Going beyond the race
Sky Khoo is your runner’s runner, with multiple races under his belt and a determination to keep going faster. This year, he’s using his Standard Chartered Marathon run to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
He tells Our Better World why running is not always about competing, and explains how running principles apply to life in general.
Our Better World: Why do you like running so much?
Sky: I started off running back in my army days, pretty much just to build my fitness level because in the army as we know, fitness is of top priority.
Since then I met a lot of friends during my running career, and running is not really on the competitive level all the time, it’s pretty much on the enjoyment, able to motivate people to push on, especially people that are doing longer distance like half marathon, full marathon.
It’s really about enjoying the process because I believe running is similar to how we live life, because wherever you find that you’re tired or feel like giving up you have to understand that giving up is not an option. You have to pursue forward. You have to strive for something that is your goal. Just like running.
If you are aiming for full marathon, you’re running, then you want to stop halfway you won’t stop halfway because you will tell yourself that you signed up for this, you will have to complete it.
Are you running for a cause this year?
This year I’m trying to raise funds for Make-A-Wish Foundation. I chanced upon this video recently about two cancer kids. Fifteen-years-old, going through their last stage of life. For me it’s really about helping children.
I want to make people know that there is such an organisation and there are such patients that need our care and concern. Really want them to understand, to really treasure life, and to really appreciate what God has given to them, and really help these children fulfil their wishes.
Part of the reason why I’m doing this is because I’ve been receiving a lot of support and a lot of encouragement from the running community and I believe now it’s time to contribute back.
People like Mohan, David Ong, Dennis Kwek, Margaret, Florence, they are very supportive in terms of giving me encouragement, supporting some of the running events or running programme that I’ve been conducting on a regular basis. These are people that keep me going and these are people that really motivate me a lot.
Do you see a future in people using races to raise money?
I believe now the running community is building up. What we really need to do is educate others to contribute back to the community. Various ways you can do it, in terms of raising funds for children or just taking your time off of running and just helping one charity organisation which is what I did last year.
I helped a student advisory centre to do one of their projects, which was a home improvement project where I gathered my running group to help them with the painting. It’s part of the Christmas gift that we give to the people with low income and people that stay in one or two room flats.
You seem to have done a lot of charity work and runs for causes. Why?
In order to make life more meaningful, one way to do it is to really contribute back to your community, to your society, so I felt that I need to take a first step to educate everybody that there are people that are less fortunate than us and to really help them and to contribute.
I believe that this is one way to really understand and to really appreciate what we have and put ourselves in the shoes of other people.
One thing I’ll like to share with people is that, running is not always about competitive. Sometimes it’s really about enjoying the process, motivating people to the left and to your right. In order to make this running more meaningful, we hope that you can contribute to a charity cause, whether it is big amount or small amount, a small charity donation or fundraising project.
How do your philosophies impact how you live your life in general?
I live my life simply. I don’t take things for granted and appreciate things that I have and people around me. We need to really appreciate what we have because there are people out there that are less fortunate and there are people out there who do not have the luxury of what we have so to me, it’s about really appreciating and not taking for granted.
Whenever somebody gives me something or gives me support I always say a very big “thank you” to them and I always try my best to not let people be disappointed, because these are people that have helped me, supported me and motivated me during my down period so I felt that it’s about giving back to them what I receive on my side.
Help Sky to help the children that Make-A-Wish Singapore reaches.
Featuring music by King Kong Jane — "Lemonade"