Runner's Profile: Lim Choo Hooi

In the Ironman circle, you have Richard Tang and in the Runner's circle, Sarah Ch'ng, but speak of Lim Choo Hooi, some of you may ask: Lim Who?...

He may not be famous outside of Penang (yet), but over here, he is already making HUGE waves amongst the Penang runners. In just a short 2 year span, not only had he carved his name on the trophies of most of the races in the region, he had also aced his maiden marathon in HK recently with a jaw dropping 3:25 finish!
Lawyer by profession since 1996, one glance at him then, no one would have thought of him ending up like this today. Admittedly, he is himself just as amazed at the transformation. Let me show you why...

Lim, holding a bottle of brandy...

"Happier days?"

In his own words, "after office hour marketing" was not a choice that he could easily avoid but soon his commitment to his social networking spiralled down to a lifestyle of perpetual drunken state. I am not exaggerating. It was taking a costly and heavy toll on his health too. But it was not until 2010 when the untimely death of a friend (right before his eyes while in a badminton court) jolted some sense into him. He had a rude awakening. And that led him to his physician who diagnosed him with fatty liver, raised liver enzyme, uric acid etc. His health was hanging by a thread. It was time to take drastic measures.

He got in touch with a few friends and started working out in the gym. But soon this evolved into running. And with a group of runners to call his own, he found his niche in running. And that suddenly took off in a major way over a short span of 2 years. Some may argue that he has a gift, (so what if he does?), but to be fair, he trained harder than most. I should know, I train with him.  

Top position in Taiping Half

Now at 42, he is one of the fastest veteran runners around. Already clocking an impressive sub 40 minutes in 10km, yet he remains unhappy about his "lack of weekly mileage" as he trains towards SCKLM in June. He constantly laments that he is inconsistent with the training because of heavy work commitments. But to look at him then and now, if losing almost 25kg from 92kg does not impress you, I don't know what will.... 

Amazing transformation, don't you think?

But given the speed of his progress in a short 2 years, he is THE exceptional one to accomplish such a feat. I personally have not seen anyone achieving this in such a short time. Most successful long distance runners were not built in a day. Most were progressive and took years in the making. Yet, Lim Choo Hooi seemed to have come out of nowhere! And it seems there is no stopping him either. I predict he could easily nail sub 3:15 in SCKLM if he maintains his form... 

[No pressure Choo Hooi. Just that the whole Forward Runner club/Penang is counting on you....:)]

We will be seeing a whole lot more of him in years to come. 

But keep a look out for him in June's SCKLM. 

He will rock KL. I am sure of that.


  1. Really amazing transformation! Chalk another up for one of our generation! Go get the PR!

  2. Book said distance runner take 4 years to peak. Choo Hooi will rule the world in no time, cheer! :)


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