Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Singaporeans in 217 km Death Valley Challenge

Yong Yuen Cheng (left), Lim Nghee Huat ( right) and I at a Fund Raising Dinner.

Two Singaporeans set out to conquer the infamous Death Valley in America on 13th July. From 18 - 20 July, National Junior College teacher Yong Yuen Cheng and MediaCorp News Senior Producer, Chairman of Mountbatten CCC Lim Ngee Huat will attempt to cover 217 kilometres from California’s Death Valley to Mount Whitney.

The challenge commences on 18th July, 11pm Singapore time.

Death Valley in California, bordering Nevada, is the world's hottest, driest and most inhospitable environments on the planet. It has less than 2 inches of rain a year with temperatures hitting 56.7 Celsius. Some call it Hell on earth. It is a place of extremes. Nowhere else is a landscape so exquisite yet brutal, stunning yet harsh.

The men are testing their limits. If they succeed, they will be the only two people from Southeast Asia to overcome Death Valley, which they have to complete in 50 hours (less than three days) without sleep. They are running to raise S$100,000 in funds to help NJC’s student development programs, as well as contribute toward an upcoming sports hall. They are also raising funds for Mountbatten CCC.

Every July, the Badwater Death Valley Ultramarathon is held here. It is a non-stop 333 km footrace across the hottest place on earth. Running in temperatures of up to 55 degrees Celsius, and on a road surface of up to 84 degrees Celsius, it is not uncommon for shoes to melt. Combined with an elevation of 4,000 metres and a drop of 3,000 m over it's course, it is clear why this race is known in "ultra circles" as the toughest one there is.

To support their run, NJC is tracking their routes using live satellites and their progress will be seen on a screen at the college's amphitheatre round the clock.

During training sessions in Singapore last year, they almost gave up due to the heat, but they have other strategies. Mr Lim has prepared a cooler box to put ice and water in the box. Approximately every hour or so, he would put his body in the cold water for a few minutes so that his body temperature will drop.

Mr Yong said the total vertical cumulative ascent for the run is 4,000 metres, which is equivalent to more than 1,000 storeys of HDB flat. In order to train himself for that in Singapore, he did staircase training and also tried to do some running for five hours on the Sheares Bridge.

A 'Marathon Campout' will be organised on NJC premises on 20th July for supporters to receive updates on the run and talk to Mr. Yong live from Death Valley. Supporters can also track Mr. Yong's and Mr Lim's progress throughout the run at the website below.

For donation to help NJC’s student development programs, as well as contribute toward a sports hall, click here.

They are our heroes! I wish them all the best!

(Info taken from local papers and NJC website.)


  1. I also wish them all d best! I'm proud of them!

  2. I just came to say...

    Waa waa waaa.... I love your gown! So leng wor... so glamour... ;)

  3. Wahhhh...I see the temp oso i melt liao..but hats off to them la...All the best to them...

  4. eve,
    Yes, I'm already feeling so hot and cranky with a temperature of 34 deg Celsius. Imagine what they have to go through.

    I salute them!

  5. They are the real steel man

    p/s You look like an iron lady standing beside them

  6. Mt. Kinabalu has a height of 4,095.2m and we started at the height of 1,866.4m. Already I found it pretty tough. I have a lot of respect to the duo who attempt a cumulative ascent of 4,000m to be completed in 50 hours with no sleep and in such a hot weather. It is really a lot to overcome. We also tried to climb stairs in Singapore as training but the real situation was far different from our training scenarios.

    I wish them all the best. This is one hell of a challenge, for a good cause of course.

  7. Good luck to them. May God watch over there every step.

  8. ecl, what a lovely photo of you lei. Oops, kept looking at the photo until I forgot to read your post wor. :P

    Ok, go and read now. :)

  9. yenjai,
    hahahaha.... Me? iron lady?

    Those two men are really men of steel, braving such horrible conditions to fulfill their dreams. Just thinking of it, I would give up. hehehe....

  10. Oooo... Wilfird,
    You climbed Mt Kinabalu!? Wow!

    I know it is tough, I'm having problems climbing 3 flights of stairs in my own home. I can imagine how tough the challenge is.

    Really must respect people like you and these guys for your perseverence and determination.

  11. hanneng,
    Yes, they have our prayers and best wishes. ^-^

    Go! Go! Mr Lim and Mr Yong!

  12. simple american,
    I wish their dreams will come true. Watching them on their challenge.

    They are already heroes in our hearts!

  13. Judy,
    Thank you. ^-^

    You admiring the guys until forget to read my post hah? kekeke......

  14. So siong! Pei fu, pei fu!
    Not many living things can survive the Death plants can grow there...worse than desert...
    I just hope they stay safe.

  15. tigerfish,
    Just from reading the various articles and write-ups on Death Valley while I was researching this post, I was frightened by the harsh conditions. It really is a very, very tough challenge.

    I want them to come back safely too. Just by attempting, they are already heroes!!

  16. yes, they are already heroes for even attempting the challenge. bravos to them!

  17. wow, did some reading up. they are running in the hottest period. *faint*

  18. haha... yes, misti.
    At 34 degree Celsius in Singapore, I'm getting so heated up and cranky.

    These two men are so amazing! Really have to take my hat off.

  19. I read their story in the papers too and was very motivated by what they are doing. As a runner (though not as regular or as long a distance as I would wish), I know how it feels like to complete a long race and to push your body beyond your limits. Up to a certain distance, it is your mind that does the running and not your body.

    One day, I tell myself, I must challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone and do something different. It can be in sport, exploration or supporting a humanitarian or environmental cause.

  20. Good for you, Cool insider!
    I will be giving you my support! It really takes a lot of courage and determination to take up a challenge!

    Dream big, brudder!

  21. wow! that is a real challenge. all the best to them. i can only support them in thoughts!

    and i can't take my eyes off your dress leh.. very nice :)

  22. sweetpea,
    hehe... thanks.

    Their challenge is very tough, not for the ordinary, so we can only applause and cheer them on. :)

  23. For the convenience of your readers, would you like to put up information on how people could make donation to the cause?

    I've managed to find the link to donate to NJC's Student Development Programme and the sports hall.

  24. oops oceanskies,
    I overlooked that! Thanks.
    Will put it up now. :P

  25. ecl, huh? What guys? Where? I only see one lady wor! Hehehe...of course I saw the guys but then, I'm a married woman so I stopped looking otherwise get myself into trouble!

  26. Go for it buddy, your NTU168km escort runners are proud of you!(Ultra)

  27. All the best buddy, the NTU168km escort runners are proud of you!!!! (Ultra)

  28. hahaha... Judy,
    Need help for prescription glasses?

    Although I'm married, I've never stopped looking at attractive guys! mwahahaha.....

  29. Actually, I was hoping that you could direct readers to how they could make donations to Mountbatten CC as well... is the funds for families in need?

  30. oceanskies,
    Yes, it is.

    I dun intend to solicit funds for Mountabatten CCC. :)

  31. Hi Eastcoastlife,

    Are you a runner yourself?


  32. ultraman,
    Yes, I'm also a runner. Running after money. hahahaha.....

  33. was catching their updates on the news... :-)

    are you going to join them one of these days? :-)

  34. keropok man,
    Nooooo! I'm weak and soft! I cannot take such tough challenges. I'm also getting old leh. hehe...