PHOTO: SCMS 2015
Chan Meng Hui, affectionately called “Uncle Chan”, passed away on 21 Feb 2019 at the age of 89. Known as Singapore’s oldest marathon runner, Uncle Chan ran over 100 marathons by the time he turned 85, completing two to three of them every year.
For some people, the thought of running anything longer than 5km is a challenge, let alone a full marathon. But for Uncle Chan, running marathons was his passion. He ran his first 42km race (the Shanghai Marathon) at the age of 60 and kept at it constantly.
But running wasn’t something easy for Uncle Chan at first. As he told RunSociety in 2013, he used to be really unhealthy, and smoked and drank frequently. It wasn’t until he was in his mid-50s that he decided to make a change.
“I used to be a heavy drinker, smoker and party-goer from my 30s to my retirement at 55 years old. I would party till 4 am and go to work straight the next day. I can safely say I was very unhealthy,” Uncle Chan said. “However, my life took a turn when I went for my post -retirement holiday in China where I met so many old folks who were extremely healthy and active. It was then I realised I needed to change my lifestyle. I did not want to be a burden to anyone when I was old, I didn’t want to have to worry. So I took up the easiest sport there is – running.”
Uncle Chan was certainly an inspiration. He was proof that you can do anything you set your mind to, and that age was truly just a number. May he rest in peace.
By Gilbert Wong, Men’s Health Content Producer