Pushing beyond their limits

The eight long-distance runners posing for a group photo at Eastern & Oriental Hotel in George Town, Penang. — Photos: LIM BENG TATT/The Star

THE Covid-19 pandemic did not stop eight avid athletes from training hard and striving for their personal best in Penang.

Among them was Lim Kok Leong, who completed a full marathon in three hours and two minutes.

The event was organised by Penang Forward Sports Club (PFSC).

“Under the movement control order (MCO), I continued with my physical training at home to build and maintain my stamina.

“I have been participating in track and field events since I was in secondary school.

“I started taking part in marathons when I was in university, ” the 29-year-old teacher said at the award presentation ceremony at Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Farquhar Street on Sunday.

Lim added that he set aside an hour a day for his training session on weekdays.

“On weekends, I will run two to three hours a day, ” he said.

Engineer Neoh Soon Hueng, 39, said he managed to achieve his personal best by completing a full marathon in three hours and 56 minutes.

“I have been training with some club members almost every weekday at the Polo Ground.

“On weekends, we go for long runs for about 21km to 30km, ” he shared.

As for civil servant Hashim Johan, 39, he completed his 42km marathon in four hours and 12 minutes.

“This is my personal best and I am proud of myself.

Hashim expressing his joy over his performance in the 42km marathon.Hashim expressing his joy over his performance in the 42km marathon.

“I was training on my treadmill and did strength workout at home during the MCO.

“I started my running journey by joining fun runs and slowly increasing to half marathons, and now I can complete full marathons, ” he said.

The eight athletes completed the marathon at the competition at Straits Quay recently.

Club chairman Lim Choo Hooi said the run was organised to motivate fellow athletes.

“We have eight athletes who surpassed their personal best and were awarded RM3,000 each.

“Since the MCO was implemented in March last year, our athletes have not stopped their training.

“Many of us feel uneasy about not exercising for a long time but we understand that the restriction has to be carried out for the safety and good health of the public, ” he said.

State tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said PFSC had always taken part in sports activities, especially in dragon boat competitions, since the 1950s.

“I hope the club will continue to contribute in sports for the benefit the community, ” he said.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow praised the club for being one of the most active sports clubs in the state.

“I hope that the athletes can be an inspiration to others.

“Due to the pandemic, many experience stress as they are unable to cope with the changes.

“Through sports, I hope that people can balance their physical and mental health.”

Also present was club adviser Tom Khoo.

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