Captain (CPT) (NS) Arthur Lin Jintao shares his story on how he has taken running to the next level with help from his family.
It may be a mundane activity for some, but CPT (NS) Lin has found a way to make running interesting for people of all ages. It involves blood, gore and zombies!
"I loved running from a young age, and even represented Singapore on several occasions. I participated in the ASEAN Schools Games and Asian Junior Athletics Championships for 800m and 4x400m, where I managed to qualify for the finals and finished in the top 10," said the former Commando officer from Headquarters Commandos.
It was this passion for running that led him to establish his own sports entertainment company, Action X, in 2013.
A year before that, he took part in a Run For Your Lives event in the United States (US). The world's first zombie-themed fun run, it has a unique blend of a flag tag game and an obstacle course race.
Said CPT (NS) Lin: "I fell so deeply in love with it that I had to bring it to Asia for everyone to enjoy, and so I bought over the rights to hold such race events in 2013."
The 34-year-old's business journey has not always been smooth sailing.
"Initially, my parents did not want me to leave the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) after seeing all the tough training I've been through and the work I've put in," he said.
"But after seeing how dedicated my team and I were in building our own company, they eventually respected my decision and even helped me to raise the initial start-up capital for my business. They also came down to my race events to provide assistance and helped me rally investments from friends and relatives."
CPT (NS) Lin believes that having been in the SAF has provided him with valuable experiences that allowed him to weather all difficulties.
The US Rangers course graduate recalled a time during the course when trainees had to parachute into the training area and spend 10 days out in the field.
"Due to bad aircraft exit posture, I suffered a deep cut in my inner mouth. This made the next 10 days unbearable as it even hurt when I drank and ate.
"One of the most precious lessons I've learnt from the course is that tough times will always pass I also had the privilege of leading soldiers of other countries under stressful conditions, and this gave me the confidence to lead my own company."
Besides his parents, CPT (NS) Lin also feels indebted to his former Officer Commanding and current business mentor, Major (NS) Lien Choong Luen.
"We kept in close contact when he left the SAF to pursue his Master's degree in Business Administration in 2011. He is one of the wisest friends I know, so I sought his advice on starting a business. Eventually, he became one of my company's investors and strategic adviser."
On challenges he had to face in managing his company's events, CPT (NS) Lin fondly recalled: "I particularly love and miss the days right before the start of our events, especially during our first ever Run For Your Lives Singapore.
"Our team was sleep-deprived as they were so busy with the preparation work that they only had a 30-minute rest the entire day.Some didn't even sleep at all! We also had to make do without bathing and proper meals as we rushed around to ensure that everything was in place."
In the long run
Having pulled off 42 successful running events around the world, CPT (NS) Lin shows no sign of slowing down. "I want to continue creating exciting running events to make exercise fun for everyone and promote a healthy lifestyle, and make Action X the top sports entertainment company in the world.
"We want to establish a strong market foundation in China, which is our largest market now, to develop more game-like running events before moving on to set up our US subsidiary."
When asked if he felt that his aspirations might be too far-fetched, CPT (NS) Lin answered: "If your goals do not make you feel scared, they shouldn't be your goals."