This morning, the two GO50 ultra runners Lim Nghee Huat and Yong Yuen Cheng had successfully achieved their goal – to run 50km everyday for 50 days. That is 2,500km in total. They had undertaken this journey to pay respects to Singapore’s founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew as well as to celebrate the nation’s 50 years of independence this year.
Said Lim, 61, an editor, “The mission is finally completed – and I am very happy. At least we made it. It has been tougher than expected, but I felt so glad to see that we’ve succeeded. I was very moved when we crossed the finishing line, because there has been so much support from the public. This is our small contribution to celebrate Singapore’s 50 years of nation building.”
Added Yong, 43, a PE teacher, “I felt so happy today that this is finally over and that we have successfully completed the challenge we set for ourselves. When I first started, I was confident that we would be able to succeed But midway, when the injuries came, I got quite worried and I was limping at one stage.”
Suffered from a lack of sleep
Throughout their 50 days of running, both Lim and Yong admitted that they have suffered from a lack of sleep. This had been especially so this morning, as their final 50km run had flagged off at the very early hour of 2am.
Explained Yong, “Yesterday, our run ended quite late – at 4pm, and after dinner it was already 7.30pm. As well, I also woke up in the middle of the night because my phone was having problems and kept on vibrating. In the end I only managed to get four hours of sleep, so at the start of this morning’s run, I was feeling quite sleepy.”
At the same time, Yong also admitted that he was having some gastric problems. He said, “Because of my gastric, I could not take coffee too – normally I have coffee whenever I am feeling tired. But I was worried that the gastric would act up during the run if I did. I also felt like vomiting at the beginning when I started running too, but fortunately that went away quite soon.”
Sitting back and enjoying the celebratory atmosphere during the final run
For Lim, the final 50km run this morning, had been a good way for him to simply sit back and enjoy the celebratory atmosphere. He said, “We started the run at Ion Orchard early this morning. I think that if not for this run, we would not have the opportunity to run all the way from Orchard Road to the Sports Hub and then to complete loops around Marina Bay Sands. So I just simply wanted to enjoy the last day of the run. As well, this is also the last opportunity that I had, to enjoy interacting with my fellow runners – and I had wanted to make the most of it.”
Indeed, they had definitely taken the final day’s run very leisurely, by combining a good mixture of running and walking and reaching the finishing line at around 10.30am. It was certainly a good pace for chatting and catching up with one another.
Support was overwhelming
The support and the lively atmosphere throughout the entire run had definitely kept both Lim and Yong going. In fact, an overwhelming number of runners – roughly about 50 – had turned up at the starting point this morning to run the full 50km distance with them. This was much more than what Lim and Yong could have ever anticipated.
Moreover, besides running, other Singaporeans also rallied around Lim and Yong, by setting up food and hydration stations for the GO50 runners and supporters as well as clapping and cheering them on with fervour and gusto, when the GO50 running team passed by.
Said Lim, “I did not expect the response from people to be so overwhelming or for the public especially to have so much interest in coming down to support and join us. How far they run is immaterial – as long as they show their support in some way or other, it makes me feel really honoured.”
Added Yong, “The support was really wonderful – even though today was neither a weekend nor a public holiday. Seeing so many people most probably taking leave from work – just to support us was really motivating and gave us what we need to keep on going to the very end.”
Public servant Doris Teo had been one of the runners who had joined Lim and Yong for the final 50km run. She said, “They have been paying tribute to our founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, by running 50km daily for so many days. I really admire the fact that they could do this every day, without fail. It’s really hard work – and I felt that I should at least do my part, to complete a 50km together with them.” All in all, Teo had completed two full 50km runs together with Lim and Yong, as well as another shorter run.
Will now be taking a well-deserved break
Now that they have completed their 50km run, doing more running is certainly the furthest thing from the minds of both ultra marthoners. In fact they are both almost certainly going to take a well-deserved break.
Said Yong, “I am definitely looking forward to the break from running now! I have been very focused, and putting everything into running and recovering for the next day’s run – for the past 50 days, and thinking of how to stay injury-free so that I can continue running. So I am glad that there will be no more for a while. It will be good for not only the body, but also the mind.”
Added Lim, “In fact, I am going for a holiday to China with my wife after this run! After so many days of running, it will be great to take a well-deserved break overseas.”
Given the honour of lighting the SEA Games flame
Besides successfully completing their 50km runs, Lim and Yong were also given the honour of igniting the flame for the SEA Games. Said Lim, “I feel very honoured at being chosen to represent the people of Singapore – to ignite the flame for the SEA Games torch ceremony.”
Thankful to have had this chance and hope to inspire fellow Singaporeans
Now that they have completed their 2,500km journey, both Lim and Yong are feeling very thankful to have been given this opportunity to do so – and hope to inspire fellow Singaporeans with their running.
Said Lim, “We hope that this will inspire more people to also pave their path and make a contribution – in the way they too know best – to nation building.”
Added Yong, “Throughout these 50 days of running, I wanted to prove that all the hard work and discipline that I had put in, pays off in the end. One thing too, that drove me to complete this journey was the cause – it is a higher cause because I did not do the run solely to prove a point. I wanted to do it for our country and for all the Singaporeans representing it, and this gave me extra strength.”
Yong continued, “So I hope that whatever I have done will inspire all Singaporeans – not only those talented in a certain area – to put their heart and soul into whatever they choose to do, and persevere at it – so that they will succeed.”
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