Untold Stories of 10km, Half-Marathon Road Racing Posted on November 16, 2018

By Tan Mariviv

Picture 1- In POSB Run 2018, the best time was by elite Kenyan athlete for 10km race in 32min 22sec. No Singaporean were near him. Mr Rameshon’s best time for 10km road race is also 32m 22sec, done in the past. 

After reading a number of past articles, local athletics books, websites, and also interviewing athletes, I realised that it will be good to share with people some of the untold stories, of our own Singapore distance runners, particularly in road racing. For instance, in POSB Race 2018, this year, an elite Kenyan runner ran and won the 10km race in 32min 22sec, for Men Open category, where the quality of the race was good. The second male winner was also a non Singaporean, a Gurkha.

Having interviewed Mr Rameshon, he showed me a diary with 1995 training book, and I saw his Singapore best time was 32min 22sec where he beat one of the most formidable Malaysian runner called Ramesh, personal best for 2.4km was 6min 56sec, who was undisputed in Singapore soil, in winning a race. Yvonne Danson, another top runner and current marathon national record holder for women open category, unsatisfied, remeasured the 10km route again  and told that actually distance was 10.3km. The story of the race was inspiring to hear and I shall write in detail in the upcoming blog post.     

Picture 2 – Balasundram did 2hr 33min in less than two year of of training with Mr Rameshon. He quit running as he was not able to break national record.

There are other past unknown heroes like Dr Bala, Khoo Chin Poo, Balasundram, Ernest Wong, and Tan Choon Ghee. It is good for people know, as the latter can trace back the history of distance running to have knowledge and also to make running more a worthwhile pursuit. 

Picture 3 – Tan Choon Ghee’s record was 2hr 34min and Mr Rameshon broke it to 2hr 31min in 1990 done in HK Marathon.  

It is, in fact, good to know the a summarised history of half-marathon best timing ever, especially in road racing, as people do need to know as they may get confused.

Picture 4 – Dr Bala (right) and Mr Rameshon (left) were the fastest and second fastest, respectively for in the history of 10km road racing 

It is only now that people know that Dr Bala is the fastest ever Singaporean for 10km for road and that Mr Rameshon is the second fastest ever. In half – marathon time Mr Rameshon time has done 1hr 04min in Johore, the best timing ever by a local until now for half marathon. I shall be writing a lot of these unsung heroes for the benefit of fellow Singaporeans. So, watch out for it!