In the recent Pocari Sweat Run that occurred on 8 Jan, the national middle-distance runner Jeevaneesh Soundararajah clutched the first place position with his record-breaking time of 6 minutes and 52.97 seconds in the 2.4km run.
His feat at the Home of Athletics in Kallang has generated plenty of heat online, with the video of his race garnering more than 37,000 views on Facebook.
He finished ahead of Gurkha Subas Gurang (6:54:53) and top distance runner Soh Rui Yong (6:55.50), who held the previous best of 6:53.18.
Slim milliseconds of difference, yeesh.
Since it was a sponsored run, Soundararajah walked away with a long list of prizes that included $700 in cash, 700 bottles of Pocari Sweat and 700 vouchers of chicken rice packets.
Even as a Singaporean who measures food prices by chicken rice packets, 700 vouchers is equivalent to 233 days’ worth of chicken rice, nearly two-thirds of a year.
That’s a lot of food to get through.
Distribution of the Prize
In response to the Straits Times, Soundararajah said that he was planning to give 300 packets of chicken rice to his friends and family, while the remaining 400 will be distributed via a donation drive.
The donation drive is aptly named “Operation Chicken Rice”, and through his discussions with the chicken shop owner, the vouchers will be shared among a group of beneficiaries:
- 100 vouchers to Majulah Benlanja, which means ‘Onwards, to treat’, a volunteer initiative to help local and low-waged migrant workers
- 100 vouchers to the healthcare workers at Tan Tock Seng Hospital Intensive Care Unit
- 200 vouchers to inhabitants of selected one-room rental flats in Ang Mo Kio.
As for the 30 cartons of Pocari Sweat, the 28-year-old runner claims that he drinks four to five bottles per day, and he plans to share the isotonic drink with his teammates.
Likewise, the sports massage vouchers, Under Armour sports products and gym membership will be shared with his friends and teammates.
The $700 cash prize will be used to offset his training expenses like his coaching fees, travel expenses, and post-training recovery programmes.
Future Plans for Jeevaneesh Soundararajah
Presently, Soundararajah is training for the 1,500m run that will be taking place at the May 12-23 SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
He is aiming to beat his current record best of 4 minutes and 3 seconds, until he reaches his goal of 3 minutes and 57 seconds.
His target is understandable when the three-time champion Duong Van Thai of Vietnam had won gold in the 2019 edition with a time of 4 minutes and 6.63 seconds, while Filipino Mariano Masano and Thai Yothin Yaprajan finished second and third with timings of 4:08.37 and 4:08.90 respectively.
The SEA Games competition will definitely be heated, with a grand showdown to witness.
For the next Pocari Sweat Run, Soundararajah hopes to see more prizes for female runners to encourage their category.
Furthermore, he has even pledged to give $800 to every female runner that goes under eight minutes for the next run.
He hopes that there will be a more balanced prize pot for female runners because the target of 7 minutes tends to favour male runners.
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Featured Image: Facebook (OK Chicken Rice)
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