Not too long ago, it was common to hear from ordinary folks that that they would want to run just one marathon to tick their bucket list. Oh, how times have changed. More running events, better technology in gadgets and equipment, and advancement in science have led ordinary runners to enjoy more of the sport of running.
For Kong Yen Erl, that joy reached a new high after completing her 100th marathon at last weekend’s Sibu Marathon. The 37-year old, who helps out in her family business distributing Shell lubricants in Klang Valley, ran her first race in a 22-km distance at the Penang Bridge International Marathon back in 2006. Hooked by the adrenaline rush, she then raced her first full marathon at Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon in 2007, and never looked back since.
Since her first 22km race in 2006, Yen Erl has been running.. and running.. and running.
“It’s so much more than an exercise, it’s my life manual” – Kong Yen Erl
In almost 13 years of running, she has completed both local and overseas marathons including 6 races in Thailand, 4 in Japan, 2 in Australia, and in big cities of Paris and Manchester. Racing overseas broadened her mind: a cooler weather was less taxing on the body, overseas runners being more prepared and thus ran faster, and safety factors were top priorities for overseas organisers. Locally, she has also completed the Great Borneo Series Challenge comprising of the Borneo, Kuching and Miri marathons.
Besides road runs, Yen Erl also loves trail runs, and is a pacer for The North Face Malaysia Trail Runners group. In this role, she has evolved from an individual mindset to one of motivating newbies and communicating with her teammates.
Diet And Sleep
No secrets over here. Yen Erl swears by a healthy diet and sufficient sleep. And add consistency in training and a determined mindset. These are the key factors for her to sustain her love of marathons. In this year alone, she has completed 11 marathons, and has 2 more to go.
Yen Erl’s sums up her joy in running with “it gives me confidence and teaches me to live life to the fullest. It’s so much more than an exercise, it’s my life manual.”