Ultramarathoners savour life on Day 51

Ultramarathoners savour life on Day 51
Ultramarathon runners Yong Yuen Cheng ( left) and Lim Nghee Huat on their way to the SEA Games opening ceremony yesterday, taking the torch from Marina Bay to Kallang Basin.

AS IF teaming up to run 50km a day for 50 days in a row was not enough, ultramarathoners Yong Yuen Cheng and Lim Nghee Huat got together again yesterday.

Mr Yong, 43, had lunch with Mr Lim, 61, and Malaysian ultramarathon runner Ng Seow Kong, 53, at Ang Mo Kio yesterday.

At night, they met again to take part in the SEA Games opening ceremony, accompanying the torch from Marina Bay to Kallang Basin on a boat.

Day 51 was different from the preceding 50.

Mr Yong woke up at 7am, had breakfast and went back to sleep before getting up again after 11am. Mr Lim slept in until past 11am. Once their day started in earnest, they both had fully packed schedules.

Mr Lim planned to visit his mother-in-law, as he had not seen her for almost two months, before heading to the opening ceremony. He also wanted to respond to all the congratulatory e-mails and messages.

For Mr Yong, it was a rare "rest day" despite the tight schedule.

"For months before the run, I trained every day for up to five hours a day," said the teacher.

The change was liberating for Mr Lim, who said: "Each day, I woke up and did the same thing. Today, I can finally do something different."

"I had to cut off any social life because I had to sleep early to get up early. Life can now go back to normal. I can finally eat the food I love, like laksa, mee siam and rojak," he added, laughing.

At the weekend, he has weddings and dinners to attend. On Monday, he will fly to Beijing for a short holiday with his wife.

Even after running 2,500km, he said he was perfectly fine and will swim a bit in Beijing.

Mr Yong was also fine, apart from a weak left knee, which was the result of an old injury.

"Mostly, I feel less mental stress now because I don't have to follow a schedule," he said.

In fact, after one day of rest, he plans to jump back into exercising today: "My body is not used to rest. This is my first rest in many, many months."


This article was first published on June 6, 2015.
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