National marathoner Soh Rui Yong shared prize money with Kenyan who dropped out mid-race

Kenyans remind him not to take things for granted.

Tanya Ong | December 09, 2017, 11:43 AM

National marathoner and SEA Games champion Soh Rui Yong has shown that he would happily donate his prize money away, if the recipient deserves it.

Soh emerged as the top local male finisher in the Dec. 3 Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS), winning a prize money of S$10,000.

The 26-year old shared some of this prize money -- S$500 -- with Kenyan marathoner, Elisha Sawe, who accompanied Soh during his race.

The race

In Sawe's recent race on Nov. 19 in Indonesia, he clocked a timing of 2:28:52.

This timing would have placed him at overall 12th in the SCMS.

Unfortunately for Sawe, he was dropped by the lead pack of Kenyans early on at the SCMS and was not having a good race.

According to Soh's Facebook post, he caught up to Sawe at the 13km mark.

He introduced himself to Sawe in Swahili, a language he had picked up when he was training in Kenya, and then asked Sawe to run with him.

The pair ran together until the 31km mark when Sawe dropped out at a medical vehicle.

New-found friend

Soh went on to finish the race, winning first place in the men's local category.

However, he commented that the Kenyans reminded him not to take things for granted:

"The Kenyans are hardworking, talented, and inspiring people who come from very poor backgrounds. They make me realise that I take much for granted - will work hard to be as amazing as they are someday."

It was in the elite tent that Soh gave Sawe $500 to thank his new-found friend for his company during the race.

He hopes that "this can help with transport to future races where he (Sawe) can earn the money he deserves."

This is Soh's Facebook post:

Soh's sportsmanship

This is not Soh's first instance of sportsmanship that has been reported.

In the 2012 Army Half Marathon, fellow runner Ashley Liew tripped at the 8km mark.

In a Facebook post by Red Sports, it was reported:

"In a gesture of sportsmanship, Rui Yong stopped to see if Ashley Liew needed help"

More recently during the SEA Games that took place in August 2017, Soh noticed that Agus Prayogo, an Indonesian marathoner, had missed his hydration point.

Soh then offered the fellow runner the "remainder of [his] isotonic drink."

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Soh Rui Yong, sponsored by ASICS & H-Two-O, wins marathon gold at SEA Games 2017

Top photo from Soh Rui Yong's Facebook.