The team’s first long distance race at the Safari Zoo Run 

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February 19, 2017 by Soo Ee

The process to this race was very daunting. Questions and doubts were hurled my way like a hurricane the moment TRTP stepped in. 

I understood where they were coming from, with the recent death incidences circulating the media. What I didn’t get was the way they placed me under interrogation and the way they were looking for something I didn’t do officially in order to block the kids from participating. 

The moves were smooth and subtle but I wasn’t clueless. 

I was angry. 

As a coach, as a very experienced Physical Education teacher and most importantly, as a human being, I wouldn’t risk the trust my charges placed upon me to care for their well being. I would definitely not gamble with their physical wellness or their lives just to show the world what I have. 

It dawned upon me they had the thought I would risk the children’s lives. 

I told them I registered the girls for the 2.5 km competitive because I know they have been well-trained and are ready. Doing the race was a good exposure for them.

The more I heard, the angrier I became. 

Finally, I said, “If it is going to cost anyone any problem, it’s okay. Even though they have signed up under the school, I will pay for them myself.” 

I was on the verge of storming out of he office with the invoice, which was in her hands. 

The entire thing was deeply disturbing. Standing  there, I was made to feel like I had committed the crime of the century. 

The voice of rationality took over. “Let the kids run. You need TRTP’s approval. Don’t partake in the ugliness.” 

So I took a deep breath, headed with her into one of the offices and told myself to stick to the objective – by hook by crook they must run. 

The rational mind again,”no to comments about them and just answer their questions. This will end soon.” 

So I sat down to answer questions like I was a six year old.

“Yes I am sure of their abilities.”

 I wouldn’t sign them up for a 2.5km race without first being sure they are able to do it. 

“Yes I made sure they are well prepared for this.” 

Because WE TRAINED THEM. 

Holy cow.. how many more… 

“Yes the parents are in the know and I have communicated with them.” 

The parents are bringing them to the venue. 

😡

I forgot how many times I had to repeat myself. 

My motivation took a serious beating that afternoon. I never felt so down. I just wanted to send them for a competition. I didn’t register them to take this kind of verbal beating. 

At the end of the day I am thankful to the very supportive parents for giving me a chance to show them how much potential their kids had in them and also being there for their kids. 

One of the mum was happy I let her child enter the race. She said her daughter had always wanted to do a race like that. The parents were very happy their child came for the race. The kids were excited. They got a feel of what’s it like to run long distance competitive side by side runners with the same desire to excel. 

All of  you people reinforced in me what I did was right. 

The girls did better than I expected them to. They came in 2nd, 3rd and 7th in their gender group with pretty decent timing. 

They still have a long way to go but as of now, we are all one step away from what things might have been had I not been motivated but manipulated into making an otherwise rash decision. I am glad I allowed the voice of rationality to speak and chose to listen to my inner voice and not the random opinions of others. 

I will keep close to my heart that these kids are capable of amazing things and I will do all I can to help them get to where their potential will bring them. 



#safarizoorun #safarizoorun2017

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