Ultramarathoners run 500km - another 2,000km to go

Ultramarathoners run 500km - another 2,000km to go

After 10 days battling heat and rain, ultramarathoners Lim Nghee Huat and Yong Yuen Cheng have completed 500km, running 50km each day.

Yet, this is only a fifth of what they hope to achieve, which is to run 50km for 50 days straight to celebrate Singapore's 50th birthday.

"We are progressing well towards the goal," said Mr Yong, 43, a physical education teacher. "But it has been challenging."

The duo - accompanied by Institute of Technical Education lecturer Gary Lee, 57, teacher Debbie Lee, 23 and fellow ultramarathoner Gerrard Lin, 31 - completed their 10th leg in 7hr, 38min yesterday.

Techno music blasting from wireless speakers in Mr Lin's bag kept them going. As did iced energy drinks, water and bread from a supply vehicle that followed them. Yesterday's run - from MacRitchie Reservoir to the Ulu Pandan park connector - was "relaxing", they said, compared with their most challenging run so far, which was on day two, an extremely hot day.

"The heat was such a killer," said Mr Lim, 61, an editor. "There was no shade on a 10km stretch on Changi Coastal Road. We were just exhausted that day," he added.

It was so bad Mr Yong's sleep and appetite for dinner was affected that day, though a Chinese cooling remedy brought relief. The duo also started to have muscle aches after the third day.

Along certain stretches, they would run for five minutes and walk for one, a common technique used in ultramarathons to conserve energy, Mr Lim said.

Their run has inspired some to challenge their own limits.

Corporate gift sales personnel Cheryl Ng, 44, bumped into Mr Lim and Mr Yong when they were running in Upper Peirce Reservoir last Wednesday. She joined them for 26km that day, then the full 50km yesterday.

"I wanted to throw in the towel at the 35km to 42km mark. But the encouragement of fellow runners does wonders," she said.


This article was first published on April 26, 2015.
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