Dato’ Setia Aubry Mennesson
Running has always been part of Dato’ Setia Aubry’s life, having practised it as a hobby to improve his endurance in other favourites like tennis, cycling and French kickboxing. His passion for long distance running, however, was sparked when he participated in the Angkor Wat Half Marathon in 2015 as part of a fundraising pledge for Make-A-Wish Malaysia. Raising RM40,000 with a group of friends and a good bout of runner’s high got him hooked.
“Running is a great cure for stress, emotional strain, even mild depression,” he says. “I find running convenient. You don’t need any elaborate gear, no special playing field or apparatus, no need to juggle the schedules of others. Just a pair of shoes and the inclination to get out the door!”
Currently preparing for the London Marathon taking place end of this month, he intends to register for an average of 2 marathons a year now, preferably somewhere exotic each time so he can kill two birds with one stone and squeeze in some sight-seeing.
“I follow a strict training program, with running lots of kilometres,” he adds. “I run because it’s not about being better than someone else, it’s about being better than you used to be.”
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Since starting in 2011, James has raced in the biggest cities like Sydney, Tokyo, Macau, Hong Kong and Singapore, just to name a few. It’s hard to believe it, especially looking at his physique now, but he started running as a measure to curb his escalating weight.
Having conquered many full marathons, he now prefers the more challenging off-road trail running. “I like trail more than road running nowadays because it's more scenic, which means distraction for the mind to help avoid hitting “The Wall". The rough and unpredictable terrain challenges your balance and this pushes your body to another level requiring a stronger core and change of footwork.”
Running is much more than just exercise for him.
“I run because it reminds me about life: a person's path will always have its ups and downs, happiness and struggles...thus maintaining a strong perseverance to succeed while helping others along the way is priceless.”