Team Monash won the 2008 Singapore Marathon non-profit organisation distance challenge

As my “gift” to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the incorporation of Monash University, I ran a marathon with TeamMonash. Every year, TeamMonash and the local university alumni chapter (together with the Malaysia campus and chapter) would organise a TeamMonash Singapore marathon team for all alumni, students and friends.


Click on the image for enlarged version

This year, TeamMonash came first in the non-profit organisation distance challenge, our team of 500 runners ran the greatest distance as a group! I reckon this is pretty impressive for an Australia based university to achieve a fine showing in a Singapore event. Well done, TeamMonash!

I love my school and grateful to all the opportunities and experiences it has given me.


My first marathon afterthoughts


Running revealed to me the different facets of life. Everyone dreams of a fairy-tale ending, but life doesn’t always go according to that script. Completing a race isn’t the end of a story, but I realised, it could also mark the opportunity to write a new chapter differently.

I shall live to “run” another day.

I finally completed my first full marathon (Singapore Marathon) on 7 Dec 2008, making a fitting end to my 2008 running calendar, a tick across my personal to-do list.  A marathon is demanding challenge but during this race, I picked up a painful injury (Iliotibial band syndrome, IBTS) at the 25k mark and I limped to complete the remainder.

My target timing was 5.30-5.45h and I came in a 6.15h. Naturally, I was very upset with the result. I was caught between beating myself (mentally) for the poor performance and overlook the positive experience and the camaraderie among my circle of runners friends.

Then, I stopped the “beating” for a moment and asked myself, “Why are you not happy for this personal achievement?” or could it be because you had set your heart on the matters (Pride? Lack of self assurance? Who/ what are you running for?) which are not necessary centred on the  right values. A thought (or a voice) came up, “You run your own race. This is only your first, you can always improve on the next attempt. Right now, smile and share the positive moment with those around you and learn to let go.”

I felt a heavy (self-imposed) burden lifted up when I listened and accepted the prompting of that voice. In life, there are many matters that could easily let us down but should we let it get to us? Maybe we should ask, why are we sad? Even if the reason was valid, do we surrender to misery or try around, smile and move on?  It is always easier to move on with hope.

In closing, I’m grateful to God for granting me the ability to complete the event and people from my running circle who encouraged and trained with me along the way. Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum.

Here is a link to my marathon pictures.

Congratulations to the 2008 Singapore and Australia Microsoft Research Asia Fellows

Zhang Yantao - 2008 MSRA Fellow from NUS
Zheng Yantao (NUS) received the 2008 Fellowship Award from Hon Hsiao-Wuen (MD, MSRA) during the Singapore 21st Century Computing Conference. Dr Su Guaning (NTU) and Prof Tan Eng Chye (NUS) witnessed the ceremony.

This years 4 winners from Singapore and Australia top universities received the Microsoft Research Asia Fellowship award after undergone a highly competitive and stringent process. These students received an open internship invitation to Microsoft Research Asia, a cash award and a commemorative plaque.



Congratulation to ALL our 2008 MSRA Fellowship winners across Asia Pacific.

Climbing to the top of Singapore – 2008 Swissotel Vertical Marathon


This is the view of the Singapore financial district from the very top of South-east Asia’s tallest hotel – Swissotel the Stamford.

This morning, I took apart in my first “Swissotel Vertical Marathon“. Having trained (in)consistently in the gym’s Stairmaster on 4 grand occasions, I felt I was all set to attempt my tallest challenge – a 73-storey climb.

The overall turnout was huge. I was proud to see the encouraging numbers of female participants. The event emcee also mentioned that there were about 150 nationalities registered for this event.

I maintained an easy pace during the climb and the result was 13mins 53secs. I reckon next year I want to achieve 13min 15secs timing.

Here is a selection of the pictures taken during the 2008 Swissotel Vertical Marathon in Singapore.

1-swissotel-the-stamford 2-berno-event-stand

Related link: 1,500 take part in Swissotel Vertical Marathon (Channel NewsAsia)

Australia Through to the Semis!

Team SOAK (Australia Imagine Cup Software Design representative) is through to the semi-finals of the 2008 Imagine Cup Finals in Paris, France!

This is a FANTASTIC result, the best in three years!

The complete list of teams that made it through the finals are:

* Australia
* Slovakia
* Portugal
* Brazil
* China
* France
* Hungary
* Singapore
* South Africa
* South Korea
* Croatia
* Russia

Courtesy of Roger Lawrence