SINGAPORE - With one final effort, Ms Jenny Huang crossed the finish line, her arms raised in celebration at coming out tops in the women's 15km run at the inaugural Straits Times Run in the Park on Sunday morning.
Barely two hours before her triumph, however, the 40-year-old physiotherapist's participation had been in doubt, after she twisted her right ankle while walking to the Punggol Waterway Park.
For Ms Huang the professional, the decision should have been a no-brainer - she would have withdrawn from the race - but the competitor in her felt differently.
"I would usually get mad at my patients if they ran on a sprained ankle," she laughed. "But I decided that, if it hurt more while I was running, I'd stop. It's just one of those things - you sign up for a race and want to finish it."
And finish it she did - in a time of 1hr 9min 22.55sec to claim the women's 15km crown.
Joining her on the podium were Mr Fang Jian Yong, 23, and Ms Clara Wong, 20, who tasted success in the 10km men's and women's races respectively.
Mr Fang, a SIM-UOL banking and finance undergraduate, won his race in 37min 24.13sec while Ms Wong, a second-year life sciences major at the National University of Singapore, clocked 45min 47.38sec.
For Ms Wong, who represented Singapore in triathlon at the inaugural Youth Olympics Games in 2010, it was the perfect boost ahead of next month's Singapore University Games, in which she is competing in the 6km road race.
"The Games are coming up so I've been training quite a bit," she said. "And when I got here, I just wanted to go hard. If I didn't, it would have felt weird."
In a similarly bullish mood was Mr Ivan Low, whose time of 53min 22.34sec was enough for him to take home the gold medal in the men's 15km.
Since picking up the sport in 2010, the 28-year-old administration officer has been actively taking part in running events around the island, while also putting in four training sessions each week. And it is all in pursuit of one dream - to represent Singapore in the 10,000m race at the 2015 South-east Asian Games, which will take place on home soil.
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