Picking up tips from Krupicka

SINGAPORE - So Anton, what did you have for dinner yesterday?

Flashing his pearly whites, ultra-runner Anton Krupicka told this reporter: "Oh, that coconut rice thing."

The 28-year-old American was, of course, referring to nasi lemak, a popular Malay dish in Singapore.

While nasi lemak may not be one of the items on the staple diet of most athletes, due to its oily content, Krupicka is undaunted, saying that he is "pretty relaxed with his diet".

His non-adherence to a strict diet was just one of the many things this reporter - together with five lucky winners of the "Run with Krupicka" contest, jointly organised by New Balance - learned about him during a running clinic at MacRitchie Reservoir last Thursday.

Instead of running bare-chested - his preferred dress code in the United States - Krupicka wore a singlet for the 6km run under the hot sun.

As expected, the nasi lemak did not affect his performance.

He began the run so suddenly that he caught me off guard.

In my feeble attempt to keep up with him, I observed his running style.

Despite taking what looked like short effortless strides, he covered a large distance quickly.

The trail surface that day was cold, hard and to the feet, painful.

One of the runners joked: "Enjoy the free foot massage!"

Krupicka seemed oblivious to the discomfort, which was hardly surprising since he has the habit of running bare-footed.

It wasn't long before I found myself trailing behind the two-time champion of the Leadville 100 race.

Eventually, I reached the U-turn point of the trail, where like any good coach, Krupicka was there with the faster runners waiting for the remaining few to arrive.

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