Just when you think you're tough enough


It All Began On a Date for Running Couple Debbie Hooi and Fadzly Tajuddin

Would you go running while dating? Debbie Hooi and Fadzly Tajuddin took a chance and it paid off.

Would you go running while dating? Married for four years now, Debbie Hooi and Fadzly Tajuddin took a chance and has continued running together ever since.

Occasionally, the Kuala Lumpur-born Debbie and Petaling Jaya-born Fadzly can be spotted running at the Petronas Twin Towers KLCC area and the Perdana Botanical Gardens in Kuala Lumpur as a family.

ToughASIA caught up with personal trainer and beauty consultant Debbie and film director Fadzly to find out who has the more expensive running shoes.

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ToughASIA: Who started running first?

Debbie: My dad who runs almost everyday since I was in primary school, inspired me to take up running. I was also going to the gym frequently before Fadzly and I started running together.
Fadzly: Previously, I was more into football and futsal.

ToughASIA: Did you ask your husband to pursue running with you?

Debbie: Yes, kind of. I think he agreed with the first run because we were kinda dating, haha!

ToughASIA: What was the attraction between you both?

Debbie: His sarcasm and his lame dad jokes!
Fadzly: I like the way she thinks and her nurturing quality.

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The KLCC park is one of their favourite running spots as a family

ToughASIA: How does it feel to have a competitive spouse in the same sport?

Debbie: Feels great because I get to run with my favourite person!
Fadzly: We don’t really compete, we just motivate each other.

ToughASIA: What keeps you both running together now, even when there are no races?

It is more like a lifestyle to us and races are akin to an event where we go with some of our friends and family. Additionally, we try to run every Wednesday with our neighbourhood running club – KJRC, Kelana Jaya Running Club based in Selangor.

ToughASIA: Who has the more expensive shoes? Do you buy each other gear, apparel and shoes as gifts or rewards?

Debbie: Fadzly.

Fadzly: Debbie.
No, but maybe we should buy for each other on our anniversary!

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The Garmin Marathon 2019 will go down as a memorable race for the Tajuddin family

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ToughASIA: What is the most memorable race you have competed in together?

Debbie: The Garmin Marathon 2019 was the most memorable one because it was our first race together. In fact, one of our daughters joined us on her first 5km race with Fadzly, while I ran the 10km.

“It was one of the best races because it was our first event together, the three of us :)”

ToughASIA: What are your next couple goals?

Debbie: Actually, it’s more of my goal than his but he will just follow me. We were supposed to run our first half marathon, 21.1km in Melbourne last year but it did not happen due to COVID-19. Perhaps this year, we might race in a virtual run because we cannot travel yet.

Also, definitely would love to complete a half or full marathon either in Melbourne, Japan or London during winter!

ToughASIA: Who takes care of your children when both of you are training or racing?

Debbie: We have two beautiful girls and usually they will stay at home with our helper when we go for our runs.

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Running definitely builds family ties closer for the Tajuddins as they put one foot in front of another, together.

Photos provided by Debbie Hooi.