Continuation of our string of Team Athlete profiling, Annie is no stranger to the local running scene. She’s the rose amongst the thorns in the team but she holds her place very well and is widely respected amongst all racers and runners. A frequent fixture on podiums as well as the inaugural Malaysia Women’s Marathon open category Champion, we speak to the girl who runs like the wind, is tough as nails and 100% all girl power!
|Bidor 21km. Photo from 2009Tonton.blogspot.com|
1. Hello Annie, you look like you just finished a training run. Tell us about it.
That was a 12km run in Centro, Klang. From my last run, this run was considered as my warm up run for my SCKLM. It was a meaningful run as I have been joining this race since 2009 and skipped last year. So, its like an annual run for me.
2. When did you first start running, and why? What made you take up a sport that requires you to be out in the sun and rain and harsh weather conditions?
I started running since 2007. I was encouraged by my mother as running is a FOC activity. I used to join yoga classes yet the monthly fees and my tuition fees burdened my parents. So, she suggested me to run in the park. My initial target of running was to slim down and reduce tension. I was under stressful conditions in 2007 as it was the year I sat for my SPM.
3. Can you remember your first ever race? Was it a 10km? Tell us the experience and what you felt at the end of it.
I remembered my first ever race was SCKLM 2009. I participated in a full marathon. I remember I was reading the big advertisement in Sin Chew Jit Poh in my hostel. I was 18 that year. The qualification age for participation of a marathon is 18. I didn't scroll down to see other categories. The women open category was placed second. Without hesitation, I just registered online for that category. I didn't know then how far 42.195km really is.
So, fortunately or unfortunately, after couple months after registration, I found out the date of registration for my university falls on the same date as the race. I told myself, I have to complete it as soon as possible and rush back to Banting and go to Bangi to register before 3pm.
|MWM Champion - Open Category|
As the date came closer, my mom had actually asked me to give up and concentrate on packing to university. I faced a dilemma. However, I was lucky as my neighbor told me he was going too for a half marathon and he was willing to fetch me along. I remember he was very doubtful about me. He told me that even he had been joining for one/two years racing and still he didn't dare to try a marathon, how could I have done so. I chose to neglect him that time and told myself that I would survive!So, on that day, 1:30 in the morning I woke up and we departed at 2:15. Upon reaching, I was stunned to see all fully geared runners. Colorful shoes, bottles hanging around the waist and compression wear (I didn't know that was compression then!), caps all around me when I walked past the runners. I felt everyone was looking at my brand new, RM39.90 Power shoes. I kept my head down and waited in the crowd.
Reminiscing, my memory is forever stuck at Sogo area, approximately 36km onwards. I was brisk walking and I told myself I have to reach the finishing line and rushed back to UKM. I felt blisters on my toes and it was excruciating. I walked, ran and walked for a very long time and I finally reached the finishing line. I didn't know I completed it in how many hours. What I remembered I got my precious medal and a XXL finishing tee. Then, without wasting time, I found my neighbor.
I only found out my time after the result was announced on the website. A big smile on my face after I knew it was 5 hours 12 minutes. I learnt a lesson. I knew how far 42.195km is finally. LOL.
4. It has not been very long since your first race. How many full marathons have you completed since?
I completed 15 marathons so far.
5. Wow! Which of the Marathons did you enjoy best? Which one will you always remember?
Every marathon have different interesting story underneath. However, Tokyo Marathon 2012 is the most interesting one.
6. Hmmm… We would like to know, what is your preferred racing distance? 10km, 21km or 42km? Tell us why.
I prefer 42km yet I dislike it the most. Contradiction. I can "curi tulang" when running a 42km. In my view, I can burn my fats and yet enjoy the scene when running a marathon. These explain the reasons I prefer 42km over 10km and 21km. Yet, I join 10km and 21km occasionally to challenge myself.
7. Would you venture into an ultra distance run in the future?
No, so far I don't plan to run an ultra distance run. I salute those ultra marathoners' spirits. My condition now doesn't allow me to do so.
8. Being a runner who challenges for podium places, you definitely put in a lot of training. What does your weekly mileage look like and where do you normally train? Do you believe in quality sessions or quantity sessions?
My weekly mileage is 50-70km a week and most of the time I train in stadium. I can't say which is better. But, I would say for beginners, it is better to focus on quantity. It doesn't matter with slow pace as long as you can run in longer duration, I think this helps in building up the base. After some time, it is good to have quality sessions to increase the speed and increase the lactic threshold.
I will start my first job soon. I will be working in an infant formula manufacturing company in the production department. I want to be a trainer in the future. My wish is to raise awareness of the benefits of exercising to youths and women and at the same time I can enjoy my work.
10. Do you think working life will affect your training regime and racing?
Yes, definitely. But, it is all about the time management. I believe sacrifice and discipline drive me to train harder despite of working.
11. Does anybody else in your family run or are into sports?
No. My mom used to join races with me but now she prefers dancing than running.
12. Before we sign off, what piece of advice would you give to a young runner (in school or college) who wants to take up long distance running?
Always challenge yourself and get a positive motive to run. There is no short cut to accomplish the dreams. Hardwork and passion will pay off.
With that, we conclude our interview with Annie and we wish her all the best in her next race!