.
- Soh’s childhood idol was Zinedine Zidane, French World Cup winner.
- His childhood dream was to win a SEA Games gold medal, stand on the podium and hear Majulah Singapura played. He has achieved this dream twice.
- Soh’s all-time favourite race is 2017 SEA Games Marathon because of all the odds he had to beat to even start that race, and then to win it. Another race that he loves is the race between Hicham El Guerrouj and Bernard Lagat in the 2004 Olympics 1500m final.
- Soh works at CoachSG, a division under Sport Singapore that looks at the overall professional development of their coaches. One of the key initiatives that he is involved in is to raise the profile of their coaches. He said, “As an athlete, I know the critical role a coach plays in my career, which sometimes can go unnoticed or unappreciated. My work also serves to reinforce the responsibilities of coaches to our athletes. So, you can say it is a good job fit for me, not just because of what I do at CoachSG, but also in the manner Sport Singapore continues to support me as an athlete by allowing me to pursue my sporting dreams, especially when I need to be away from work for training, preparation camps and competitions. I am happy to be part of an understanding team, and an organisation that has a strong shared vision that aspires all Singaporeans to live better through sport.”
- Outside work and running, Soh’s hobby is planning and executing romantic dates for his girlfriend, Charmaine.
- One of Soh’s greatest failures and regrets was getting injured and thus, failing to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games. Everything had gone smoothly until then. He said, “Going through a rough patch really showed me who was still there for me in not-so-good times. It also gave me the fire to come back with a vengeance and have my best year ever in 2017. And heading into 2018, I have that momentum continuing to roll on.”
- Soh ran 68:37 half marathon in strong winds and snowy conditions in 2018 Marugame Half Marathon. This record earned him a spot at the upcoming World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia on 24 March 2018. No other Singaporean has run faster than Soh during the qualification window for the Championships.
- In the lead up to Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Soh looks forward to race in the World Half Marathon Championships 2018, Ottawa Marathon 2018, SEA Games 2019 and World Half Marathon Championships 2020.
- Between track race and road race, Soh chooses road race, “Road race has the bigger community, more racing opportunities, more money, more fun. Track racing needs to learn from road racing to market and run their events better. Especially in Singapore.”
- In March 2017, Soh and his closest friends and training partners started Team Tze Char Shoe Foundation with the mission to purchase a brand new pair of shoes every month for less privileged and hardworking student-athletes to help them chase their sporting aspirations.
- On his bucket list are breaking all the Singapore distance records, then coaching athletes to break his records, and taking Charmaine on a vacation to Hawaii.
- His favourite quote is: “No pursuit of a dream comes without sacrifice.” – Soh Rui Yong.
- Soh’s message to the running community: “No matter how fast or slow, running keeps you healthy, fit and young!”
Featured Photo Credit: Black Dot.