Vanessa Lee claims 10km (road) national best at Gold Coast Marathon, Latest Athletics News - The New Paper

Vanessa Lee claims 10km (road) national best at Gold Coast Marathon

Singapore distance runner Vanessa Lee sees herself as a jack of all trades with her repertoire of events ranging from the 800m to the half-marathon.

The 26-year-old can now consider herself a master of four disciplines – after adding the 10km (road) best to the list of national marks (3,000m steeplechase, 5,000m and mile) she owns.

At the Gold Coast Marathon on July 7, Lee clocked 35min 55sec in the 10km, eclipsing Goh Chui Ling’s 2021 standard of 36:28.

This comes just three weeks after Lee broke the 5,000m national record at the Malaysia Open Championships. In April, she also rewrote the 3,000m steeplechase record.

While admitting that it was not easy to balance the different disciplines, Lee enjoys competing in a wide range of events.

The sales executive said: “Even from the start, I’ve been a jack of all trades kind of person. I never really liked one particular event and I’ve never really focused on one particular event, it’s just that I go wherever it takes me.

“I find myself making it a bit more difficult to cover the entire range – you want to be the best in all these events, you want to win all the races...

“But I see the benefit of having speed and endurance... I’ve never wanted to be a person who is good at only one event. I started off as a jack of all trades and I love being a jack of all trades.”

She finished eighth among over 2,200 competitors on the Gold Coast, with Australian Caitlin Adams winning in 33:23.

Lee’s latest achievement was even more impressive considering she decided to switch from running the half-marathon to the 10km just three weeks ago.

Claiming the 5,000m mark was a confidence booster for her and made her realise that the 10km record was an attainable target.

Even then, she did not tell many people about the change in her racing plans until the eve of the event, so as to avoid putting too much pressure on herself.

With many of her friends also taking part in the event, Lee was grateful to have many familiar faces around her as she credited a strong support system for helping her allay the concerns she usually grapples with ahead of a race.

Lee said: “Every time I go into a race, I have an internal mental battle with myself between being confident enough to be able to do it (hitting targets) and also what if I don’t do it?

“I don’t want to keep thinking I can do it because it will shatter my confidence if I actually don’t.

“There are a lot of mental battles going on in my head, but being able to share my feelings with my friends just helps me externalise things better.”

She was slightly worried about the conditions on the Gold Coast as there was rain and strong winds the day before, but thankfully the skies cleared on her race day and it was relief for Lee after she crossed the finishing line.

She said: “Throughout the entire race I was trying to pace well and put in effort for the whole thing, I wanted to empty the tank because how often do you go overseas? I wanted to take this opportunity to run a good time.”

Singapore Athletics general manager Shalindran Sathiyanesan said: “Vanessa is proving her prowess over a range of events. This is already her third national record of the year and we are excited to witness her development as she works towards the SEA Games next year.”