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'One of the best feelings to finish with great energy from every runner and spectator': Song Ai Vee

2022 Sydney Half-Marathon participant recalls how an impromptu decision to join the race while on a work-trip turned out to be one of the best decisions she ever made

PHOTO VIA SONG AI VEE, CREDIT TO SOURCE

An impromptu half-marathon isn't usually something that crosses most people's minds especially when on a work trip. For Song Ai Vee however, running against the Australian breeze was too good of an experience to pass.


Then working in a regional marketing role, Ai Vee had already been travelling a lot for work. That's when she found herself bound for New South Wales’ capital city and decided to sign up for the 2022 Sydney Half Marathon.


It wasn’t an easy decision for the 26-year-old to go for a 21.1km run on a whim, so much so she deemed signing up as the biggest challenge of the entire race.


All sorts of doubts crossed her mind, including potentially losing her confidence if her performance was below par. It was her friends in the end who gave her the final push.

PHOTO VIA SONG AI VEE, CREDIT TO SOURCE

“I had a shift in perspective. I believe that a good race doesn't necessarily mean breaking a personal best. It’s the entire experience you get out of it,” she said.


“I was grateful and excited that I was in Sydney to experience such an event. I let go of any expectations and let the excitement take over. My colleague also told me that the Sydney Harbour Bridge only closes twice a year - for the New Year countdown and for the Sydney Marathon! So nearing the race, the nerves went away and I was filled with excitement.”


At the time, Ai Vee was training for another marathon and she realised that Sydney’s Half Marathon would be a perfect opportunity to gauge her progress.

PHOTO VIA SONG AI VEE, CREDIT TO SOURCE

“Taking part in the race and finishing with a decent time proved to myself that my hard work was definitely paying off. I was also happy to get the chance to run with my work friends,” she said of what made the race so rewarding.

The three Singaporeans ran with each other’s goals in mind despite being fatigued with extremely little sleep the previous night.

“We were aiming for a sub 2-hour personal best for one of us! We were determined to break that mark together,” Ai Vee recounts.

PHOTO VIA SONG AI VEE, CREDIT TO SOURCE

While waiting for her friends to arrive at the start line, Ai Vee watched as the sun rose over the iconic Sydney Opera House. Enchanting pink skies only added to the magic of what was an already buzzing atmosphere as runners fed off of each other’s energy.


The trio successfully finished the run under two hours as they had hoped. They even enjoyed the sights of one of the world's most scenic courses as a bonus.

“Every time we ran past an iconic landmark, I couldn't help but be a tourist and snap pictures along the way, especially when crossing and running around the Sydney Harbour Bridge and by the Darling Harbour,” she shares of her favourite spots.

PHOTO VIA SONG AI VEE, CREDIT TO SOURCE

Starting off at a very steady and strong pace, they were confident of finishing under two hours. After soaking up the sights throughout the route, the three colleagues sprinted down the final 3-kilometres towards the finish line.

“The lactic acid was building up quick in my legs but I pushed on with everything I had. As we got closer to the finish line, the crowd got louder and I turned the last corner to see the finish line at the Sydney Opera House and a huge crowd!"


"It was one of the best feelings to finish with a great time and such great energy from every runner and every spectator,” Ai Vee gushed as she recollects the end of a race that left her overjoyed.

PHOTO VIA SONG AI VEE, CREDIT TO SOURCE

This year's Sydney Marathon presented by ASICS is officially Australia's biggest ever Marathon, with close to 40,000 sign-ups and some 150 Singaporeans part of that number. Ai Vee’s advice to first-timers is a simple one.


“I would say to soak in the view and enjoy!” She said, though quick to acknowledge the difficulty of that in a competitive environment.


“I know that might be hard for those fighting for a personal best but the route and atmosphere at the Sydney Marathon is truly amazing so don't forget to look around when you can and soak in the amazing experience.”

An experience never to be forgotten, etched in the memory.


Get tips about training for the Sydney Marathon from Sydney Marathon ambassador Melvin Wong in our exclusive feature here.


Find out more reasons why you should join the Sydney Marathon presented by ASICS, an Abbott World Marathon Major candidate event, in our 5 reasons you should join the Sydney Marathon here.


Listen to what Singapore running club leaders had to say in our SportPlus Studio show here.


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