His journey from Singapore to Rio de Janeiro promises to be long and arduous, even though he is the Republic's top marathon runner.
So there was no hiding Mok Ying Ren's delight when his dream of competing at the 2016 Olympic Games received a $30,000 shot in the arm.
The cash award was presented on Friday by his alma mater National University of Singapore, where he had graduated last May with a degree in medicine.
"We are proud of his achievements, particularly how he managed to balance his studies and work commitments with his athletic pursuits," dean of students Tan Teck Koon said of Mok.
"He serves as an inspiration to our students."
The award, handed out at NUS' Sports Awards ceremony, has further spurred Mok in his bid to become Singapore's first male Olympic marathon runner.
"I'm very grateful that NUS is still supportive of my endeavours," the 25-year-old told The Straits Times.
"It's a significant amount of money that they are contributing, and it shows that they believe in me."
A gold medallist in the 2007 SEA Games triathlon, he announced his Olympic dream last year in a bid to raise the $100,000 required to fund a three-year, full-time training plan.
To date, thanks to the likes of Sakae Sushi, Far East Flora, Pet Lovers Centre and now NUS, he has received about $60,000.
Already, he is benefiting from such support.