Captain of His Running Journey: Run Uncle Run's Kok Chin Teow

Meet the 52 year-old runner who clocks over 6,000km in a year, ran all 365 days of 2021, and has his own YouTube Channel

PHOTO: KOK CHIN TEOW


He began running in 2014, when he was in his mid forties.


Back then as an avid badminton player, Kok Chin Teow felt he was lacking on-court stamina to complete a regular 2-hour match, and decided to turn to running as a way of improving his cardiovascular endurance.


What happened next surprised even him, as he enjoyed the runners' high that came after his regular runs. It was then that his running journey began.


These days running is no longer just a hobby of Kok's, but has instead become a way of life.


In fact, if he does go a day without running, it would feel like something was amiss or incomplete.

PHOTO: KOK CHIN TEOW


Known endearingly by his online YouTube moniker "Run Uncle Run", the 52 year-old who works as a Gaming Display Development Manager, clocked over 6,668km in 2021. He did not miss a single day of the 365.


He is now looking to equal that target this year, as well as compete in two overseas Ultra Trail Marathon races: the CULTRA Cameron Ultra Trail 100km and TMBT Kota Kinabalu Ultra Trail 109km.


Kok initially documented his runs on video as a means of capturing his adventures and races for memories' sake, and to share with friends and family.


He was then encouraged by friends to upload them onto YouTube to share his experiences with other like-minded people in the running community.


Taking inspiration from Hollywood blockbuster Forrest Gump, he named his YouTube channel "Run Uncle Run". It now has over a thousand subscribers, with videos featuring beautiful sights from hidden spots in Singapore's running and hiking trails.

He prefers running on his own than running in groups and recommends Mandai T15, Chestnut Nature Park, MacRitchie Reservoir, Pipeline Trail, Rail Corridor and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve as ideal running routes for trail runners in Singapore, with the Mandai T15 and Chestnut Nature Park being his personal favourites.


And what of his running shoe rotation? We were curious given the amount of mileage he goes through in a year.


Kok shared: "I am using four pairs of running shoes for rotation. The Hoka SpeedGoat 4 and Hoka Challenger ATR 4 for trail running; and Hoka Arahi 2 and Hoka Rincon 2 for road running."

PHOTO: KOK CHIN TEOW


He prefers running on trails than on the road, particularly as he has a love for running in nature, and also because trail surfaces feel much softer for him to run on than on concrete.


When asked what his recovery routine would look like, Kok shared: "After long distance running I will take an hour to an hour and a half's nap, after refueling with a balanced meal that comprises both protein and carbs."


"I will also do a slow and easy paced recovery run the next morning to get the blood flowing for faster recovery."

For newer runners who are looking to begin trail running, Kok suggests that beyond investing in a good pair of trail specific running shoes, you might also want to consider investing in a hydration vest to carry water and food for refueling, particularly if you plan to cover longer distances.


He also suggests starting out at a pace suited for you and your current fitness level, instead of comparing yourself to more seasoned runners.


"Start with a relax and easy pace, or even use run/walk/run method that suits your current endurance level," Kok shared.

PHOTO: KOK CHIN TEOW


"There is no definition for a runner to only be able to run a particular distance or pace. You are the captain of your running journey."


Find out more about Run Uncle Run Kok Chin Teow's running journey or catch his running adventures on his YouTube channel here.


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