Sim Yan Lin is your bubbly girl-next-door who works as an executive assistant. Yam (her nickname) took up running as a way to shed some pounds, but she soon found a group of die-hard runners to train with.
One thing led to another, and Yam completed her first full marathon 3 years ago. But she still enjoys the thrill of running, and has completed numerous more marathons since.
Having completed the recent 2XU Compression Run 2014 (42km), Yam sets her sights (and running shoes) overseas. Yam shares with us why she chose the Gold Coast Airport Marathon as her next overseas marathon.
Q: You have run overseas before, in the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon. Were there any differences running in Singapore and in Malaysia?
I embarked my first running journey overseas which was not only exciting but it further fueled my burning passion for running.
Even though the city landscapes in both countries are very much similar, being able to witness the different runners you meet in KL is indeed life-enriching.
I am surprised to realize how much runners of 2 neighboring countries can share insights about the love for sports. Knowing that running can bring people across the world even closer allows me to rediscover running is not only a sport, but a way of life too.
Q: This will be your first time running the Gold Coast Airport Marathon! But is it your first time going to Australia?
I haven’t been to Australia however; I am very much looking forward to this future milestone. I am so excited!
Q: In terms of both the GCAM and Australia itself, what are some of the things you will be looking forward to?
It was through my friends and running groups that I got to know of the GCAM. I’ve heard that a lot of people from different countries will be joining, and not just Australians. So I am absolutely sure that this is going to be one great magnificent run.
Q: Since you’ve signed up for Operation Kookaburra, you’ll be following their 12-week preparation training. Will you be focusing on any other specific training in the lead up for the GCAM run?
Since I have a gym membership, I will be participating in more physical and strength training to ensure that I am best prepared for GCAM. I also visit the open air stadium nearby my home, which provides a great workout environment for cross training.
Q: Tell us how you started running. When did you start, and at what point did you eventually manage to conquer the magical 42.195km?
I used to play street soccer during my teenage days in my secondary school life. Being a soccer player, maintaining a high level of stamina is vital to keep running up and down the field during soccer games. Running was the quickest and most efficient platform for me to achieve my desired pace of stamina.
However upon graduation and when I began my first career, my daily life became too occupied and hectic. Since then, running did not seem to be that much of a priority. Weight gain and a decrease in energy level started to bother me and I sunk into a rather depressing transition.
It struck me that this is not the life that I would foresee myself in. Hence, I buckled up and began chasing my running dream again.
This happened 3 years ago, where I was lucky to meet a group of National Service regulars whom were die-hard marathoners. I was invited to run and join them and I gladly obliged.
My primary reason for running was to keep fit and healthy. But little did I know that I rediscovered my running passion, and taking part in marathons became a part of me too.
It wasn’t easy as I thought but I decided to challenge myself when I signed up my first full Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon in 2011.
Through painstakingly and unwavering determination, I finally improved my personal best on the full marathon from 6 hours and 9 minutes, to my recent 4 hours and 48 minutes records. This is my greatest milestone so far!
To me, strong determination, encouragement from friends and family is the key to conquer the magical 42.195km. Of course, running has no limits and I won’t be stopping here.
I know that running has changed my life completely. It has made me both physically and mentally stronger and it frees my mind when I put on those running shoes.
Each time when I complete an exhausting run, a sense of achievement overwhelms me than my tired body. Running has given me a passion and the realization that anything is possible.
Q: Where did you hear about the GCAM from? What were some of the reasons that made you go “Hey, I’m going to run in Australia this year”?
There’s no reason for me to skip this run and I always have this “Let’s go and do this” attitude. I’ve signed up for countless runs in Singapore over the years, and I decided to challenge myself in running abroad.
I just found out that GCAM is known as one of the world’s leading road races after receiving an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Road Race Gold Label.
I am also looking forward to join races in different continents. My dream goal is to train to my best maximum in order to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I always believe that it’s never too late to dream.
Q: The Gold Coast Airport Marathon takes place on the 5th and 6th of July this year. Any other events you’re joining as for a lead-up to the GCAM? What about after?
My upcoming races are 2XU Compression Full, Carnival Run, Run 350 and Pocari Sweat Run.
Army Marathon, Newton Challenge, Swissotel Vertical Marathon and Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore will be my following local running events after GCAM 2014.
I am waiting for more to come!
Q: What about yourself? Any milestones (training, personal, family) you would want to accomplish in 2014?
There are more people around me taking joy in running and it has now become a healthy trend.
This is where I love to be a positive influence and as such, further motivate myself to love running even more!
Sharing tips about keeping fit and healthy and exchanging inside makes me happy. I hope to achieve another personal best in 2014!
Q: As a runner and a fan of keeping fit in general, who or what inspires and motivates you to keep fit?
- I have a fairly large appetite but I am very health and weight conscious. Running keeps my body in check, and I do believe in the saying “Health is greater than wealth”.
- 2 remarkable persons have made a deep impact in my life. One of them is the running legend Mok Ying Ren who is name is not remote among the elite runners. He is someone that I hold in high esteem as he has done Singapore proud and is someone who deserves to be looked up to.
- “Dora” is a magnificent personal friend of mine whose undying spirit never fails to impress me. She has been running for almost her entire life. She has serves as my close confidant, and she always motivates the runners that have started after her and she is very generous in sharing everything she knows about her running passion.
- I know that a portion of many marathon event’s revenue will go to charities. I do not want to run just to benefit myself. My dream is that we can all take this to a level higher helping the ones that are less fortunate, and corporate social responsibility also helps with that!
Registrations for the Gold Coast Airport Marathon opens 18 March 2014. For more general information, visit www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au. Travel packages from Singapore to this event are available from www.queensland.com.sg.