National marathon champion Soh Rui Yong has challenged members of the public to run 2.4km under seven minutes at the Pocari Sweat Singapore Run next month, after hearing comments that downplayed his achievement as the fastest 2.4km runner in Singapore.
In a Facebook post on 4 Sep, Mr Soh announced that he has managed to clock 2.4km at a time of six minutes and 53 seconds at the Pocari Sweat Singapore on that day, which is the fastest recorded in Singapore.
Vanessa Lee, who also ran with him at the Pocari Sweat 2.4km Run on Saturday, became the first woman in Singapore to run 2.4km under eight minutes, at a time of seven minutes and 59 seconds.
Apparently, some netizens have downplayed his achievement, prompting Mr Soh to list his six laps timings on Facebook on Wednesday.
“Somehow, some people still think their ‘army/commando bmt mate who smokes’ ran faster,” he wrote in the post.
However, Mr Soh noted that “a number of former Singapore Army Commandos” have taken offence to his previous caption as they insisted that running below seven minutes for that distance is “a common occurrence within the commandos”.
“Firstly, that line, read in context and in entirety, was not targeted at Commandos specifically,” he wrote in another post on Thursday.
“The point is this. Army 2.4km myths always go something like, ‘last time my friend from BMT/Army/Commandos/NDU/Guards can run (insert magical number here) for 2.4km. Some more ah, he is a smoker’. I’m just making reference to those kinds of statements.”
Mr Soh also clarified that he has the “utmost respect” for what the commandos go through in the military training.
“Few can claim to have gone through what they did or are capable of, such as Prisoners of War (POW) training or parachuting out of a moving airplane. I certainly would not claim to be capable of everything they do, since I never received Commando training,” he added.
With that being said, Mr Soh believes that commandos would also “not be capable of running performances that even Singapore’s best distance runners have been incapable of”.
“A sub-7:00 2.4km is one example, given that it had never been recorded until Saturday. It takes an average of 69s per 400m for 6 laps on the track to finish a 2.4km run in under 7 minutes.
“I seriously doubt that many commandos, former or current, would be capable of running even 4 laps (1.6km) at that pace,” he remarked.
Following that, Mr Soh is offering an incentive of S$700 and 700 bottles of Pocari Sweat – both will be paid by him – to any Singaporean who runs 2.4km under seven minutes at the Pocari Sweat Singapore 2.4km Run on 9 Oct and 10 Oct.
“At the end of the day, it’s easy to make extraordinary claims without proof. Let’s settle the debate once and for all. Register here: https://web.42race.com/race-bundle/pocari2021,” he noted.