Running with Neurosurgeon Dr Ivan NG

Dr Ivan NG
 Ivan Ng is older,  taller and more chatty. he practically answered all of our questions before handing over to his friend and colleague, Ernest Wang. “We’ve known each other for too long,” quips the 47-year-old Dr Ng jokingly. Dr Wang, 45, responds with a big laugh. There’s no mistaking that these two are good buddies  and it’s thanks to running races as a two-man team.“We interact a lot at work,” says Dr Ng of their professional collaboration in Neurosurgery Partners at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. “Running gives us something more outside of it.” It’s a shared interest and hobby they enjoy together like fishing, food or photography for others.Dr Ng initiated the first time they ran together: a breezy 5km corporate run in 2008. Just under two years later, the good doctors were taking part in The North Face 100s – splitting 50km each  and it doesn’t sound like they’re stopping anytime soon.
WHY DO YOU RUN RACES TOGETHER?
Dr Ng:It started with the J.P. Morgan run in 2008, which was the first time we ran together, followed by the Sundown Marathon that same year. Then we followed that up immediately with the Standard Chartered Marathon and The North Face trail run. Until last year, The North Face was always a race for two-man teams, so that’s one main reason. Subsequently, it simply became a thing we did together. It’s something we have in common outside of work. It gives depth to our relationship. We run because we enjoy it.Dr Wang:It’s not like we’re competing with each other.Ivan has been running longer distances than me. I’d been
playing tennis and running 5km to 6km at most. But ever since the J.P. Morgan run, Ivan has been asking me to go for longer and longer races – and that’s how it all started.
WHO’S FASTER?
Dr Ng:On shorter 25km races, Ernest is almost always faster. But more than that, I’m faster. We’ve different strengths.Dr Wang:He has spare batteries.
DO YOU TRAIN TOGETHER?
Dr Ng:We always train alone.Our working times are different, so it’s difficult to do it together.I’ll run the rails at Mac Ritchie about five in the morning, with a runner’s headlight – so that I don’t get taken down by low lying branches. I like that time because the temperature’s cool. But Ernest doesn’t. Dr Wang: I run in the evening.I like to run alone; it’s quite a nice feeling.

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