Soh Rui Yong At TheSmartLocal

In his checkered shirt and sleek brown pants, it’s hard to imagine that Soh Rui Yong has had a career outside the corporate world.

But dig a little deeper and you’ll find telltale signs of his passion for athletics: a sporty water bottle next to his laptop and a bright yellow sports watch on his wrist. Neatly tucked away under his table is a shoebag containing his precious running shoes.

“I’ll need these for my run after work today,” he tells MS News with a smile. And that run isn’t the usual 2.4km or 5km jog.

It’s a full-on 16km run through the Kallang and Bendeemer area that starts the moment Rui Yong knocks off work.

“Work” for Rui Yong, 27, used to revolve around the running track, literally. But as of this week, he’ll be dealing more with reels than races, as he joins TheSmartLocal (TSL).

But he isn’t quite ready to give up his professional running career just yet.

To ensure that he’ll be able to do both, he joins TheSmartLocal’s new sports ambassador programme, which seamlessly blends his athletic career with his corporate one.

The programme allows Rui Yong to pursue his athletic career while honing his skills for life after he hangs up his running shoes.

Athletes like Rui Yong will be hired full-time by TSL and will enjoy flexible work schedule that includes extra paid leave for training.

Who is Soh Rui Yong?

You might not keep up with local sports enough to know who Rui Yong is, so here’s a quick rundown:

  • He is a SEA Games Gold medallist – the first Singaporean to have won back-to-back titles for Singapore. He accomplished this in 2015 and 2017.
  • He also has 4 World Championships representations and 4 Singapore records under his belt
  • Rui Yong is popular on social media, with more than 10,000 followers instagrammers. You might know him for his signature hashtag, #runsohfast, which just happens to be his IG handle as well

View this post on Instagram

Stats for #SEAGames2017 Marathon are now up on Garmin and Strava! Check it out – username: runsohfast Official finishing time 2hr 29min 27sec (3:32/km) – a new Singapore record for marathons run in the heat and humidity of Singapore and Malaysia! Old "heat and humidity" record was 2:34:02, set by Murugiah Rameshon in Singapore in 1994. It's possible to have decent marathon times (~5% slower than in ideal weather conditions) despite our weather, we just have to train for it! 2:34:02 is still the fastest run by a Singaporean on Singapore soil and I hope to get that mark soon enough. 🇸🇬 #BreakingRecords #RunSohFast #SEAGames2017 #KL2017 #RisingTogether

A post shared by Soh Rui Yong 🇸🇬 (@runsohfast) on

With TSL’s support, Rui Yong hopes together they can produce first of its kind content that documents the journey of a Singaporean athlete who works a full-time job, yet trains hard day after day.

it’s only fitting that I will document my journey to the 2020 Olympics with TSL.

TSL will launch this series on YouTube, but MS News understands that there are plans for future network distribution. Producers hope that by documenting the road to Tokyo will inspire young Singaporeans pursue their passion — and excel in them.

Projects like this also open the door to more sponsorships, allowing Rui Yong to pave the way for local athletes to find greater recognition at home.

A logical next step

Prior to joining TSL, Rui Yong worked at Sports Singapore, helping develop Singapore’s national coaching staff.

After 2 years, he sought a new challenge and found one waiting at TSL. He was already familiar with TSL and its content, having worked with the publisher before.

These collaborations left him with a positive image of the company. He told MS News:

(It’s) a fun and high-energy company where people enjoy what they do

In the pipeline

As he enters the corporate world, Rui Yong remains committed to training.

His daily runs will put him in good stead for the coming SEA Games. He admits that a gold at next year’s Games might be the toughest yet but he’s clearly not shying away from the challenge.

Because if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that no matter where he is, Soh Rui Yong will #runsohfast.

Disclosure: MS News and The Smart Local are companies under TSL Media.

Images by Sum Geron.