SINGAPORE — He had to brave the rain, battle sleep deprivation and physical weariness, and even got lost in the jungle multiple times as he pushed his body to the limit to complete the 320km Ultra Great Britain Run last year.
It was a chastening experience, but ultramarathoner Lim Nghee Huat is willing to put himself through all that once again this year for charity. To raise funds for HCA Hospice Care, which provides support for patients with life-limiting illnesses, the 64-year-old has decided to compete in the same race next month.
The race sees participants following the Trans-Pennine Trail from Liverpool in the north-west of England all the way to Hornsea in the east. All runners will have to complete the race within 100 hours.
Lim, who completed last year’s race in 81 hours to finish fifth out of 27 participants, told TODAY that he hopes to better his time this year. However, he is expecting yet another tough time at the ultramarathon despite having experienced it before.
Said Lim, a television producer with Mediacorp: “Last year was my first time competing in the race, and I didn’t know what to expect. So I got lost several times and generally struggled with the weather and lack of sleep.
“This year, having experienced what the race was like, I think I’ll be more prepared, so I hope to better my timing.
“But this doesn’t mean that there won’t be challenges to overcome still ... even the locals can get lost there, so there’s a possibility it could happen to me again this year even though the route is the same.”
Lim’s feat last year raised about S$200,000 for HCA through online donations and the charity’s fund-raising dinner.
He hopes to raise a similar amount again this year.
Explaining why this particular charity was significant to him, Lim, a father of three children and who also has three grandchildren, said: “The service HCA provides for their patients is critical ... the support that they provide to the patients and their families is incredibly important as it seeks to accord dignity to the dying.
“Through my participation in the race, I hope to spread the message to the patients as well to live the remainder of their lives to the fullest and to find meaning in everything they do.
“Each day represents hope for these patients, and I want to inspire them to keep fighting and not give up.”
HCA’s president, Mr Tan Poh Kiang, added: “We hope, through Nghee Huat’s courageous spirit, to inspire more volunteers to come forward and offer their commitment.
“We are all given an opportunity to change someone’s life for the better, so we hope volunteers will step up in the service of others.”
For more information, and to make a donation to HCA, go to www.hca.org.sg/hospice