It is still the beginning of the year where most people are anticipating to start the year good or great. In 2017, Sanctband Active Malaysia wishes to start the year great with the appointment of Jeff Lau as the official Sanctband Active Brand Ambassador.
“Known as the youngest Malaysian to complete the toughest footrace on earth, which is the 257KM Sahara Marathon Des Sables, Jeff is one person that I know who does not give up easily in whatever he is doing. Though he understands the challenges ahead, Jeff still challenges himself in combating the challenges, and at the same time, run for a cause,” shared Darren Wee [H.O.D – Non Dental Division], Sales & Marketing Department.
“Jeff’s determination and the act of kindness are traits that we, at Sanctband Active, are looking up to as they are in line with our commitment to promoting positive values. We hope to support Jeff in his missions in the upcoming races so that more Malaysians are inspired by Jeff’s positivity,” he added.
Interview with Jeff Lau:
1. How do you feel being appointed as Sanctband Active Brand Ambassador 2017?
J: To be honest, I feel really happy and proud! The brand itself is very close to my heart as I have been using Sanctband Active’s products in my training for more than a year that helped me through two of my biggest races – The Great Sahara Run and Ironman Langkawi 2016. So when I learned that I got appointed as the brand ambassador of Sanctband Active, I am extremely excited as both the brand and I share similar values.
2. What do you aim to achieve in 2017?
J: I love to challenge myself to go beyond my limits so that I can achieve something greater. Hence, this year, I have registered for an ultramarathon, called the 6633 Artic Run happening on 10th March 2017. It is a 560km run in Yukon, Canada, under -50 degrees temperature.
3. Sounds extreme! Can you share with us how do you balance your work, life, and training?
J: In ensuring my body is prepared for the race, I have to take three months off work to focus on my training for this race. I understand the 6633 Artic Run is not an easy one as the distance is double of The Sahara Run, yet I do not want to disappoint myself. I am dedicating three months of intense training, research and gear preparation, so that I am prepared for the race. I have no idea what -50 degree feels like, so I have to do a lot of practicing, gear testing to familiarize myself.
4. What is the one message that you wish you could tell others?
J: Never give up! And, just do it. You never know what you can achieve. I believe we will only achieve something greater if we push ourselves in doing something beyond our capabilities. It will definitely be difficult, but if you do not push yourself out of the comfort zone, you will never realize how powerful you really are.
5. Why do you choose to participate in the 6633 Artic Race?
J: Well, I did The Great Sahara Run twice, so I’m done with hot weather. Done my Ironman as well. So now, I want to try something new, something to push myself out of my comfort zone. So I thought to myself, why not? I want to try something new and this will be new for me.
6. Are you doing this race alone? Or in a group?
J: I wish I have a partner this time but I will be alone. I tried asking my previous Sahara race partner to join me for the run but he is not interested in the idea. Based on my research, I’ll be the first Malaysian to compete in this ultra run! Super excited about that part as well!
7. What are the challenges you foresee during the race?
J: I am particularly worried about the extreme cold weather, and the possibility of frost bites. I’ve talked to some past year’s participants and they told me that the first 200km of the route will be uphill. Also, this is a self-sustaining race where they provide you nothing, so you will have to carry your own necessities such as water, sleeping bag, tent and food that will have to last you for eight (8) days with a sled. Yea, a sled. That could be another challenge for me to drag a sled during a race.
8. Is this your first time encountering those challenges? How do you plan to tackle those challenges?
J: This race has a short cut off time, 8 days. Within 8 days, you will have to complete 560km, which is an average of 75km each day. According to the previous participants, I will only be getting roughly 3 hours of sleep per day, depending on the speed of my movement, most probably 5 hours maximum. I hope I am going in well prepared, in terms of food, equipment, and training. Food is of utmost importance for me because it provides energy and it’s what I won’t push down on in an effort to tackle the challenges that await me. So yeah, my strategy follows the required distance per day, get as much sleep as I can and be very prepared in terms of food and equipment.
9. Share with us your weekly training schedule. How different is it compared to your usual training?
J: At the beginning of my training, I start with a 20km run as my warm up, follow by training with Sanctband Active Super Loop band to aid in my muscle strengthening and recovery, before heading back to get my meal and take a break. After that, I’ll focus on training my lower body at home with the Sanctband Active Mini Loop band and Spider Cord.
After 2 weeks, I’ll be picking up the pace, where I will run 60km for the day 1, 70km for day 2 and 80km for day 3 each week. I’ll need both the physical fitness and mental as well to go through this race.
10. Do you have a target (time) in your mind that you want to achieve?
J: I just want to finish within the cut-off time. Did you know that only 20 – 30% of the total participants finishes the race every year? That is extremely low and I just hope that I am within that 20-30%.
11. What is your mantra (quote) during training?
J: During my training, I just tell myself to keep on going because it will pay off when I cross the finish line. If I do not train enough, I will suffer during the actual race so why not I suffer now instead of later.
12. What was going through your mind when you signed up for the 6633 Artic Race?
J: Well, I thought about it for almost half a year before I finally decided to join the race. I did a lot of research, read a lot online, and the more I read, the more I am putting myself AWAY from signing up. So one day, I decided to just sign up and just do it. No more reading about experiences from past participants and you know, once you have signed up, you have no choice but to do it and that is what I am going through right now. Apart from that, I decided to do it because of this time, I have great support from Sanctband Active. So, it’s now or never, so I just DO IT!