Friday, June 22, 2012

A family that runs together, stays together?

Iking runs to help her relax and observe her surroundings

Story and photo by GRACE CHEN

FOR Daphne Iking, there is more to running than just pounding the pavement. For this producer, actress, emcee and deejay, the list of benefits for dashing ahead is a long one.
Not only does running keep her well-toned legs in shape, her training sessions are when her filmmaker husband Azmi Abdul Rahman, 42, and daughter, Isobel Daniella Iking, four, can all step out in matching Brooks outfits for a bit of family fun time.
Her second daughter, Iman Daniella, six months old, will soon be joining her parents when she is old enough to toddle about.
At these times, Azmi said Iking has two distinct running styles.
The family jog: Iking spending some quality time with Isobel and Azmi.
“You can tell if Daphne is running for real or if she is just posing for the cameras.
“In the latter, her legs and arms are straight and there is a beatific expression on her face,” jokes Azmi.
For the athletically-inclined Iking, running is also a means to de-stress.
“I don’t think about being tired when I am running.
“Instead I let my mind wander, indulge in pleasant daydreams and observe my surroundings.
“This is when I get ideas on how my upcoming creative projects,” says Iking.
Having participated in three official runs so far, she shared some interesting anecdotes.
Of note was her first run three years ago during the Standard Chartered KL Marathon.
Struggling to keep time, Iking who then obtained a divorce from ex-husband Ryan Chong, was making her way through the Lake Gardens route when she spied an elderly couple at the watering station.
“My guess was they would be in their 70s.
“The husband was handing a bottle of water to the wife and the thought that came into my mind was, “Will I ever have a marriage that would last as long and be as romantic?” she recalls.
Not that the entire event was one of total bliss. Iking thought the Lake Garden route was nearing the last legs of the race until she found out there was an another two more grueling kilometres to go.
Short of going ‘argh’ she focused on tips gleaned from earlier running workshops conducted by marathon coach Mark Williams.
“In running, 40% of the activity is centred on strength training.
“If you hunch, then you will be running ineffectively.
“As I have been working on my core in the training sessions, it helped,” said Iking.
Another issue that grated was the paper cup she had emptied.
Though it is common practice for runners to throw used cups on the road, fastidious Iking refused to litter and hung on to the cup till she could find a dustbin.
But before it was tossed away, she found a novel way to mark her steps.
“Another thing I learned at the Williams workshop is to keep your hands straight as they are pumping up and down and the cup comes in as a useful marker,” she added.
When exhaustion sets in, Iking admits she often asks herself why she had chosen to sign up for an event in the first place.
But these negative thoughts are dispelled the moment she reaches the finish line.
The sense of accomplishment is simply indescribable.
“By nature, I am very competitive,” admitted Iking.
The incident at the last Shape Run with the Chong sisters of Amazing Race fame and Jojo Struys was an example.
“The initial agreement was we would all run in a group, take it slow and have fun.
“But when the gun went off, Jojo ran ahead and left all of us behind.
“My first thought was, ‘I cannot let this happen’. So, I too sped ahead and the other girls went ‘Hoi! Slow down. This was supposed to be a fun run remember?’
“But all I could muster at that time was we had to keep ahead,” laughed Iking.
But the celebrity that had put on the best show at the end, according to Iking’s opinion, was Amber Chia who met them at the finishing line, complete with make-up and immaculately dressed in tight-fitting jeans.
Iking’s advice for new runners?
Simply make sure to get the right type of shoes and warm up properly.
No fuss and no frets.
Catch Iking in her trainers at the ntv7’s Feel Good Run on July 8, at Sri Pentas, Bandar Utama, Selangor.

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