If someone asked you to interview another runner, what questions would you pose? Now, suppose that runner is a civil servant. Would that change your scope and line of questioning? We had the privilege of meeting three CSC Run By The Bay 2017 Ambassadors and each inspired us for different reasons. See if you don’t feel the same way after reading about them.

Meet Silia Puah

This mum of two began running when she was just a kid herself, insisting that it “was just a simple, natural thing to do—though I got lots of practice running away from my mummy and teachers when I did something wrong!” Silia launched her fledgling “career” in Kenyan style. She ran barefoot at first but realised she needed shoes if she was to follow in the footsteps of her brother Lesle who ran marathons.

“Live life to the fullest!” — Silia Puah

Her inspiration? Singapore’s breathtaking sunrises and spectacular sunsets, though Silia admits that her running club mates and mentors now provide a good deal of inspiration, too. “They’re like family,” she says when citing both the Yishun Safra Running Club and Pink Apple Team as inspiring her efforts to stay fit.

This busy mum escapes and rejuvenates every time she runs, thus her memories are firmly planted in the people she meets who share her deep sense of appreciation for having the ability to run in the first place. Silia’s favourite quote? “Live life to the fullest!” We have a hunch she lives that quote 24/7.

Meet Foo Gen Lin

Far right: Foo Gen Lin

Dr. Gen Foo practices what he preaches. As a civil servant attached to the Ministry of Health at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, his diagnosis for what ails others often includes not getting enough exercise! In addition to participating in the CSC Run By The Bay 2017, his department takes pride in promoting a healthy lifestyle in concert with stressing fellowship among public officers. He participates in a weekly running group organised by the hospital that stages regular inter-department competitions.

“Keep running the endurance race before you!” — Foo Gen Lin

“My department also organised a trek to Mount Everest Base Camp in October 2016 to promote camaraderie and teamwork,” he says, though the modest doctor only takes credit for being part of the Singapore group. We can’t ignore the fact that he leads by example and insists the Ministry of Health has the best runners on the planet. Gen Lin believes that health maintenance relies upon regular exercise so he leads by example.

Look for him as he plays a big role in promoting the CSC Run By The Bay 2017 via social media, but he also intends to boost this race’s profile by talking it up. “I’ll use good, old-fashioned word of mouth to enlist my friends.” He’s inspired by a fellow doctor: Roger Bannister. He was the first person to “break the ‘impossible’ 4-minute mile barrier in 1954,” says Gen. For the moment, his motto is “Keep running the endurance race before you!” We agree.

Meet Poon Zi Li

On the right: Poon Zi Li

Figuring out what he wanted to do with his life was a no-brainer: Poon loved athletics and longed to teach, so becoming a physical education instructor was the perfect fit. “I was inspired by my teachers, so my current job includes supporting designated days for staff games to encourage everyone to lead an active lifestyle.”

“Everything seems impossible—until it is done.” — Nelson Mandela

As a civil servant, Poon has many opportunities to spread the word about staying fit—especially to colleagues who may not be inclined to make running their first exercise choice. Asked which agency or ministry team inspires him most, he doesn’t hesitate, “The police team is always awesome. Every year, a platoon of GC runners amazes me by pacing each other during the 10km before striking out alone nearing the finish line. They pull this off in around 36 minutes. How could I not be inspired?”

He wouldn’t miss the annual Run By The Bay 2017. As an ambassador, it’s Zi Li’s responsibility to promote discounts organisers offer to runners choosing the 21km distance. Who will be waiting for him at the finish line on 1st October? The loves of his life: His mum, wife and kids. Mum, especially, since she helps care for his girls when he and his wife work and run. “My favourite quote? It’s from Nelson Mandela: Everything seems impossible—until it is done.”

Meet all three at the CSC Run By The Bay 2017!

Every year, the CSC Run By The Bay 2017 is staged by the Civil Service Club and it’s considered a jewel in the crown of the Public Service STAR Games Calendar. Take advantage of this Marine Barrage-situated open invitation to the public to run alongside civil servants by registering for any of these categories: The 21km Ekiden, 21km Individual, 10km Individual; 10km Team of 4, 5km Fun Run or 1km Parent and Kid Dash.

Flag offs begin at 5 a.m. on 1st October, but before you set your alarm, get your registration sorted at Spacebib. The clock is ticking: Early bird rates are only in effect until 31st July!

Before the big day, pick up a bounty of entitlements that include a logo-embellished goodie bag filled with surprises that include discount vouchers, digital subscriptions to magazines, spa service vouchers and more. But the biggest bonus of all will be introducing yourself to one or more of the three super-stars profiled here.

The CSC Run By The Bay 2017 is a living tribute to the sacrifices made by people like the ambassadors who promote running at every opportunity, so this event is more than just your chance to earn a personal best or bring home a medal: it’s your opportunity to compete with and meet Singapore’s unsung heroes, too.

How important is it to you that you have chances to meet ordinary runners who stand out from the crowd because they inspire people everywhere they go?

Aidan H.

Aidan is the Editor-in-Chief of RunSociety. With more than a decade of editorial and marketing experience working with over thousands of writers. Aidan has also written for several popular websites reaching millions of readers. Recognised as an expert on the web, his focus is to oversee RunSociety’s Creativity Channel, spanning a wide range of inspirational and enriching topics daily to the community. Get in touch with him if you have something to say, or want to weigh in on an interesting topic at hello@runsociety.com.

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