For The Love Of The Game

A desert run of a lifetime

Football may be Singapore's No. 1 sport but there are other sporting love affairs around the island. In this fortnightly series, The Straits Times seeks out new games and discovers that a country's passion for sport, even in this time of Covid, burns brightly.

Singaporean Vicki Zhu at the Half Marathon des Sables in Peru in December 2019. She finished the race on painkillers.
Singaporean Vicki Zhu at the Half Marathon des Sables in Peru in December 2019. She finished the race on painkillers.PHOTO COURTESY OF VICKI ZHU

A bottle of Coca-Cola is all it takes to make a lifelong friend in the desert.

The cold beverage, offered by a fellow runner from Britain, was what warmed Lua Jiong How's heart in October 2017 as he stood at the start line for the final day of the Half Marathon des Sables (HMDS) in Fuerteventura, the Canary Islands.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2021, with the headline 'A desert run of a lifetime'. Print Edition | Subscribe