Tan Mariviv comes in champion in POSB Run 2018 Posted on October 5, 2018

By Pramod Kukanur

Picture 1 – Champion Mariviv (right) believes that fairness comes when there is no doping before and during training and when competing, anti- agency can ensure anti-doping to ensure a fair race. 

Tan Mariviv, an anti-doping advocate, would like to share her win, second position, in 5km Shape Run (19 August 2018) and 5km POSB Run (8th Sept 2018). In the past, she was told to go to another coach by her principal of school, which she found that it was not a practical solution. Her father went to see the principal to reject the idea.

For Mariviv, it did not make sense at all. It means, where ever she goes to another institution, she has to keep taking a new coach, which means she will have different methods of training. She told me that she likes the Loughborough University way of training and she is inspired by Paula Radcliffe’s 2hr 15min world record performance. Armed with this approach, she kept staying with Head Coach of Flexifitness and current National Record Holder for Marathon, done in Chiangmai South East Asian Games, 2hr 24min 22sec, M. Rameshon. She took another CCA, instead. This brilliant decision had made Mariviv to specifically train with Coach Rameshon with good flow and she has done a 4min 58sec in her recent 1500m time trial. A week back, in 300m Flexifitness speed time trial, on the track, Mariviv proved her worth by coming in first, between boys and girls, and she wants to keep the timing confidential. Coach Rameshon said “She has speed that is sometimes a bit faster than mine.”

As she has done well in Shape Run and POSB Race, 5km races, she has decided to answer to all my questions that I am going to ask and share the answers with fellow blog readers.

An Interview With Tan Mariviv

Are you happy with your timing?

In both races, Shape Run and POSB Run 5km, I did sub – 21min. This is a feather on my cap and I am happy that I emerged champion for POSB Run and 2nd in Shape Run. Over time, I would like to do what Yvonne Danson, current National Record holder for marathon, has done – 2hr 34min or faster.

What were your strategies in both races?

Coach Rameshon always changes the strategy and I am always elated about this and I also like the adrenaline to flow in my blood. For Shape Run, I went out too fast and die out but my time was good. In POSB Race 5km, I ran and followed a girl ahead of me. After seeing her speed dropped to 5min per km, after a while, I decided to overtake her and started to move forward.

How was the organisation of the race in Shape Run?

In Shape Run, the organisers must need to improve the organisation, especially at the start of the race, where we were delayed for 10-15min.

What is your aim?

To keep doing Flexifitness Time Trial, which is sometimes done in training, and sometimes in strategical places in Singapore. I am amazed on how Coach Rameshon can bring me to very interesting routes to get my timing faster. From 100m to half-marathon my timing has been improving, there has been no stagnation.

1500m4min 58sec

5000m20min 13sec

10000m41min 30sec

21.1km1hr 28min

What is your next race?

Great Eastern Run Women’s Run, which I signed up for the competitive 5km. I registered in this race as the race organiser gave us a “category” and did not state whether it is a Fun Run during the registration. Fellow runners from my group also felt the same way. When I collected the number tag, they put on the number tag that it is 5km Fun run. I was shocked. This is not fair and this is not good for Great Eastern as a company. A female adult athlete commented, ” I took part in this as they put the word 5km category. They did not state Fun Run. Usually, when the organiser does not put the word Fun Run, it is taken the category is a competitive run. Otherwise I would have not taken part. And I know the race organisers will not be serious and will tell us that this race is Fun Run and to patiently to run slower for safety and to wait for traffic, some 1-2min, so that the cars and traffic are able to flow, if we wait. This is grossly unfair. On top of that we also pay a big sum of money for registration. “

I would have done a time trial by myself and could do a better time trial than what the organisers can do, if I run in the 5km Fun Run. What more is there must be a woman, as an ambassador for the Great Eastern WOMEN’s run. Since they can’t find a woman runner, where actually there are, we are told to be like the “man ambassador”  This does not seem right. There must be woman as an ambassador.

What is your opinion about doping?

Clearly. It is cheating and it is not on being fair to people outside who also want to excel using non – doping methods.

My heroes, who are Kenyan runners, in Kenya, and I have seen some of them who have been caught.  It is saddening for sports that they have to stoop so low to do this. If they can do, in other countries, I have this feeling that people here may have resorted to this. It is ‘monkey see, monkey do’. There is long term side effects that can harm a person and I have heard of people who die as young as 35 years of age in Kenya.

How about in Singapore?

They say there is Anti-Doping Singapore. In races, we have not seen anyone saying that they are from anti-doping agency etc. How I feel is, there should be people going around doing random testing on athletes and the officials must be transparent to athletes who they have tested and on whether they have found someone positive or negative for doping test.

Also, very recently, I have seen people doing team races where they could have easily won the individual races, and get better prize money, although they may not have good prizes for team event. Randomly, these team event athletes should be tested as well and there should be transparency, whether they are tested positive or not. There should be briefing by Anti-doping Agency on the seriousness of being caught for doping. Athletes, as a whole could benefit from it.

What is your next plan?

My plan is to keep training and keep doing my own trials, which are done outside Flexifitness training sessions. I hope to keep improving and do some races in Singapore as well.

How about your Coach, Rameshon?

Coach Rameshon has been improving lately in all events. He says that he is inspired by me, but actually, I feel that I am inspired by him, as he doesn’t think about pain and just doing it even if he is at 53 years of age.

Coach Rameshon has done the following timings:

800m2min 24sec (Flexifitness Time Trial, 4th OCT, 2018)

1500m 4min 58sec (Flexifitness Time Trial)

10000m39min 55sec (6th in POSB Run, 2018, Men Open)

Half-Marathon1hr 28min (2XU RUN, 2018)