Running to save the earth

Lincoln Han
Age: 42
Height: 1.63m
Weight: 61.5kg

By his own admission, Mr Han is an average guy with average hobbies and an average job as a freelance market research analyst. But the average person can do a lot to save the planet, he said, such as recycling and taking public transport when possible.

To encourage others to be like him, the bachelor will be participating in the NTUC Income RUN 350, a running event that raises awareness of the safety limit for carbon dioxide in the environment. Scientists believe this should be 350 parts per million (ppm) - hence the name of the event.

Now at 390ppm, it has exceeded the safety limit since 1988. An elevated level of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes more frequent and severe droughts and storms, and rising sea levels that bring more floods.

Young NTUC organises the run to promote the 350 movement and inspire positive change.

In 2010, the first 5km and 10km runs took place in Pulau Ubin, with 1,000 runners. The second run, at Marina Bay in 2011, had 7,200 running 10km and a 350m children's dash. Last year, 10,000 people ran 21km, 10km or 350m.

This year's event on Sunday kicks off at The Float@Marina Bay and is expected to draw 15,000 runners who will run 21km, 10km and 350m.

What do you do to keep fit?

I keep fit by doing at least 30 minutes of running four times a week, to improve my aerobic capacity.

During weekends, as the lead pacer for the NTUC Income RUN 350 - an eco-run which encourages people to go green and reduce their carbon footprint - I go for a long training run (between 8 and 12km) with the rest of the pacers.

The pacers act as ambassadors to spread awareness about the green movement and also help participants achieve their target times.

I also sweat it out in the gym twice a week for two hours each time, working out with light weights to strengthen my muscles, especially in my core.

What is your secret to looking fabulous?

One of my secrets is drinking Chinese tea. It is a terrific supplement to any diet, but I combine that with a dedicated running and workout regimen that I keep to loyally, no matter how busy or tired I am.

I surround myself with people who are positive, enthusiastic and appreciate the finer things in life.

Has there been a time when you were not fit and fabulous?

I used to be very unfit 10 years ago. I weighed 74kg because I ate unhealthy food, snacked a lot and did not exercise.

How did you first get started on running?

In 2004, at my lowest point when I was most unfit, I tried to combat the weight by taking slimming pills, but they did not help much.

Then, I met Mr Edwin Yeow, a retired physical education teacher, in a gym in Toa Payoh. He is a member of the MacRitchie Runners 25 Club. To qualify as a club member, one has to be able to complete the 5km cross-country route in 25minutes during a time trial. The time requirement and rough terrain make it quite challenging.

Even though I have not become a member of this club, Mr Yeow inspired me greatly with his passion and got me to follow in his footsteps of eating and exercising right.

Why do you love running?

Running with the NTUC Income RUN 350 pacers gives me the opportunity to explore different places and terrains at different times of the day.

The icing on the cake is that I get to meet ordinary people who are doing extraordinary physical feats, such as completing multiple ultra-marathons.

What is your diet like?

I learnt from Dr Ben Tan, head and senior consultant at the Changi Sports Medicine Centre at Changi General Hospital, that to lose weight effectively, one must burn off at least 500 calories per day.

Other than that, I eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch and a pauper at dinner. My diet consists mainly of wholemeal bread for breakfast, soupy noodles, yong tau foo (soya bean curd cooked in various ways) and fresh fruit.

What are your indulgences?

I love kueh (cake in Malay) and fried stuff. I have a special love for durians and can eat four durians in one sitting.

What do you do to maintain a healthy work-life balance and relax?

I look forward to my weekend runs with the NTUC Income RUN 350 pacers. Whenever I need some extra clarity and relaxation, I make myself a cup of Teochew gongfu tea. The term "gongfu tea" means "tea made with effort".

What are the three most important things in your life?

To live a purposeful life, to share my joy with my loved ones and to enjoy the occasional indulgence in food.

Would you go for plastic surgery?

No. As cliched as it might sound, I am a firm believer that beauty is only skin deep. The more important part is what is inside you, which means having the right attitude and maintaining a great character. These are the traits that can get you further in life.

Do you think you are sexy?

Yes. At least that is what my soulmate thinks.

Jokes aside, I find that sexiness is something that comes from within. If you have confidence and believe in yourself, others will naturally find you attractive.


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