Mok Ying Ren was the fastest Singaporean at the 2016 Army Half Marathon. (Photo 1 © Clara Yuan/Red Sports archives)

Padang, Sunday, August 28, 2016 — Mok Ying Ren, 28, was the fastest Singaporean at the Army Half Marathon when he crossed the finishing line in a time of 1 hour 15 minutes and 44 seconds.

Mok’s personal best and national record for the half marathon is 1:07:08, which he set in Arizona in January 2016.

Banjamin Quek, 24, was second in 1:16:24 while Raviin Kumar, 26, was third in 1:19:04.

In 2014, Quek clocked 1:19:34 to finish as the sixth fastest Singaporean.

About 19,300 runners signed up for the 21km run and 13,614 runners completed it according to race results. In 2014, the last time the Army Half Marathon was held, 21,800 took part. The Army Half Marathon was not held in 2015 because of Singapore’s golden jubilee celebrations.

“I started off quite slow, running with Colin (Tung) and Devathas (Satianathan). At the 10km mark, I caught (Foo) Gen Lin, then caught up with Banjamin Quek, who did well this year. I executed a well-paced run. I’m quite happy with it,” recalled Mok.

“I felt flat after the Ottawa Marathon in May. It was difficult starting the engine again,” said Mok, who is in his first year of a six-year orthopaedic residency at the National University Hospital. “I started working first week in July, and since then I’m just running 12km home from work.”

On whether he will take another stab at qualifying for the 2020 Olympic marathon, he said, “My training volume is practically half of my previous volume. But you never know. I haven’t planned anything yet as my main focus now is my work.”

“I think this (1:16:24) is probably my personal best for the half marathon,” said Banjamin. “In 2013, I did a 1:15 but I think it’s a shorter route? In 2014, I did a 1:19.”

Banjamin elaborated on how the race unfolded for him.

“I came into the race without much expectations and no pressure because I don’t think anyone knows who I am and expects me to do well. I only had a mission in mind and that is to do my best and contribute back to my division (6 Div). After 500m into the race, I was pretty much ahead with the first pack of runners with Yuta, the Japanese runner from SG Shufflers. I was running relaxed and fast to keep up with him.

“Mok (Ying Ren) and (Foo) Gen Lin came along at the 11km and overtook me. But it served as a motivation to me to continue to keep up with them while I could because these runners are really good and I want to give them a fight as long as I can.

“Even though the gap eventually did widen up between me and Mok. I was glad that I finished with a good timing. Overall, I am happy with the race and it’s one of the most exciting races I had this year,” said Banjamin.

For Raviin, a research assistant at the National Institute of Education, the race went well for him.

“My personal best was 1:16 (back in 2013) but I think it was a shorter course. I started the race feeling relaxed, was going at about 3:45 to 3:50 per km for the first 9km. As I was approaching the 10km mark, I felt stronger and broke away from the pack that I was running with. Surprisingly, though there was an increase in speed, I didn’t feel tired. I was quite amazed with the way my body was reacting to the increment and I enjoyed it,” recalled Raviin.

“Around 14km I had a runner from Team RunFanatic who was sticking with me. We smiled for most of the cameramen and chatted a little. As we approached the last km the pace increased even more substantially and we both were fighting for the finish. I had to literally sprint and dip him at the line.

“Overall it was an amazing experience. I wasn’t expecting much and I didn’t even count how many runners were ahead of me. I just wanted to do my best for my division and myself. I’m super happy with how it ended and the icing on top of the cake was the fact we (6 Division) won the Inter-formation championship for the third time,” added Raviin.

Raviin is training to break the national record for the 1500m and is looking to qualify for the 2017 South-east Asian Games.

As for Banjamin, the upcoming Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) Games are on his mind.

“I am currently on a school program (NUS overseas college) for 6 months in Israel. I will continue to train with the local athletics team there and get myself ready for a few track races in Israel and back in shape for IVP 2016/2017,” he said.

The Army Half Marathon was initially in doubt because of the haze. The organisers would have cancelled the race if the 3-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) exceeded 200. A 3-hour PSI reading of between 100 to 200 would have seen the 21km race converted to a 5km event. On Sunday morning at 3:10am, organisers announced on Facebook that the 3-hr PSI was 55 and the 21km race was flagged off at 5am as planned.

21km AHM Men’s
SAF Active Servicemen and SAF NSmen (ORNS, MR & Ex-NSmen) only
Gun times only
1st Mok Ying Ren – 1:15:56
2nd Banjamin Quek – 1:16:24
3rd Raviin Kumar – 1:19:04
4th Chua Chin Yang – 1:20:17
5th Loh Yuting – 1:20:18
6th Gordon Lim Wei Xiang – 1:20:23
7th Ho Ghim Khoon – 1:20:27
8th Chee Evan – 1:21:12
9th Ng Junwei – 1:21:20
10th Su Yen Bing – 1:22:10

21km AHM Men’s
All male participants who are not eligible for the above category
1st Joseph Mwangi Ngare – 1h 13m 55s
2nd John Lorono – 1h 14m 03s
3rd Nimesh Gurung – 1h 14m 26s

21KM AHM Women’s
SAF Active Servicewomen only
1st Elaine Young – 1:46:21
2nd Murakami Yoshika – 1:50:38s
3rd Valerie Tan – 1:53:26s
4th Tan En Jie Celine – 1:53:28s
5th Hock Soon – 1:54:05
6th Sing Yee Wang – 1:54:08
7th Jenny Ng – 1:55:57
8th Jenny Sugi – 1:57:41
9th Chong Yuan Ping – 1:59:16
10th Tan Hui Xin – 2:01:57

21KM AHM Women’s Open
All female participants who are not eligible for the above category
1st Susan Jemutai Kosgei – 1h 22m 59s
2nd Lim Baoying – 1h 32m 16s
3rd April Mckenna – 1h 33m 54s

21KM AHM Men’s Master
SAF Active Servicemen and SAF NSmen (ORNS, MR & Ex-NSmen), age 40 years old and above only
1st Lexxus Tan – 1h 24m 27s
2nd Hua Yew Loong Michael – 1h 25m 48s
3rd Ku Seow Wee – 1h 26m 13s

21KM AHM Women’s Master
SAF Active Servicewomen, age 35 years old and above only

1st Tan Bee Peng – 1h 49m 36s
2nd Ann Ng – 2h 02m 55s
3rd Puah Seok Hoon – 2h 12m 49s

Singapore national half marathon record progression
Mok Ying Ren – 1:07:08
18 Jan 2016
Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon, Arizona, USA

Soh Rui Yong – 1:07:21
27 Sep 2015
San Jose Rock N Roll Half Marathon, San Jose, USA

Mok Ying Ren – 1:07:29
1 Jun 2014
Christchurch Airport Marathon, Christchurch, New Zealand

Mok Ying Ren – 1:07:53
17 Nov 2013
Ageo City Half Marathon, Ageo City, Japan

Mok Ying Ren – 1:08:18
13 Mar 2011
Bareno Run, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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