SG50 runner does 320km to raise $160k for hospice

Mr Lim (third from left) at the finishing line on Tuesday with (from left) his son, Mr David Lim; his son's friend, Mr James Sng; Hornsea mayor Lee Walton; Mr Lim's wife, Ms Deborah Mok; Mr Lim's British physician, Dr Tomas Wally; and race director M
Mr Lim (third from left) at the finishing line on Tuesday with (from left) his son, Mr David Lim; his son's friend, Mr James Sng; Hornsea mayor Lee Walton; Mr Lim's wife, Ms Deborah Mok; Mr Lim's British physician, Dr Tomas Wally; and race director Mayne Drinkwater.PHOTO: COURTESY OF LIM NGHEE HUAT

He loses his way many times and braves wet weather in UK to finish ultra-marathon

He lost his way repeatedly in the woods of northern England while battling the dreary British weather. But this did not stop 63-year-old Lim Nghee Huat from coming in fifth in the Ultra Great Britain Run on Tuesday.

In doing so, the media producer raised more than $160,000 for HCA Hospice Care, Singapore's largest home hospice provider, which cares for about 3,500 terminally ill patients a year.

Mr Lim, who started his run last Saturday, covered more than 320km in 81 hours, the longest distance he has run for a single ultra-marathon.

An ultra-marathon covers a longer distance than the 42km marathon.

He was among 24 ultra-marathoners who ran the coast-to-coast Trans-Pennine Trail from Southport in the north-west of England to Hornsea in the east.

He called the experience "amazing" despite his ordeal. "I'm very relieved that I could cross the finish line as I was not running for myself but for the patients."

Mr Lim is widely feted for his feats on foot. Last year, he and physical education teacher Yong Yuen Cheng ran 2,500km in 50 days to mark SG50. This earned the duo a nomination for the inaugural Straits Times Singaporean of the Year award.

The British race is the first Mr Lim has attempted since the SG50 feat. He started training in February.

It was his first time running in a chilly climate. He had previously braved races in extreme heat, most notably during the 2013 Badwater ultra-marathon in California's Death Valley, where temperatures soared above 50 deg C.

He had thought the climate this time would be kinder as it was summer, but the British weather lived up to its famously damp reputation.

He had to struggle in strong winds and rain throughout the race, as temperatures stayed below 15 deg C. He also got lost nearly every day because he and his crew found the forest paths confusing and there was often no signage.

On the third night, he was so disoriented he ended up way off the track at a river he could not cross, and had to run an extra 5km before he found his bearings.

Mr Lim said he backed HCA because of the support it gives patients in the last leg of their lives. "I'm glad to be able to help enhance their lives in the final stage. Every happy hour in your life is a meaningful one."

HCA said in a statement on the funds raised: "This amount will be instrumental in assisting us to further our home hospice cause, and enable us to make 730 more visits to our home hospice patients."

•To donate to HCA Hospice Care, call 6251 -2561 or e-mail info@hcahospicecare.org.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2016, with the headline 'SG50 runner does 320km to raise $160k for hospice'. Print Edition | Subscribe