Prem Shanker

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The Courage To Continue Is What Counts.


  • Prem Shanker

Running Isn’t Too Much Of A Challenge, But Then He Was Challenged To Do A Marathon In The Scklm 2016 And He Did It – Without Any Training! Read On As You Discover How He Ran On!

I WAS GIVEN THIS CHALLENGE because I have a tendency of RUNNING my mouth. So off air, Aishah (Sinclair) and Rod who loves running and runs very often, kept talking passionately about the Standard Chartered KL Marathon for about 3 or 4 days and I said “Guys, nothing else to talk about? I know it’s a run and I’m happy for you, but a run is a run.” The moment I said that, they both gave me “the look” and I shot my mouth and said “Running is running. Just like how you eat, you eat. You sleep, you sleep. So you run then you run la. No need to train and all that.” So my boss turned to me and said “Are you up for the challenge then? If you think you can do it without training, go for it.” Thing is that I will never say no to a challenge so, as long it isn’t risky or will put my life in danger, I said “OK I’ll do it!”

THE DISTANCE WAS CHOSEN by them. They chose it for me and I said “OK let’s go…”, obviously I tried to play my way out of it… “Come la let’s do 10km!” and they were like “No no, let’s do 21km! We’re sure you can do it 10km. 21km is a test.” I go to the gym regularly so I’m sure my stamina could’ve gotten me past 10km. I wasn’t prepared at all, not at all. Personally I don’t run. I get my cardio through sports like badminton, football, and a lot of time in the gym, especially CrossFit. Now I’m doing Boot Camp with Rebel Boot Camp.

BEFORE THE RACE STARTED I was already nervous the night before. Building up to the start of it, I was like “What did I get myself into? What have I done??” I was nervous and I was looking around thinking “Wow. This is a really beautiful thing.”There were so many people of different ages, different races…Malaysians, foreigners…and that got me quite excited! So I was excited but nervous all at the same time but I wanted to prove to these people that I can do it because just before the race, I was on the mic and I announced that I have never done a marathon and I could see some people going “mmhmm he isn’t going to make it.” So I wanted to do this right!

I KEPT UP A GOOD PACE with Aishah and her dad, who were like my markers, and Aishah’s dad is 71 but that man can run! So I was like “If a 71-year-old man can do it, I think I can do it as well.” I kept up with them till the 3km, and I was running. I’ve never ran for 3km! Maximum I’ve the gym is 1km, and even at that it was soft sprints. At 3km I could start to feel the tiredness kicking in because I didn’t know how to regulate my breathing. I was panting a lot more and I pulled back. From there, I started slow jogging and made it to 5km, feeling good, and then at 10km as I expected that my knee was going to give way. The pain really hit hard. In my head I was telling myself “Don’t think about it. Just go.” At that point I was between walking and running.

THE TOUGHEST POINT OF THE RACE was from 10km to 18km. It was the most painful part of my journey cause’ I still wanted to run, and there were so many nice people encouraging me throughout the way. As soon as I took that next step, I instantly went “ARGH!” and I knew I had to slow down. At that point I was like “Let’s just quit.” However I had my content producer, who was in charge of updating social media, he had taken the train to the 10km mark and met me there. He was the voice in my head; every time I felt like giving up, I could hear him saying “Cmon bro, you made it all this way. Imagine the finish line and just go for it!” So that feeling of encouragement kept me going. Still at many parts, I wanted to call my team and call for a pick-up car but I had his voice in my head saying “Don’t pick up the phone. Rest, but don’t call, don’t text.” Then I made it to 18km and I knew I couldn’t do it anymore.

PULLING OUT AT THE 18KM MARK I was very emotional. Actually from 11km onwards I was experiencing different emotions; from being angry at the people who made fun of me back in the day by saying “You’re weak…etc” to sad- to which I actually cried while running, and then to happy. Then at 18km, I got emotional cause’ I knew I had just 3km more to go. I was getting voice notes from Aishah and Linora saying “Cmon!!” and then there were the listeners who were protecting me on Facebook and so on, telling me to keep going. When I saw Aishah at the finish line, I just cried. Aishah was like “It’s ok. We’re so proud of you!” My team was proud of me…I was expecting them to go “We didn’t expect you to make it past 5km…” and I was “I signed up for this so of course I am going to finish it. Go big or go home!”

I WOULD DEFINITELY DO THIS AGAIN but this time with training! Without training, I did 18km – just 3km shy of finishing; imagine if I had trained for this.

MY ADVICE BEFORE DOING A MARATHON is definitely to never do it without training! You don’t know your body… your heart condition. People have collapsed… Don’t rush yourself. Just pace yourself because it’s not a race; it’s something you want to self-achieve. For the marathon runners and those who trained for this, I have nothing but the utmost respect. Ultimately my advice is to always listen to your body!