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Meet four captains from RUN PUMA CLUB : Rachel, Leo, Ze Yang and Katherleen

Find out what these four captains of RUN PUMA CLUB have to say about the Singapore running community, and their roles as pacers for Singapore Runners Club

PHOTO: GOLD COAST MARATHON

RUN PUMA CLUB (RPCSG) may be the new running club on the block, but its captains are seasoned runners ready to level up your runs.


RPCSG was officially launched on 27 May 2023 as a lifestyle running club to build a community of like-minded runners and provide a running environment that helps improve mental and physical wellbeing. The sessions are led by pacers from Singapore Runners Club.


We meet four of the ten RUN PUMA CLUB captains, Rachel, Leo, Ze Yang and Katherleen, and find out more about the club, what motivates them and how you can be a part of the community and join them at their next session.


Martin, Kim, Joseph, Butch, Fonny, Melissa make up the rest of the Run Club's captains.

PHOTO: RUN PUMA CLUB

Rachel Chua


Fresh off setting a personal record at the Gold Coast Marathon in July, Rachel Chua is one of the captains of the RPCSG that organises and leads weekly sessions.


Being her first race overseas, Rachel was surprised by how supportive the running and non-running community was.


“The streets were lined with supporters holding sign boards and little kids handing out gummies and dried food to the participants. Strangers would call out your name and scream out words of encouragement to you, even more so if they saw that you were slowing down.”


“As the race route cut into housing estates, there were families who prepared their own picnic by their lawns and played music to celebrate race day.”

PHOTO: RUN PUMA CLUB

As a RPCSG captain, responsibilities include designing the running plan for the month, deciding where the runs will be held, pacing the runs according to pace groups, ensuring the safety and well-being of runners during runs, facilitating warm ups and cool downs, and more.


Rachel believes that running is a sport for everyone.


“So long as you own a pair of running shoes, you are a runner!”


“The above message is what I hope to impart to the running community. Being a RPCSG captain is also my way of giving back to the running community that has nurtured my passion for running.”

PHOTO: RUN PUMA CLUB

Leo Tan


Leo Tan’s running journey has been far from smooth sailing with a shin injury, suspected slipped disc, and at one point being told by doctors that he should stop running. After coming back from a back injury in 2022, Leo set a goal to accomplish a half-marathon and did it.


When running alone started to become mundane, Leo joined what would be his first of many sessions with a run club.


“Joining multiple run club sessions made me love running in a community, and I was looking forward to running in a group all the time. I also loved to contribute to the group by helping to take photos for a few run sessions.”

PHOTO: RUN PUMA CLUB

“When I was offered to join RPCSG as a captain, I pounced on the opportunity. I want to make running a more inclusive and enjoyable activity for everyone, and to ultimately spread the joy of running with everyone.”


While Leo’s role as a captain is mostly similar to Rachel’s, he is often spotted with a camera in hand taking photos of the run sessions and helps to create promo reels for social media.


“Alongside my fellow captains, I hope that we can achieve an inclusive and welcoming community of passionate runners with a common goal or enjoying running and making running a staple in their lives.”

PHOTO: RUN PUMA CLUB

Lee Ze Yang


Ze Yang is a RPCSG captain known for his fast pace on the road and podium finishes. Maintaining a fast pace on long runs can come as a struggle to many runners.


To achieve this, Ze Yang includes interval training sessions and long runs with segments of race pace to his training plans.


“I am a believer of the saying that if you want to run fast, then you have to train fast. I find interval training beneficial. Not only does it help condition the body to the pace that we will be racing at, it also provides psychological benefits,” he shared.


Ze Yang recently went through a peroneal tendonitis injury in May this year and is making his way back to full fitness. With an intense running schedule, injuries could happen more often and are never easy to go through.

PHOTO: STANDARD CHARTERED SINGAPORE MARATHON

“I could not walk properly for nearly a week. I quickly accepted that I should not be running at all and replaced this with lower impact activities like swimming and biking in the gym to maintain my aerobic fitness.”


He recovered from the injury after two weeks of no running.


“I love training and exercising but right now, I also pay equal attention to my body to avoid overtraining and overuse of the muscles.”


Through it all, Ze Yang’s self-discipline is what keeps him consistent as he feels that motivation can come and go.


“Some days we have to lace up and head out to get the training done even when we don’t feel like doing it.”


“Make running a habit and commit to the lifestyle.”

PHOTO: RUN PUMA CLUB

Katherleen Soh


Multi-talented, Katherleen runs and trains in Muay Thai 4 times a week. Her weekday workout schedule begins with Muay Thai training at 7am before work and ends with a run in the evening after work. On weekends, she runs bright and early with her running groups and friends.


But that’s not all. Katherleen also sets aside time to provide private training in Muay Thai for both kids and adults over the weekends after her morning runs. She also enjoys practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu, freediving, mermaid swimming, leisure swimming and going to the gym for strength training.


As a RPCSG captain, Katherleen hopes to empower more women to pick up running to benefit both their physical and mental well-being.

PHOTO: RUN PUMA CLUB

“I used to think that being a good runner was only about running fast, training with the best and achieving personal records.”


“It was only after taking up the captain role that I discovered that the real beauty of being a good runner comes from self-control more than self-accomplishment.”


“I am grateful for this learning journey as I feel a great sense of satisfaction helping others achieve their dreams.”


Known for her outgoing personality and constantly rallying together various members of the running community, Katherleen hopes to see more running collaborations between different running groups to build a stronger community of like-minded people.


How can you join?


Anyone can join the RPCSG. The everyday runner, competitive runner, or beginner runner, there is a place for everyone. Run sessions are held in the evenings every Thursday, except on the last Saturday of each month.


The club has 420 members and counting in their Telegram group and 30 - 50 runners joining sessions on a weekly basis. Sign up through the Eventbrite links to secure your slot.


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