Half Marathoner Simon Ong from 230 Pound Couch Potato to 1:18 for 13.1

By his early 20’s, Calgary native and current resident, Simon Ong’s diet and lifestyle had led him to obesity which created a slew of health problems. In 2011, he determined to get his health back, Simon started exercising and while he didn’t start with running at first, he eventually embraced it. Since then, he’s lost more than 60 lbs., learned to love running and greatly improved his performance.

Sub 6 Minute Miles

Now in his late 20’s, he has completed multiple marathons and qualified for Boston several times. In 2018 he finished the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in an hour and eighteen minutes, his first sub-80 minute finish and took 3rd in the Male 25-29 age division and first Canadian, overall.

Copy of Simon Ong

Simon Ong with Raymond Ong, Bernard Onsare, and Simon (l-r top) and Simon and Carina Vigna (bottom left enclosure).

Heart Issues and Diabetes in his 20’s

In this episode of Run To The Top, Simon talks about his past health issues, how he changed his life through running, and what his future goals are. He shares the details of his training cycles, from workouts to nutrition.

His story is one of inspiration. You can hear his passion for running and enthusiasm for life clearly in his voice.

Questions Simon is asked:

1:42 First Four:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Where were you born?
  3. Where do you live now?
  4. What is your favorite race distance or type of race?

3:01 How many marathons have you run?

3:09 What was your life like before running?

4:23 What do you weigh now and how tall are you?

4:46 What did it feel like to finish your first half-marathon?

5:22 Was this when you first started running?

5:40 How do you manage your weight during training and for race day?

6:19 What motivated you to start running?

7:18 Were you getting your heart rate up or just walking at first?

7:43 Were you losing weight when you were walking? And was it from exercise or eating better?

8:08 Were you walking on your own or with other people?

8:47 What was the first race you did after you started losing weight?

9:58 You PR’d in your most recent half-marathon; what was your time?

11:08 Was it a tough course and how was the weather?

12:24 What did it feel like when you learned your results?

13:48 How did you train for that race? Do you have a coach?

15:16 How many miles are you running in an average week of training?

16:13 What was your training cycle like for the Seattle Rock Roll race?

17:14 Was your concussion running related?

18:18 What would you do differently to avoid that injury?

18:49 How do you balance your training with work and going back to school?

20:00 How many miles of hard running are you doing a week and what’s you work schedule like?

23:15 What kind of workouts are you doing in the middle part of your training cycle?

24:05 How many days per week do you run?

24:47 What’s in the future for you?

25:52 How many times have you qualified for Boston? Have you already qualified for 2019?

26:31 What is your current nutrition plan?

27:44 What is your nutrition plan during taper?

28:58 What did you do for your pre-race nutrition for the Rock Roll half?

29:33 During the race, did you rehydrate or fuel?

30:16 Did you train this same way?

31:00 When are you going to start training for Boston?

31:33 How important is running in your life?

32:40 Final Kick Round:

  1. What is your favorite local training run (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
  2. Favorite running book(s)?
  3. Words of Wisdom or Humor?
  4. Who would you like to hear on the Run To The Top podcast?

Quotes by Simon:

“Training does not lie.”

“Running is very important. I see running as a second chance in life.”

“Without running, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. And through running I get to meet so many great friends and some of these friends turn to family members.”

“I love eating carbs during taper week. I do tell myself, ‘I’m well fuelled for the race.’ I don’t worry about my weight before the race.”

“Because of these friends supporting me, they support me and I support them, and that’s what motivates me to do better.”

“I fell on the treadmill a couple of times when I started running, so I did a lot of swimming and cycling at the beginning to lose weight. But I love walking, that’s’ what I did; a lot of walking.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

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Mentioned in this podcast:

Run To The Top Winners Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page


2019 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

Nose Hill Park

Book: Running With the Kenyans by Adharanand Finn

Book: More Fire: How to Run the Kenyan Way by Toby Tanser

Book: Running with Joy: My Daily Journey to the Marathon by Ryan Hall

The Champion Mindset: An Athlete’s Guide to Mental Toughness by Joanna Zeiger

Follow Simon on:

Passion to Run Blog




We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Run to the Top.

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Thank you listeners. Join us again next week for another entertaining and informative interview on Run to the Top!

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