My name is Tan Wah Sing and was born in Jan 1957. Along my marathon journey I was conferred with other name-calls such as barefootsing, bising (at one time I made too much noise in bank), Wah Shuk, Wah Koh (make me feel young), Tang Ha Hsin (I was often late and even issued a LMC ticket when boarding a flight to KL, LMC = last man coming) and of course the most famous one is Sifu (as if I know kong fu). I live and work in Kuantan and while my family is in KL, I commute every weekend to the city and taking part in run events at the same time. In my younger days I was indifference to sport and the only game I played during my school day was table tennis. When I commenced my career at 23 I indulged myself into a devoted white collar working class craving for promotion and higher income. My unhealthy lifestyle has taken a toll to my health as often I was under duress stress after having to slog for long hours especially when I started working in KL.
One fine day I got an invitation from a business friend to hike up Bukit Pelindung hill near Telok Chempedak beach in Kuantan. I thought it is an easy climb not until I realized my stamina was so bad that I was completely pumped out and I could heard him vividly yelling to remind me that we had not even reached a quarter of the ascent. In order not to disappoint him I dragged my wobbling legs and weary torso gradually at snail pace to reach the summit. At that time I was 42 and began to ponder and worry about my health. From then on I started to show keen interest in exercise.
Besides hiking I also tried to do some jogging. I bought myself a pair of running shoes and started to jog alone in places where not many people were around as I was rather reserved at that time. The beginning was tough to adjust the time and find the right running shoes to suit my widely spread forefeet. As I ran more frequent getting the intrepid to explore and joining some run groups such as the hasher to gain more confidence and avoid boredom. I began to realize it’s better to find friends to run together as they can help me to stay focus and motivated. After some time injury began to stalk me when I embarked into more runs and participated in race events. After one year it turns out so bad that I have to discard my running shoes and try to jog barefoot instead. Surprisingly I enjoy it more despite of the initial setback on injury to the soles of my foot and some minor pain to joints and muscle. During the transition switchover from shod to unshod some run-mates implored or even warned me that running barefoot could become paralyzed. I can’t blame them as at that time running barefoot is insane to many and there is very little reference to find on internet. It took me almost a year to accustom to run barefoot and have the audacity to take part in races and even marathon. My first barefoot competitive 10km charity run was in 2000 and did my virgin marathon in 2001.
I celebrated my 100th barefoot marathon in the recent SCKLM on 7th August 2016. Running has given me so much pleasure and benefit I am passionate to treat it as my main hobby. It has also given me the opportunity to take part in oversea marathons integrated with holiday to relief from work.
As a procrastinated poor writer I am sheepish to say that it took almost a year for me to write this report since Ronnie sent me an invitation in January. If not due to persistence of Kahwai’s reminders I could have forgotten about it. I owe him a treat on the banana leaf rice for that.
Nevertheless it is an honor to be a member of Pia family. I still recall vividly those good old days when I started to pace together with Ronnie and some members of the Pacemaker group. They really can run like cheetah and I have to gasp for air in order to trail behind. Many of them have improved leaps and bounds now and I can’t even see their shadows during competition. Keep up the good work and cordial spirit. Run safe and keep injury away.
25th July 1999 My first Kuantan Hash Half Marathon
27th November 2011 Nike – We Run KL 2011 (We take it as a friendship run)
3rd March 2013 Brooks Half Marathon (Pia to finish)
3rd July 2016 Geralton Marathon in Western Australia
(Little boy waited patiently for high-5)
7th August 2016 Standard Chartered KL Marathon at Dataran Merdeka
(My 100th barefoot marathon)
Brought 2u by Tan Wah Sing @ PM42