Gordon Lim : Breaking Barriers

Happy Lunar New Year runners! Today, we managed to have a chat with Gordon, who made a name for himself by clocking a phenomenal 2:58 in his maiden marathon when he was just 20! He shares with us how he did it, and how he manages his time between work, studies and his passion for running.

LIV3LY: Hi Gordon! We will start this interview easy. Tell us more about yourself!

Gordon: Hi, my name is Gordon and I am 24 years old this year. I am currently pursuing my studies in Physiotherapy and will be graduating this year. Previously, I served National Service from 2012 to 2014 as a finance clerk in my unit. Prior to that, I was a student from Serangoon Junior College, which also happened to be the place where I started my running journey.


LIV3LY: So, why do you run, and how do you motivate yourself to do so?

Gordon: I run to eat and food is basically my motivation for me to run long distances. As I started seeing my timings improve, I also got more motivated to train and do long runs so that I could achieve better timings. Running is also a way for me to relief all that pent up stress and frustrations.


LIV3LY: You made a name for yourself when you clocked an amazing timing of 2:58 at the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2013 - coming in as one of the Top 5 Locals, and breaking the 3 hour barrier at such a young age. How did you do it?

Gordon: Thanks for reliving the good old memories! I was in National Service during that time and it was a stay out unit while all my other friends were in the stay-in units. Having the luxury of time after booking out, I ran after work along Bedok Reservoir and East Coast Park.

I also started asking people whom I know in the local running scene and realised the importance of doing long runs therefore I started doing them as well. It was mentally draining at first as I was running by myself most of the time and I had to get out of bed early on the weekends but it slowly became a habit.

On top of that, being my maiden marathon, I just wanted the finisher tee and I had no stress over whether or not the timing would be good. Turned out, I more than just finished my race without walking, I managed to break the 3-hour barrier as well. It felt great!


LIV3LY: What are the most challenging aspects of doing what you love, and having to study and work at the same time?

Gordon: I feel that it is always a challenge to balance both having to study and doing what I love at the same time. In my case, I did not stop running even during my exam period. However, I did not run as much as I would like as I knew that I had to have the energy to study for my exams afterwards. It was always a challenge to balance both running and studies but I embrace these challenges as they force me to be disciplined.


LIV3LY: What are the misconceptions some of your friends have about running?

Gordon: One of the more common misconceptions I have heard is that running is a lonely sport. However, I feel that running would be a lonely sport only if you make it one. I have been blessed with company for my long runs with my friend Desmond as well as taking part in races as a team with my buddies from Runderbolt.

With company, it definitely makes the tough long runs easier and faster to pass by. Moreover, there are also plenty of running groups like Running Department that welcome runners of all ages and gender to run as a group.


LIV3LY: Complete this sentence: 'Running has taught me..'

Gordon: 'Running has taught me..' to be patient with myself and I will be able to reap my rewards with consistent hard work.


LIV3LY: Thank you Gordon for this exclusive interview with you! We are still awe-strucked by how you managed to clock a dream timing of 2:58, especially in your maiden marathon! Continue running fast and breaking barriers!

LIV3LY Editor
LIV3LY Editor

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