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After knowing the news from his doctor that he is having 3 Highs - high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar (diabetes), Chin Bok started his journey on a Vertical Marathon in 2010. More so, because of bad health news he received from his doctor. Having only to choose between taking medication consistently or changing his lifestyle. He took a choice to change his lifestyle and ever since then, he never looked back.

We were pleased to have invited Chin Bok to our MOA Sports Night 2 Livestreaming show in October where he shared more about himself and his Vertical Marathon journey.

Chin Bok was sharing about his journey in MOA Sports Night 2 Livestreaming Show

How did you start on this Vertical Marathon Journey?

I started on this vertical marathon somewhere in 2010. For the sake of my health. Working long hours, eating irregularly, and not getting enough rest are all problems. I received news from my doctor, that I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes as a result of all of this. Given just two options available. Which was to change my lifestyle or take medication. So I told myself, "OK, I’ll make a promise to change my lifestyle," and I kept it. So I thought about what I should do for a while. I had a lot of options for exercises, but which one am I prepared to commit to? So I went with the simplest option. Okay, that is to climb the staircase to my house every day after work.

How did you continue and progress further into the sport?

If exercises can help me to improve my health, why not carry on. Carry on, and do something and making it more challenging. So I went around Singapore to find the highest building. I tried to climb consistently and over time, I found that this is one area I can excel in. So I never gave up, I just kept on trying, trying, and trying. Which got me a healthy weight. I was very, very happy about this.

What motivated you to even go to competitions?

I believe it is critical to stay healthy, and secondly, I am seeing signs that my health is improving. I learned about vertical marathons along the way. And I'm ecstatic about it. Then, one day, while glancing through a newspaper or whatever, I came upon the Swissotel Vertical Marathon. It ignited something in me, a desire to learn more. It's something I've always wanted to do. I'd term it a "so-called" simple competition. That occurred in 2010 when I was approaching 50 years old.

What is your favorite part of the whole competition?

When I finished my climb at the helipad, wow, the view was fantastic. 73 storey up and you see the whole Singapore skyline just as it was about to or rather the sunrise at very nice horizon. I like the atmosphere of this type of simple competition. So over time, I did the second one the following year, and another one the following year. Then It became a good habit of mine.

What are the things you would like to share with the audience?


You need to have a strategy. Okay, you need to have a strategy. Do you want to go all out from the first whistle or do you want to preserve some energy? You do not know what will happen because it may be your first time climbing this building and you do not know the route well.


You need to know your pace. For this, you need to train for it. You need to get the momentum and rhythm right...If I can get the momentum and the rhythm, I can just keep on going, going, going, going without thinking. Just climb.


You need to aim to do your best. Don't lose it. Don't waste it. For every climb you try to aim to do better. It's not that you need to go to that same building every time, but I think you need to gauge yourself whether you have given the maximum effort and are you happy with the result that you have when you finish at the top.


Challenge yourself, okay. Why I say challenge yourself is because, for this vertical marathon, it is not like a normal road race where you got 5000 people lining up on the street, and then once the whistle blows, the 5000 runs. And then maybe the next batch. This vertical marathon is very different because the staircase has that much space and only a few participants can be flagged off. And between each, there are usually an interval of 10/15/20 seconds.


Enjoy the view along the way and enjoy the process. Process referring to every little detail such as the different height of steps/stairs you climb, understanding the right form needed to many more.

Enjoy the whole process of the journey.

Does climbing stairs hurt your knee over time?

I don't believe there is any scientific or medical evidence that ascending this vertical marathon will harm your knee. As a result, I believe this is a misconception. People may injure their knees because they are unfamiliar with the proper form. The form, I believe, is the most significant factor. You know how to step out, land, and accomplish all of these things even when you're running. So, some individuals will just go out and run, and still be exposed to being injured. So, the most important thing to remember is that training is essential; without it, you will face difficulties.

If you would like to find out more click here to watch the replay of the Livestream.

If you would like to get access to Chin Bok’s secret routine workout that has kept him healthy and still active even until the age of 60, you can click here to redeem free access to the videos for a limited time only!

Written by: Darren Koong

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