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Lim Yew Khuay, better known as YK, is a 43-year-old Regional Commercial Excellence Manager for a healthcare multinational corporation based in Malaysia.

Beyond his professional achievements, YK has carved a niche in long-distance running and coaching, with over 100 marathons and ultra-marathons under his belt. Here’s his story.

The Unlikely Start

Initially, running was a means to an end for YK.

Sixteen years ago, YK embarked on his running journey with an unusual goal: to gain weight. “I thought running would improve my appetite,” he recalls with a laugh.

His initial forays included 5-6KM runs around his neighbourhood or at TTDI park during weekends. However, it was during his first 10KM night race that YK’s perspective shifted dramatically.

“I couldn’t even stand in the queue to collect the goodie bag after the run,” he says. This humbling experience ignited his determination to take running more seriously, set target goals and push his limits.

Achievements Worth Celebrating

YK’s transformation from a casual jogger to a marathon mentor did not happen overnight.

Among YK’s proudest accomplishments is his status as one of the few Malaysian runners to have completed over 100 marathons and ultra-marathons.

He cherishes his role as a pacer and coach for the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM), a role that he describes as unique and memorable.

Recently, YK completed the gruelling Hong Kong 100 Grand Slam, a feat made even more significant by his dedication to the finisher trophy to a close friend battling terminal cancer. “Each race teaches me something new about myself and what’s possible,” he reflects.

The Path to Coaching

YK’s transition to coaching was seamless and almost inevitable.

His passion for running naturally extended to helping others achieve their own running goals.

Coaching was a natural progression for YK, who has always been passionate about guiding others personally and professionally.

Initially, he sought certification to enhance his training but soon found himself helping others achieve their running goals. “Even part-time, my typical day involves lots of virtual communication with my students, updating them on their progress and addressing their questions,” he explains.

A Special Connection with KLSCM

The Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon holds a special place in YK’s heart.

His first experience with a running coach was at KLSCM, and this connection has only grown stronger over the years.

Becoming an official coach for KLSCM was a full-circle moment for YK, reaffirming his commitment to the running community that has given him so much.

“It didn’t take long to accept. It felt like coming full circle,” he concludes.

Challenges and Triumphs in Coaching

Coaching comes with its own set of challenges.

YK admits that patience is sometimes in short supply, particularly when runners skip training or don’t follow plans. However, he overcomes this by focusing on each individual’s unique learning path and emphasizing progress over perfection.

Time management is another hurdle, but YK balances his responsibilities by trusting his students and encouraging self-reliance. Nothing compares to the joy of seeing his students achieve their goals.

“There’s no experience more memorable than when they announce to the world their gratitude for our learning journey together,” YK shares.

Advice for Beginners

For those starting their running journey, YK emphasizes commitment and discipline.

“Clocking minutes on the road, in the park, or on treadmills, long or short, helps build the habit and, most importantly, a belief system that ‘I can’,” he advises.

Lim Yew Khuay’s journey from a casual jogger to a marathon mentor is a testament to the power of perseverance, passion, and the desire to help others.

His story is not just about running; it’s about discovering one’s potential, overcoming challenges, and making positive impacts on others.

As YK continues to inspire and guide runners, his legacy as a mentor and coach grows, enriching the lives of those he touches.

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