From feigning heart problems to escape running, to becoming a running ambassador for Under Armour
He wasn't always a runner. In fact, back when he was in school, Sebastian Cheong used to feign heart issues or having "sharp pains in his chest" to get out of 2.4km running tests.
So what made him do a complete U-turn to become such an avid runner today, and a running ambassador for Under Armour?
"My journey into running started when I was challenged by an ex-colleague to sign up for a Full Marathon race," said the Superhero Runners co-founder.
"I had no choice but to train for it, so that I won't suffer during race day. I decided to join a running club for my training, so that there would be better motivation for me to continue running."
What he did not count on, was that the more he ran, the more he got addicted to it. He admitted that the excitement of getting cool new running apparels was also a motivating factor.
Although running remains a big part of Cheong's life, he has taken it down a notch, and while it used to be about chasing personal bests for different race categories: 5km, 10km or 42km, it's more about maintaining a certain level of fitness and running while he still can.
And how did the Superhero Runners come about? Was it always a running club?
Cheong shared, "It was founded together with 2 other friends who had a love for Superheroes and running. So we decided to do this together and call ourselves Superhero Runners."
"It wasn't a run club initially when we first started, just three friends running together. We would suit up in our alter ego costumes and join races together," he recalled with a smile.
"A few years later, we decided to use our Superhero identities to create awareness for people to keep a healthy lifestyle by running. Because who doesn't love Superheroes?"
Known for hitting the trails at MacRitchie Reservoir quite regularly for his runs, Cheong finds it hard to choose between trail and road running but leans more toward the former.
"I love both. But if I were to choose one, it would be Trail Running. It's more interesting than road runs. You have more things to see and the running intensity is lesser and you get to enjoy more. You get to experience running in the forest, jungle, and mountains etc."
It didn't come as much of a surprise then, that his favourite running route in Singapore is the 20km loop from MacRitchie Reservoir to Dairy Farm and back.
His favourite running memories comprise overseas runs, something that we can only dream of these days amidst the climate of the Coronavirus pandemic.
"There was a race that I have joined in Malaysia called The Merapoh Mountain Trail, which is located at Pahang," he shared. "It's the most memorable race for me. Where we raced through caves, across the river and through slippery muddy terrain throughout a 70km route." What made the place even more exciting for Cheong was that it was believed to be haunted.
And what of his future goals in running? Is there anything left he feels like he has yet to try?
"I still have 100km and 100 miles Trail run yet to accomplish. I was supposed to accomplish that last year at Ultra Trail Australia, but due to Covid-19, the race was cancelled," he said with disappointment.
"I suppose you can say completing the 100km and 100 miles Trail runs are my future goals," he concluded.
We certainly wish him all the best with his running goals and ambitions!