Story by Colin Tung/Red Sports
Mok Ying Ren in his marathon debut in 2009. (Photo © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports archive)
Christchurch, New Zealand, Sunday, June 5, 2011 — Mok Ying Ren is going places, literally, in his quest to break distance-running records.
A week after running 14 minutes 51.09 seconds in Japan to break the 5000m national record (pending ratification by the Singapore Athletic Association), Mok lowered his marathon personal best, by over a staggering 10 minutes, to 2 hours 26 minutes 34 seconds in winning the Christchurch Marathon in New Zealand.
According to the official post-race report, Mok beat two-time Christchurch Marathon winner Phil Costley who had to settle for the runner-up position in a time of 2:29:29.
“It was very hard. It was windy and Phil was strong. I had to run very hard to win, so I am happy,” Mok was quoted as saying in the report.
Mok’s latest marathon time puts him just outside two minutes of the national record of 2:24:22 set by Murugiah Rameshon in the 1995 South East-Asian (SEA) Games at Chiangmai, Thailand. Rameshon was 30 years, 11 months and 12 days of age at the time.
And at only 22 years of age, Mok has time on his side as he seeks to add yet another distance-running national record to his name.
This was only Mok’s third marathon since making his debut at the 2009 Singapore Marathon, winning it in 2:43:42. He shaved five minutes and 15 seconds off his time in repeating his win at the 2010 Singapore Marathon.
With today’s 11 minutes 53 seconds improvement on his Singapore Marathon time of 2:38:27 from last December, his cumulative progress through his first three marathons is 17 minutes 9 seconds.
His next marathon is slated to be this December’s Singapore Marathon, after he runs the 5000m at November’s SEA Games in Indonesia.