Go50 Day 10: Runners complete 500km, a fifth of the total distance

SINGAPORE- After days of battling heat and rain, ultramarathoners Lim Nghee Huat and Yong Yuen Cheng completed 500km on Saturday, 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," he admitted.

Urban running meant stoppages at traffic lights and minor but multiple obstacles. Earlier on, Mr Lim, a 61-year-old editor, tripped on a kerb while Mr Yong tripped over some tree roots by the roadside. The blazing heat and erratic rain did not help either.

Saturday's run from MacRitchie Reservoir to the Ulu Pandan park connector was "relaxing", compared with their most challenging day so far on day two, they said.

That day, the duo, together with ultramarathoner Gerrard Lin, 31, ran a shadeless 10km stretch along Changi Coastal Road, with the mid-day sun blazing down on them.

"The heat was such a killer," said Mr Lim. "We were just exhausted that day," he added. For Mr Yong, the effects of the heat lasted throughout the night as his body felt exceptionally warm. That affected his sleep and appetite for dinner and he turned to a Chinese cooling remedy for relief.

By the third day, muscle aches began to creep in.

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

On Saturday, Institute of Technical Education lecturer Gary Lee, 57, teacher Debbie Lee, 23 and Mr Lin joined the duo in completing their 10th leg in 7hours and 38 minutes on Saturday.

The run has inspired some to challenge their own limits. Corporate gifts sales personnel Cheryl Ng, 44, bumped into Mr Lim and Mr Yong as they were running a stretch in Upper Peirce Reservoir last Wednesday.

She joined them for 26km that day, then the full 50km on Saturday. "I wanted to throw in the towel at the 35 to 42km mark," Ms Ng said. "But the encouragement of fellow runners does wonders," she said.