Fastest Runner in S’pore Challenges the Public to Beat His Timing on a 2.4km Run

It certainly didn’t seem possible at the time, at least not according to the laws of biology, but we have all become lazier thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prolonged lockdowns and exhortations to stay at home have turned all of us from semi-functional begins into large, sedentary potatoes.

We’ve always been allowed to exercise, even during the circuit breaker, but some of us (mostly me) used the pandemic as an excuse not to do so.

Well, if you need an incentive to get off your butt and move those legs, how about S$700 and stacks of sports drinks?

Fastest Runner in S’pore Challenges the Public to Beat His Timing on a 2.4km Run

A local marathoner has issued a challenge to Singaporeans: run the 2.4km in under seven minutes, and he’ll give you S$700 in cash and 700 bottles of sports drink.

It sounds great, but it’s not exactly an easy feat.

Soh Rui Yong, the man who threw down the gauntlet, is a two-time SEA Games champion.

Last Saturday (4 Sep), the 30-year-old completed a 2.4km run in just 6 minutes and 53.18 seconds at the Pocari Sweat Singapore 2.4km Challenge.

A few days later, he detailed his achievement in a Facebook post, along with his split times for each 400m lap.

However, it wasn’t his timings that had netizens talking.

At the end of his post, Soh included a line that rubbed some people the wrong way.

“Somehow, some people still think their “army/commando bmt mate who smokes” ran faster,” he wrote, adding a clown emoji at the end.

Some commenters took offense at the post, with one pointing out that there are many national athletes, including commandos, who have done the same thing but are “humble” and see no need to “show” off.

In a follow-up post, Soh clarified that the statement was not targeted at commandos specifically.

He explained that he was simply making a reference to “myths” that some circulate about runners in the army who happen to smoke.

“I wish to state that I have utmost respect for what the Commandos go through in military training. Few can claim to have gone through what they did or are capable of…” he wrote.

Commandos Would Not Be Capable of Timings Under 7 Mins

However, Soh maintained that Commandos would not be capable of 2.4km-timings under 7 minutes, and that Singapore’s best long-distance runners would find it difficult as well.

“It takes an average of 69s per 400m for 6 laps on the track to finish a 2.4km run in under 7 minutes. I seriously doubt that many commandos, former or current, would be capable of running even 4 laps (1.6km) at that pace,” he wrote.

But as a “gesture of goodwill”, as Soh described it, he offered runners who think they can beat his time the following incentive:

“Any Singaporean who runs sub-7:00 for 2.4km at next month’s Pocari Sweat Singapore 2.4km Run (Ground Race, 9-10 Oct) will receive $700 and 700 bottles of Pocari Sweat, both paid for by me,” he said.

“At the end of the day, it’s easy to make extraordinary claims without proof. Let’s settle the debate once and for all.”

Those who are interested can register here. 

To prepare for this race, I’ll start by trying to get off my couch in under 7 minutes. Baby steps.

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Featured Image: Facebook (Soh Rui Yong(苏睿勇))