Interviews · Singapore

Learning from Lynn: If She Can Conquer the MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50, So Can You!

by On Jun 16, 2017

Do you have problems motivating yourself? Be honest. Sometimes it takes someone else to inspire us and who better than Lynn Woo whose MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50 2016 risk paid off big time!

Learning from Lynn: If She Can Conquer the MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50, So Can You!

As the defending female champion of MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50, Lynn Woo is an extraordinary role model. If you’re on the fence about the upcoming MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50, keep reading because 15th July is fast approaching.

With just seven years of running under her belt, Lynn took her considerable talents from Singapore to other shores, competing relentlessly to meet her goals. When she’s not chasing PBs and dreams, Lynn’s demanding career as a stockbroker keeps her on her toes as well.

In December 2016, Lynn signed on for Hong Kong’s Asian Sky-running Championships (MSIG Lantau 50), finishing the daunting 54-kilometre trail race around Lantau with a big grin on her face. Talk about improvement: In 2010, running a 10km was her best race time. By 2014, she sailed across the finish line at her first 100km trail race.

The 50km at MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50 on 15th July 2017 offers Lynn another chance to shine. You’ve still got time to shine yourself by joining her. But before she put on her shoes for a recent conditioning run to prepare for the 50, she was gracious enough to answer 10 questions we’re sure you would ask if you ran into her.

RS: How would you describe last year’s Hong Kong Experience?

Lynn: A real eye-opener for me! I was humbled and awed by the experience. I rubbed shoulders with elite trail runners and forged wonderful friendships. The race itself was tough. My muscles ached from endless climbs and my pace was reduced to that of a tortoise. At one point, I worried I would miss the cut-off time.

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RS How different are Hong Kong’s trails compared to those in Singapore?

Lynn: HK trails feature flights of stairs that go from sea level to 1,000m so the climb alone took my breath away quite literally. Singapore trails are good for beginners. They’re not as technical. Although Singapore’s elevations aren’t as dramatic, Singapore terrain challenges different muscle groups. There’s nothing like a good workout on MacRitchie, Dairy Farm or Chestnut Avenue trails to prepare for harrowing competitions.

Learning from Lynn: If She Can Conquer the MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50, So Can You!

Photo Credit: Action Asia Events

RS How did you prepare for Hong Kong?

Lynn: Quickly! I decided to join the MSIG Lantau 50 just a month beforehand. I had to add stair-climbing to my routine so Saturday and Sunday mornings were spent on Bukit Timah.

RS Do you prep differently for Singapore trail races?

Lynn: I do. Our trails are flat, so speed becomes a defining factor, as is our hot and humid weather. I’m accustomed to it having lived here my entire life, so I have that advantage. Because I’m familiar with the climate, I work with it by clocking enough time on my feet to sustain the distance and terrain.

RS After racing in Hong Kong, do you approach Singapore trails differently?

Lynn: Every location is unique and each race has its own set of unique tests. It may be less taxing to climb in Singapore, but unpredictable weather and my own expectations make it equally challenging.

Learning from Lynn: If She Can Conquer the MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50, So Can You!

From Left to Right: Chen Hsiu-ching, Lynn Woo, Kuo Wan-ting, Dong Li, Jacky Leung. Photo Credit: Action Asia Events

RS Are Singapore trails tougher than Hong Kong trails?

Lynn: Not really; especially in terms of elevation, technicality and accessibility.

Also read:  Who’s Running Beside Her? Some of Singapore’s Kindest People!

RS How to you maximise your elevation training in Singapore?

Lynn: [laughs] We do repeats at places like Bukit Timah Hill [163m] and 50-storey stair repeats at Duxton.

RS Do you also train specifically to descend from heights?

Lynn: Whatever goes up must come down! It’s as important to focus on descents as it is on elevations.

RS What do you think about the growth of trail running in Singapore?

Lynn: The trail running community is growing — not just in Singapore but throughout the region. Friends will head to Malaysia on a hill-climbing trip shortly. With so many trail races in neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, we are so spoiled!

Learning from Lynn: If She Can Conquer the MSIG Singapore Action Asia 50, So Can You!

Photo Credit: Action Asia Events

RS Any expectations for the next five years?

Lynn: There’s no shortage of like-minded individuals ready to motivate and encourage each other. I think the next five years will see an increase in trail running here at home and abroad.

RS To whom do you look for motivation and inspiration — a mentor or ambassador to whom you turn?

Lynn: I am inspired by the running community as a whole, not just one person. My motivation comes from friends with a lot more ultra-trail running experience than me. Their confidence and encouragement help me face bigger challenges. My love for challenges and the thrill of overcoming them keep me coming back for more.

What would it take to get you to say “Yes” to joining Lynn at the 15th July MSIG Singapore Action Asia trail run where contestants can choose between 10km, 50km and 100km categories?

Aidan is the Editor-in-chief of RunSociety. As a health improvement hacker and explorer, he oversees RunSociety’s Creativity Channel, spanning a wide range of inspirational and enriching topics daily to the running community. Get in touch with him if you have any fresh ideas!

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