Singaporean, 60, tackles ultra marathon for charity

Mr Lim with Badwater Ultramarathon director Chris Kostman.  Mr Lim Nghee Huat (left) starting his ultramarathon in Death Valley National Park, California. Behind him is one of his support crew, Mr Yong Yuen Cheng, 42. On the right is fellow competito
Mr Lim with Badwater Ultramarathon director Chris Kostman. Mr Lim Nghee Huat (left) starting his ultramarathon in Death Valley National Park, California. Behind him is one of his support crew, Mr Yong Yuen Cheng, 42. On the right is fellow competitor Joilson Ferreira, 40, from Brazil.PHOTOS: ADVENTURECORPS, INC
Mr Lim with Badwater Ultramarathon director Chris Kostman.  Mr Lim Nghee Huat (left) starting his ultramarathon in Death Valley National Park, California. Behind him is one of his support crew, Mr Yong Yuen Cheng, 42. On the right is fellow competito
Mr Lim with Badwater Ultramarathon director Chris Kostman. Mr Lim Nghee Huat (left) starting his ultramarathon in Death Valley National Park, California. Behind him is one of his support crew, Mr Yong Yuen Cheng, 42. On the right is fellow competitor Joilson Ferreira, 40, from Brazil.PHOTOS: ADVENTURECORPS, INC

Running 217km is hard enough. Doing it in temperatures above 50 deg C, on an uphill terrain in a place called Death Valley however makes it much more arduous.

But 60-year-old Lim Nghee Huat still managed to finish the Badwater Ultramarathon in California's Death Valley National Park two weeks ago in style, even if it took him nearly two days.

The seasoned ultramarathoner's time of 42 hours and 34 minutes earned him the 58th spot out of 96 competitors, most of whom were in their 30s and 40s.

Along the way, the television producer - the first Singaporean to complete the Badwater Ultramarathon, one of the world's most difficult foot races - raised $130,000 for the Heartware Network, a Singapore charity which works with youth.

The runner was honoured at a Thank You Lunch yesterday at Patara Fine Thai in Tanglin Mall, which was attended by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, the sponsors who pledged money for Mr Lim's run and Heartware Network members.

"I wanted to provide a platform for youth to perform more community service," said Mr Lim, referring to the charity's programmes.

EMS Goh told him: "As long as you can run, I will support you."

This is not the first time that Mr Lim has used his races to raise money. Since 2005, he has raised about $500,000, having also run the Brazil 135 Ultramarathon three times, and Run Round Ultramarathon in Singapore twice.

But the father of three, who has been running long distance for about 40 years, described his latest race on July 15 to 17 as his toughest yet.

"Sometimes I could only walk because it was too steep," he admitted, as he endured muscle cramps, blisters and the urge to vomit during the Badwater Ultramarathon.

Mr Lim, who ran his first ultramarathon - which involves distances longer than the usual marathon distance of 42km - eight years ago, is not stopping here.

He next plans to run 500km, and even dreams of climbing Mount Everest one day.

"I'm not sure if my wife would let me though," he chuckled.

yeosamjo@sph.com.sg