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Vanessa Lee clinches top spot in 2023 Great Eastern Women's Run 21.1KM Half Marathon

Singapore 25 year-old distance runner betters previous 2022 outing to clinch top spot in Great Eastern Women's Run 2023

Vanessa Lee crosses the finish line first for the 2023 Great Eastern Women's Run inside the National Stadium of the Singapore Sports Hub. PHOTO: GREAT EASTERN WOMEN'S RUN

Singapore, 30 October 2023 - Singapore distance runner Vanessa Lee came in first in the 2023 edition of Great Eastern Women's Run's by-invite-only elite category half-marathon with a time of 1:22:51, surpassing her previous record by almost 3 minutes.

It was a familiar look to the elites' podium, with Jasmine Teo and Rachel See clinching the other two spots. Rachel See had previously won the last two editions of Singapore's only mass participation all-women running event, finishing with a time of 1:22:07 last year.

Vanessa Lee (third from left) all smiles at the start line. PHOTO: GREAT EASTERN WOMEN'S RUN

Making only her second appearance in the event, Lee said it was a pleasant surprise that she managed to clinch top spot this year, particularly with very strong competitors as front runners this year.

"Rachel and Jasmine are really strong runners, I mean Rachel just did a 2:50 marathon recently which is crazy, and Jasmine and I were neck and neck for most of the race up to about 20km. It definitely will be a good fight to the finish next year as well," said Lee.

When asked what kind of expectations she brought into Great Eastern Women's Run this year, Lee said she was managing her expectations having lost to her two rivals in 2022.

"I didnt expect much actually, I had to mentally prepare myself to lose to two others that I lost the previous year, in a sense manage my expectations," she said. "Other than that I actually didn’t think much before the race because I had to get up at 2 a.m. so my brain was not fully functioning at that time."

The elite women's field of Great Eastern Women's Run 2023 comes out of the blocks along Nicoll Highway. PHOTO: GREAT EASTERN WOMEN'S RUN

Sharing that she believes many women in Singapore look forward to this annual run, Lee said she hopes it will be a platform for many to keep a healthy lifestyle.

"This event has become a safe space for women to come together and encourage one another to have fun during the run, I believe that many women look forward to this annual event and they would train in order to better their timings or just to keep fit so that they’ll be able to attend the event with their friends."

Vanessa Lee (far left) in hot pursuit of Jasmine Teo (centre) and defending champion Rachel See. PHOTO: GREAT EASTERN WOMEN'S RUN

With the Great Eastern Women's Run now done and dusted, Lee is looking forward to three more races this year and will be ending her season with the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon's 21.1km Half-marathon national championships.

She shares: "I was really privileged to take part in many overseas races this year: debut in my first SEA Games and compete in my first World Championships event as well. It was definitely an amazing experience to toe the line with world record holders and live in the same space as them for a few days. I was humbled and at the same time amazed."


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