I can still remember Thursday, May 21st, 2020 like it was yesterday. My colleague and friend Oliver Wood asked our Saturday running crew if we would be keen to join the 4x4x48 challenge. The challenge meant we had to run for 4 miles, every 4 hours, for 48 hours. When it comes to sports, I always get over-excited, so I immediately said yes. Jamaur Bronner, one of my good friends in Singapore who was keen on the run as well, said we should add a fundraising goal to run. There were only 2 days to prepare since the challenge started on the following Saturday. We rushed to set up a fundraising page on Giving.sg and all agreed we wanted to support migrant works, which were affected during by COVID-19. Fast-forwarding 2 and a half days, our bodies were aching from the continuous running and we could hardly walk. Because we only had 2 days to set up the fundraising page, we targeted a modest goal of S$1,000, but because our network was inspired by the challenge, they helped us blow through that target before our race began, and we went on to raise over S$11,000 for Transience Workers Count Too (TWC2). When I asked Jamaur why he thought it was important to add the fundraising campaign to the challenge, he said: ” As expats, this is a great opportunity to give back to the place we call home. If we can use one of our passions — running — to inspire our community to donate and help those in need, we can drive both awareness and capital towards important issues of our time”
Earlier in January 2020, I and a group of friends joined a run to raise funds to prevent bush fires in Australia (Run for Relief). It feels like ages ago, but I can recall the camaraderie and how fast friends and family were happy to support this charity.
Our target is to run 360km or 60km per runner over 31hrs 15mins!
At this very moment, I am preparing for my third fundraiser run in 9 months. Together with the LAST Running Team, we’re participating in The Speedproject DIY. We’re trying to run as many kilometers as possible during this running challenge as a group in 31hours and 15minutes. Our target is to run 360 kilometers or 60KM per runner.
TSP DIY is a global, decentralized event from The Speed Project. Starting at 4AM PDT on September 5th, 2020, teams worldwide will have 31 hours and 15 minutes (the standing The SpeedProject* record) to run as many kilometers as they can, relay-style. Teams choose their own routes, and members can run legs from anywhere in the world (source The SpeedProject).
* Usually The Speed Project is held in the US and is a 340 mile (550K) relay from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles to Las Vegas. It was first run in 2014 when six runners decided to see how quickly they could cover the distance.
Our running group is excited about the running challenge, and we’re looking forward to pushing our limits. More importantly, we’re coupling this run to a fundraiser for Samaritans of Singapore (SOS). SOS provides support for those in crisis, thinking about suicide, or affected by suicide. Suicide is a difficult topic to discuss, but difficult discussions often lead to positive change. We feel that silence is not an option around this subject. SOS is the only suicide prevention center in Singapore. With 400 lives on average lost to suicides between 2014 and 2019 in Singapore, SOS’s work is crucial. We hope that anyone who feels they are struggling will find their way to SOS or get support from family and friends.
The LAST Running team will consist of: Jonathan Chan, Wei Wen Cheah, Joel Seah, Mun Kong Seow, Cory Lehman, and myself. The run will be tough since we have to run day and night to finish the challenge, but we’re inspired to do this for SOS.
Recently I was asked why I (and for that matter, my friends) would put ourselves through this painful experience to raise money for charity. Why not just give money and be done with it? For me personally there is one main driver why I think it is important to couple a fundraiser to a sportive challenge; creating awareness.
Over the last few years, I realized I want and should be doing more for others in need. I feel blessed with a loving family, true friends, and supportive colleagues I can call on. Fortunately, this allows me and my friends to help others and hopefully make a positive impact, even if it’s small. With these fundraising campaigns, we not only hope to raise money for a good cause, but we also strive to create more awareness around doing good. Sharing social media posts of the sportive challenge, asking our network to share the fundraising initiative, and inspiring others to initiate fundraising campaigns are steps we take to create awareness.
Sport has always been important as a way to connect to others. Sport gives hope, it inspires, it entertains, and connects. We hope it also inspires others to do more good and make a positive impact.
If you’re keen to support our fundraising for Samaritans of Singapore (SOS), please find our campaign page here.
A special word of thanks
I want to thank Jonathan Chan of the LAST Running, for organizing this running group. I am grateful for my wife Marijke for her continuous supporting, and our friends and colleagues for cheering us on. Lastly, I want to thank The Fullerton Hotel Singapore for offering us preferred accommodation rates for our runners in between runs.
More information on the Samaritans of Singapore can be found here.