Secret Running Weapon: Golden-Ager Ultra Runner Bernardine Chin
Age is just a number for her. Read on what drives this running dynamo to keep going.
Gold has been used as precious currency since around 643 BC in Turkey when the ore was first made into coins by artisans. Since that time, the Gold Standard has been a benchmark for world currencies and gold itself has symbolically become the measure by which people, places and things are measured.
Why mention this fact? Because we’ve unearthed a treasure as valuable as gold: Solo Run Online Race Ambassador—Bernardine Chin. At age 59, she is fit enough to run past people half her age and every time she runs, she sets an example for middle or golden age women.
What’s her secret? We asked and here are the answers she shared with us.
RS: What inspired you to run solo? Why?
Bernardine: Running solo means I do not have an obligation or commitment to wait for my friends. I run at my own speed, timing and pace and I get to enjoy my own space by running alone.
Because I run, I can conquer anything before me and find happiness.
RS: What are your favourite pre-race and post-race meals?
Bernardine: Before I run, I like Milo or hot chocolate with oatmeal and raisins and sometimes, I eat a lot of bananas. My post-race meal is essential for recovery; especially after a 50 km or 100 km event which is my usual running distance. As soon as I stop, I drink hot chocolate milk. Later, I cook curry because the turmeric spice restores my body in no time.
RS: How has running alone changed your life?
Bernardine: Running has not only changed my life but my lifestyle as well. With each run, I release stress, which makes me a more positive, happy person. I believe that other people see it and respond positively to my outlook.
RS: How do you motivate yourself when running solo?
Bernardine: My family and friends have been encouraging me for years and I keep that encouragement in mind every time I run solo. I’ve also developed this philosophy: "Because I run, I can conquer anything before me and find happiness."
RS: What is on your mind when you run alone?
Bernardine: I wonder why other people aren’t willing to run to improve and save their lives. I’m sad to watch friends suffering from cancer and believe that if they were to sweat it out and release emotions and stress by running, they would be healthier and happier.
RS: What do you do if you have a disappointing race or workout? How do you motivate yourself to try again?
Bernardine: I had been running for 4 years and have concluded that it is almost impossible to race competitively and not have the occasional disappointing experience. I expect to encounter ups and downs and I work hard to learn from my mistakes and analyse what I did wrong. By doing that, I know how to perform better next time.
RS: What advice or tips would you give to beginning runners who want to run solo?
Bernardine: First, always feel comfortable running the distance you choose and always start at a slow pace. Be patient with yourself and you will become accustomed to running at a pace that feels right. Gradually, your speed will increase so subtly, you may not even realise it’s happening!
RS: Do you encourage middle age women to run solo? Why?
Bernardine: Yes, but not every middle age woman wants to run solo. I give them this advice if they ask for it: start slow by walking and ask yourself what you hope to achieve by training. This combination can give women my age an ideal base for getting started on their own solo running journey.
Bernardine wants to inspire women to join solo runners from around the world. Even though you are running alone, every runner becomes part of a worldwide movement that says, "even when we run alone, we are never alone." As an Ambassador, she can truly say that she feels connected to everyone participating.
Bernardine Chin shows how running affected her life in so many different ways. If you had an opportunity to ask Bernadine anything, what would your question be?