SINGAPORE: Mr. Chan Meng Hui was not always a runner. It was a heavy drink and a smoker who preferred shoes for a party in the shoes.
In fact, when it started running for the first time in the 50's, it could only be 200 meters. But since Mr Chan reached 89, he had covered thousands of miles in just 101 marathons all over the world.
A favorite figure on the local scene, Uncle Chan – as he is known as – died on Thursday (February 21st), friends and family told Channel NewsAsia.
His passion for the sport was obvious – both in life and in death.
After crossing the North Bridge Road, Uncle Chan was dressed in his 101th marathon. His case is surrounded by a series of colorful medals – a reminder of his accomplishments over the last three decades.
Singlet was read: "101th Marathon, Uncle Chan Meng Hui".
The finisher's medal was beaten around his neck and stayed on his chest.
An inspiration for many in the brotherhood that runs, Uncle Chan was a great friend and a great cheerleader, his friends said.
"He always encouraged the runners, some of them would walk and stop them and encourage them to continue running and not give up," reminded Steven Lee, chairman of the local MacRitchie Runners 25 (MR25) club.
After all, Uncle Chan was never too awesome to compete with fellow runners. This was a man who ran at his own pace – he was never for speed and always for finishing.
The course was his life
Uncle Chan, who has two sons and three grandchildren, was slowly on the run, only took it to 50 to limit an unhealthy lifestyle.
However, over three decades, his tribes would take him from the footsteps of China's Great Wall, in the steppes of Mongolia.
Uncle Chan and Lee initially met as MR25 colleagues in 1983. To become members of the elite club, members need to timed a 25-minute or less time for a 5-kilometer journey at MacRitchie Reservoir.
In 1986, uncle Chan became chairman of the club, but gave it after a year so he could concentrate on execution, said Lee.
"He said," If I'm president, I can not run! "She wanted to focus more on running, so I got it," said Lee.
"I'm crazy about running and he was also crazy about running," said Lee. "He was an easy guy … He always did nothing if you were asking for help, running together, going abroad – he liked to run abroad."
And Uncle Chan did not stop running. The 101st Marathon – Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore – was completed in 2015, with 8.5 hours.
"I briefed him several times to get it easy at this time," Lee said.
"The last marathon he did – the 101st, I told him not to go, he was already 100, it is. But I think he was very enthusiastic and wanted to go another and I think he got a lot from him."
Uncle Chan loved to run so much that he even went for a jog on the day of his son's wedding ceremony, reminded Lee.
"He told me that even on his son's wedding day he went to run and returned slowly for the tea ceremony," Mr Lee said. "I was not surprised because running was his life."
THE REAL NEGOTIATIONS &
Tributes freed after killing the death of Chan uncle, with those who knew the strictly superior to get into the social media to share his memories of him.
"You could see the flood of people drop their condolences. Uncle Chan touched many lives on the scene that is running, it's like a picture," said Dan Gan, a member of the MR25.
"He was like a mentor to me and a father in every runner who joined the club will hurt his advice and tell us about the story of his life that he was not a born runner but that he started to run through life experiences.
To gather some of these memories, 36-year-old Gerrard Lin and several others started the Facebook page in memory of Chan Meng Hui.
"Uncle Chan is part of the history of operation in Singapore," said Lin, who goes by the nickname Ah Siao. "He has experienced all the running in Singapore, the ups and downs.
"You will see him in races and marathons – the thing that most impressed me was the way he kept running," he said he wants to use his energies to inspire people, saying that running is not about winning or losing, that was not so important, but the important thing is to finish. "
Lin, an excellent athlete, described Uncle Chan as "a source of inspiration."
"From the bottom of my heart, I am inspired." He is one of the people who every time I do something very painful, his story will always float in my mind – if Uncle Chan can do it, why can not I? through the stories people say, "said Lin.
Despite his many years of experience in various races, the humiliation of the uncle Chan also remembers with love those he has come into contact with.
Mrs. Liew Wei Yong, a personal trainer, recalled that the then 86 year old was selected as part of a program to prepare participants for a local course.
"He was a veteran on the run, but he was very humble and willing to learn," he said. "Although it was old, it tried to improve – to motivate others to run as well."
The seven weekly regime included strength training, a component that Uncle Chan did not know very much about. But it will invite trainers during the week to learn more.
"He was not a fast runner, but he was very consistent in his training and when we went out for educational trips, he would try to keep pace with the pace we put them," he added. "In fact, it would encourage the rest to do so more often.
"It is a loss to the current community in Singapore – it was a great inspiration."
Outside the run, Uncle Chan ran his own company – the aptly named Constant Courier. He might have called it a day before, but he wanted to continue running to help those under his responsibility.
One of his employees was 69-year-old Chan Chai Hui, also a member of MR25 and a friend.
"He had a very good heart and was very good for the employees," said Chan. "If the workers had a problem, they would help. If he saw a beggar on the street, he would give money."
The relief on Chan's nameless card is the company's slogan: "We may not be the best, but we always do our best."