Interview Nr. 12 · mit Serena Teoh

gefragt von Sandra Jacob


When and where did you start running?

I was never really into running until I came to Basel 4 years ago. Although I do not look like one, my father started me off as a swimmer from the age of 8 in an attempt to help with my childhood asthma. In high school I was actually in the band, but obviously I had no forte for music. I was in percussion and made to play instruments that require minimum musical notes, like the cymbals or wind chimes. Those instruments meant I had to stand and wait for as long as 200 over bars into the song before I get to clash the cymbals once. It was so boring and I was often sent out of practice by the conductor for fooling around.

In Singapore from the age of 13 to 16, we had to go through some physical tests in school which included a 2.4km run once a year. Those were the times I probably ran, including practicing for it.

Then in college and varsity I joined sportier groups and was in the swimming and aquathlon (swim +run) school team. However, sports was not really my main goal back then, I was not a regular member and only went for trainings before school competitions. Running truly became a passion after coming to Basel.


Which were your personal highlights in running / at competitions?

I think every competition and running event I attended in LSVB back then and in BRC now was special and different in its own way- from our training camp in Majorca to our Ekidens in Basel and the fun running day trips in Switzerland. But perhaps, the most memorable one for me was the Frankfurt marathon with Rainer as my pacemaker last year. Sufferable as it for the last part of the journey, it was truly exciting testing and going into the unknown space of the human mind and body.


Please tell us about your goals in running concerning events/runs and/or running times.

My goal is always to try and beat my previous self, but at the same time not beat myself up when things don’t turn out the way they should be going.


How did you get to the BRC? Why did you join this running club?

Arriving in Basel 4 years ago, the weather was more conducive and I started picking up and enjoying running more. Initially I joined the Basel Dragons. Then at my first Dreilanderlauf, I saw this girl in a blue and white t-shirt ahead of me. From her t-shirt, I traced it to LSVB and contacted Rainer for a trial training. I was very nervous on my first day, as I was probably the only non-German speaking person there. But even though I could not understand a word, the people there were so nice and friendly. Jose was my first friend, I was hiding at the back in the warm-up and he came to chat with me. From then on, it just got better and better, from strangers we became friends and family, and when part of LSVB spin-off to form BRC, I followed.


What do you like most about the BRC?

That not only running, but fun is also taken seriously.


What’s your favorite competition distance and why?

Despite struggling at the end of every single marathon, among all the distances between the 5k and the marathon, I think the marathon is the one that trains the most out of you, physically, mentally, and emotionally.


Did you run in Singapore? How do runners cope with the humidity there?

As expressed from previous answers, I did run in Singapore, but not regularly, most probably because of the heat and humidity! It is a very good question, on how the Singaporean runners cope back home. Like all natural human beings, we adapt. Whenever I join the long runs back home, I have to wiggle myself out of bed, for them 6:30am is considered a late start, with some runners even starting at 4:30am. And of course, there is a high chance that the dreadmills are more frequently abused in Singapore than in Basel, I am one of them. Given the long working hours and weather stress, I truly admire the local athletes back home.


How many steps per minute do you average in a race?

Based on Garmin, between 185 to 205 steps per minute. The energizer bunny is probably higher than this, his legs are shorter than mine 🙂


My final question to you: What do you say to yourself in a race when it gets hard, you are tired and there are still some km to go?

I am still working on this, I read articles where they suggest self-motivational phrases when the going gets tough like, “You got this bitc*!” But in that tired state, my mind never remembers those phrases and executes them. For me, sometimes, focusing on my form away from the pain helps, and it only needs to be just one thing to focus on, for e.g. the arm swing.