Never too old to chase a dream: Melvin Wong

His breakthrough year came in 2015 when he qualified for the SEA Games held in Singapore, representing his country in the 5,000m and 10,000m events

PHOTO: CHERYL TAY, SPORTPLUS.SG


Picking up running only at the age of 21 with the encouragement of his army buddies, Melvin Wong has certainly more than made up for the late start with a long list of brilliant achievements.


He spent a few years competing in multisport like duathlons and triathlons, even making it to the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games duathlon selection squad. Melvin then shifted his focus to running and quickly built himself up in the local running scene, winning races across different distances.

His breakthrough year came in 2015 when he qualified for the SEA Games held in Singapore that year and represented the country in two events – 5,000m and 10,000m. Throughout the years, he has also won many races in Singapore, such as the Army Half Marathon and the 2XU Compression Run.


Melvin continued to chase his passion in running, balancing his family responsibilities and his career as a senior account manager at Deloitte where he deals with financial services clients.

PHOTO: CHERYL TAY, SPORTPLUS.SG


The father of two young daughters eventually worked his way to the start line of the Men’s Marathon at the 2021 SEA Games – that was held in May 2022 in Hanoi, Vietnam.


This was a big dream of his and Melvin went to great lengths to make it happen.

PHOTO: CHERYL TAY, SPORTPLUS.SG


His journey was riddled with obstacles – from having just five weeks to make the qualification mark, travelling 20 hours all the way to Spanish small town Castello for a qualifying race, de-conflicting issues with the national athletics association, and scrambling to arrange for his duties to be covered at work as well as leaving his family behind for a self-funded seven-week training stint in Australia just before the SEA Games.

PHOTO: CHERYL TAY, SPORTPLUS.SG


Despite the difficulties he faced, Melvin refused to give up and he made it. As the oldest runner on the grid at 39 years old, the Asics marathoner in his Metaspeed Sky shoes endured the brutal humidity of Hanoi and finished eighth on a punishing eight-loop course that saw some fail to complete.

PHOTO: CHERYL TAY, SPORTPLUS.SG


Live Uplifted, to Melvin, means to let your goals grow bigger than your fears, to let your actions speak louder than words and to let your faith be stronger than your feelings. Everyone has their own journey and he holds a lot of respect for all who face their own challenges, yet push through to achieve their goals, no matter the outcome.


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