As some of you would have known by now, we have a running Prosthodontist in Specialist Dental Group and he is none other than Dr Ansgar Cheng.
As if we are not proud enough of him and his array of running achievements, he represented Singapore again at the Perth 2016 World Masters Athletics Championship (WMAC). On 29 October, he competed with 48 other international athletes in the 5000m run for the 50 to 54 age group. He not only did Singapore proud, but also Asia proud by coming in as 11th and being the only Asian to complete the race with a timing of 17:39.30.
One of our colleagues, “catch up” (not in the running sense of course) with Dr Cheng on his thoughts about his experience and running in general.
Q: What were the goal(s) you set for yourself at WMAC? Did you achieve them?
A: My personal goal in the World Master was to achieve a personal best time in the 5000m. Certainly considered done.
Q: Was it pressurizing to be competing with international athletes? If yes, how did it handle the pressure?
A: I was never pressured because I was competing with ‘international athletes’. I was alerted that some of the fellow runners were national athletes in their earlier life! We are all born with two legs, right? That was what I presumed. However, judging from the jerseys they worn at the beginning of the race, some of them were indeed national athletes!! By then it was too late to feel ‘pressured’.
There was little pressure because I was competing with myself and I was aiming at getting a personal fastest ever time. I am grateful that I had my family and extended family in Perth at the track side. I also had my other runner friends/coaches, colleagues at work and my school old boys to support me over the internet. I was lucky.
Q: What motivates you to continue running when you feel tired?
A: I remember the saying: ‘Talent is limited, work is unlimited’. Since I was a school boy, I found that running and academic performance are more or less directly proportional to the effort input in preparation. Being tired is normal but what I wanted to do was to ‘train but not strain’, which make life much easier.
Q: What did you like about competing at WMAC and would you do it again?
A: World Master is certainly special, it allows folks like me to participate in the ‘world stage’ and compete with the best in our respective age group. Would I do it again? Well, let me get over the aches and pain that I am suffering right now, then I would think about it again.
Q: Who inspires you to continue running?
A: There are too many to be named. If I have to name, I would say it was my high school cross-country teammates. We were all small boys years ago and we helped out each other to be the best we could be. That sort of etched into my DNA since.
Q: What are your next plans for running?
A: To do the best I can in preparation for the upcoming Singapore and Hong Kong marathons while staying on course with my work/family life.
We gave Dr Ansgar Cheng a warm welcome when he returned to work from WMAC. Watch this video to know what took place: