I Have A Dream

Chasing goals, chasing dreams, chasing goals, chasing dreams. My life wouldn’t be quite the same without these goals and dreams I set for myself…


The past few months have been spent concretising the various steps to achieving a long-time dream in 2013.  This explains the silence…


I cannot seem to find the right words to describe my excitement, anticipation, trepidation at the road ahead in 2013. Maybe three letters would suffice…WOW!


Join me as I go along this journey. The journey of realising my dream of running 7 marathons on 7 continents! North America, Asia, Australia and Europe continents are in the bag and marathons in the continents of Africa, South America and Antarctica beckon in  2013. While doing so, I am raising funds for the elderly and I hope to increase awareness of the needs of the elderly. All this is in remembrance of my grand-mother “Ah Ma” who brought me up and without whom, I would not be who I am today.


The journey begins on http://www.yvonne7marathons7continents.com. Join me as I embark upon these new running adventures in 2013. Spread the word and if possible, do consider making a donation towards the elderly assisted by the TSAO Foundation in Singapore. Thank you for the support!

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop


If Iron Nun Can Do It, So Can You

“First, you have to have the desire. Then, once you have the desire, you can become a little bit more daring, and with daring you get determination. And with determination comes the dedication, and then the actual doing. Those are the five Ds.”

The person who said this has competed in more than 340 triathlons, including over 46 Ironman triathlons and countless other races.  What makes up an Ironman triathlon? Swim 3.86 km (2.4 miles), cycle 180 km (112 miles) and then run a full marathon (42.2km or 26.2 miles). No mean feat! Well, guess what? The lady who’s achieved the above is also 82 years old and recently finished the Ironman Canada triathlon in August 2012 with a timing of 16h:32m, setting the world record as the oldest woman to complete an Ironman Triathlon. She’s Sister Madonna Buder, a nun who lives in Washington and has earned the moniker of the “Iron Nun” for her amazing feats.

I think I can safely say that Sister Madonna Buder’s achievements puts many of us who are younger than her by 10, 20, 40 or even 60 years to shame.  She’s my daily inspiration and make that an upsized daily inspiration! To those who think that they are too old or their bodies too weak to exercise or go the distance, throw caution to the wind and give your bodies a shot at what it’s capable of doing.

Put on your shoes and go run now! 😉

Marathon running Chees

A good friend recently said this to me “It’s so nice that you have a sibling to run with”.  I’ve never really thought about it that way but as I reflect about her remark, it does strike me as extraordinary (or at least within my circle of friends) that my brother Evan and I both share a passion for running. We were both athletic in our younger days though we did not share the same passion for any sport. As we grew up, we were somehow drawn to running (him more so than me) and it has become a staple in both our lives.  I was pleasantly surprised when I realised how Evan, like I do, plan his day around running. The questions we ask ourselves almost daily are “when should I run today?” and “how far should I run?” Our common love (or some would say addiction) to running led us to participating in this year’s Paris Marathon together.

I’m a loner when it comes to training for my marathons as I find it too much of an obligation to join a running club or to run with friends. Nonetheless, having my brother around in the lead-up to this marathon where we discussed how we should taper and carbo-load as well as our running attire and gear for the big day, was strangely comforting. On the eve of the marathon and the morning of the race, we were both busy with our preparations – (i) attire (long or short sleeve, single or double-layer, running shorts or tights); (ii) nutrition (what and how much to eat, are we consuming enough liquids); (iii) anti-abrasion cream; (iv) how to keep warm (with temperatures hovering around 4-8°C before the race, it was important to figure out how to stay warm); (v) what energy gels to use; (vi) what to eat for breakfast, etc etc.

The beauty of the marathon race is that it’s an entirely personal experience. How you motivate yourself, how you plan your pace, what you draw from the experience… First-time runners are probably psyching themselves to complete the race while ‘old-timers’ are seeking to improve their personal best (PB) timings. I started the race thinking that I would not be able to complete it as my training plan was rudely interrupted in January by a month-long bout of illness. As the kilometers passed under my feet and I got to the 21km mark with a timing of 1hr 56min, I was surprised as I was actually running at a potential PB pace! Many thoughts crossed my mind from the 21st kilometre mark to the finishing line near the Arch of Triumph but the one distinct refrain was: “Go for a PB”. What also pushed me to the finishing line was knowing that this time round, I would find a familiar face at the finishing line.

Paris Marathon 2012 would always hold a special place in my heart. It was a race that my brother and I had both participated in and achieved our personal best timings for the 42.195km run. Evan’s timing was an incredible 2hrs 57:30 min while mine stands at 4hrs 01:33min.

Another feather in the cap and off to train for the next marathon and this time round, a sub 4hrs timing!

The longest marathon in the world

How can I convince Bolly to run a marathon, yes all 42.195km or 26 miles & 385 yards? I had been thinking about this since 2009 and the answer came to me in the form of the MEDOC MARATHON in the town of Pauillac in Bordeaux.  A marathon that brings us through 50 wine chateaux, 21 food stands and special gourmet stands (read: oysters, ham, steak, artisan cheeses etc) and most importantly, 22 refreshment stands serving wines from the different chateaux. Bolly, who would otherwise scoff at the notion of running, let alone 42km, consented rather quickly to my idea of us running the Medoc Marathon together. Some would call it true love, I see it more as Bolly’s overwhelming passion for wine.

Did I also mention that almost 90% of the runners are in disguise in accordance with the theme of the marathon? Dressing up is serious business at this marathon as it happens to be the first official rule of the marathon – “THE MEDOC HAS TO BE RACED FANCY DRESSED!” With “animals” as the theme of the race, accompanying us throughout the 42km of the race were perspiring bees, pigs, chickens, gorillas, cows etc.


This wine-fueled marathon lived up to, and might I say, even exceeded, our expectations. We laughed, perspired, drank, ate, joked and yeah, ran and completed the 42.195km within the 7-hour time limit.  Whoever said that we can’t drink wine and run at the same time? This was definitely a memorable marathon and we’ll be back for more.