OCBC Cycle: Mountain to climb for good cause

Sportfive team puts spin on OCBC event, aims to cycle Everest's height for ST fund

(From left) Adrian Staiti, 45, Adalia Quek, 35, Tan Hui Er, 24, Juan Miguel Ramos Ocampo, 31, and Aylwin Rory Tenorio, 47, are part of a team from Sportfive who will participate in the OCBC Cycle 2020 The Sportive Virtual Ride by cycling the equivale
(From left) Adrian Staiti, 45, Adalia Quek, 35, Tan Hui Er, 24, Juan Miguel Ramos Ocampo, 31, and Aylwin Rory Tenorio, 47, are part of a team from Sportfive who will participate in the OCBC Cycle 2020 The Sportive Virtual Ride by cycling the equivalent of Mount Everest's height around Mount Faber.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Like 4,700 others, Adrian Staiti and 10 colleagues from global sports and entertainment agency Sportfive are participating in The OCBC Cycle 2020 Virtual Ride, which ends on Sunday.

But the group will take their ride to another level by attempting to collectively cycle the equivalent of Mount Everest's height of 8,848m by riding up and down Mount Faber on Friday.

The route has a vertical climb of over 70m so they need to do this 113 times to hit the target.

But their "Everesting" challenge does not end there. The final goal for the group of 11 is 170 rounds.

Depending on the individual's ability, some will do 20 to 30 loops while others will cycle five to 10 - each loop is about 3km.

To complete the OCBC Cycle's The Sportive VR, each person will also have to cycle 42km.

Staiti, 45, president of Asia-Pacific for Sportfive, told The Straits Times: "You usually think of cycling as an individual sport but it's really a team sport. You pace each other and support each other and if, as a team, we can accomplish what we're aiming for, we can do anything as a business."

To give the employees extra motivation, the group is also aiming to raise $10,000 for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

Adalia Quek, who works in partnership marketing at the company, said: "When the initiative came, I thought it was a great team-bonding activity to do while giving back to society.

"It's a personal challenge for me. I know it's going to be physically demanding and my muscles are going to hurt, so it's also about overcoming the mental aspect of it and I want to see how far I can challenge myself."

Quek, who usually goes for spin classes and does yoga, swimming and jogging once a week, said she has become stronger since she started training for the challenge every Friday morning with her colleagues 21/2 months ago.

"It was really painful after I tried it for the first time. But there was extra motivation having my colleagues there cheering for me and pushing me on as I cycle past them," said the 35-year-old, who is aiming to complete at least 10 rounds on Friday. Her maximum is six now.

"I feel a difference because spin classes are easier now. Physically, I feel fitter and stronger and I no longer get exhausted early on. Training for this helps me keep myself going for the full class and sometimes even beyond."

Some members of the group also go on their own rides in the Kranji area or round the island. The team rides together in groups of five or fewer to adhere to safe distancing guidelines.

Staiti, who cycles an average of 150km a week, added: "We work in the world of sport so we want to encourage people to be active and get out and move.

"If we can do that and support a good cause, hopefully we can get more people thinking this way and harnessing the power of sport to not only take care of themselves but also support the community."

• Visit giving.sg/campaigns/sportfive_everesting for more information, or to donate to Sportfive's campaign.

• Participants are reminded to submit their ride records and selfies to ocbccycle.com by 11.59pm on Sunday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2020, with the headline 'Mountain to climb for good cause'. Print Edition | Subscribe