Mr Chan is an avid marathon runner. To date, he has participated over 80 marathon local and overseas.
He feels strongly that if he can do it, anyone else can. As he is often asked how he has been able to achieve so much and how he got started, he tells everyone how he could barely run 100m when he first started.
Interview Questions Posed to Mr Chan Meng Hui
What is your age now?
81 years old.
When did you start running?
At the age of 55, after retirement. Before that I was a chain smoker. I was a regular nite club drinker and a bar visitor. I did not engage in much exercise earlier on and I was quite fat with my pot belly out. I was very unfit then, with a height of 1.56m and weight of 65kg.
Why was your reason for taking running as a passion?
Actually, I met some runners who motivated me, especially those from MacRitchie Reservoir, in the past. After meeting them, I took up running as a hobby and over time I was inspired to kick away all bad habits. Thanks to running for giving me the willpower to do this. I also want a new lease of life after my early part of my life. The second part of my life, I wanted my life to be a more meaningful and a healthy one.
Now that you are 81 years old, are you still running?
To date, I am still running. I have done 86 marathons already. The last that I ran was 24th Jan 2010. I ran this in order to remember and celebrate my 80th birthday. The run I did was Khong Kheng (Bangkok) International Marathon. I did the run in a time of 7hr 19min.
How is your running routine per week like?
I usually run half an hour to an hour per day. In one week, I am running around 30km per week. I still find this as not enough and am finding ways to increase my mileage. Can you give me the way,…..ha ha ha …Just joking only.
What is your fastest marathon time ever?
At the age of 56, I took part in the Kuala Lumpur International Marathon, running a distance of 42.195km in a time of 3hrs 26min. This was my best time ever, to date.
How many marathons do you run in the past and now?
In the past, I average my annual marathon runs running 4-5 full marathon per year. However, due to my work commitment I could only do, currently 2-3 marathon per year, both local and regional marathons.
Is your wife supportive in this?
Ha Ha..When I am busy running, I do not give any kind of problem to my wife. She is happy and contented with my calm behaviour. If I do not run, I give problems to my wife…ha ha ha. Over time, I feel that running does relieve my stress. Hence, I get my wife full support in this. Thank God for this, to have a wife who is supportive to my passion.
How about your children’s support in this?
My sons are very supportive of this. My grandson, about 12 years old, is currently taking up running as a sport. This is good news for me.
What is your goal in life when it comes to running?
My wish is to possibly run at least one hundred marathon. I have 14 marathons left to finish this. Also, I do not forsee any problem in accomplishing this.
What advice would you give to those who want to take up running?
Running is a very good sport to keep the body and mind sound. The strength I have at present, I feel, comes from running. Mentally, I am still alert, like look at me now, I am talking to you with zest..ha ha ha.
What advice would you give to runners after 40/50/60/70/80?
Age is no barrier. Running will keep you fit. Trust me, fellow men…ha ha ha.