What prompted you to take part in this race?
Kim Hong: To kick ang moh butt! No really—the motivating factor was the fact that this competition was held at an international level, and we saw this as a chance to gauge where we are by pitting ourselves against the top teams of the region. We were also hoping, through this competition, to put the training that we have been doing thus far into good use.
Was this the first time that the two of you took part in such a challenge?
Alvin: Nope. The two of us have actually been taking part in adventure sports races as a team for the past four to five years. In fact, we got to know each other through the race circuit, for we were both avid racers before we partnered up.
Kim Hong: We met in 2001 when Singapore held its first adventure race, and a couple of years later, we participated together as a team in our first race—the Eco-x Race Malaysia.
Did your friends or family or even work colleagues do anything interesting to show their support?
Kim Hong: My family has been rather supportive of my involvement in adventure sport races. They either wait for me at the end point of a race, or at stationed points if they know the route. As for my colleagues, they know that I’m a racing buff, and so they were not surprised when I took part in this challenge. In fact, they did up a photo-frame with newspaper cuttings of the races I took part in and presented it to me when they knew that Alvin and I won the challenge!
Alvin: Those who know me are pretty much used to the fact that I am an avid racer, so it’s usually words of well wishes such as “good luck” from them. For this particular race, my girlfriend was telling me “Make sure that you win!”
What was the weirdest reaction you got from a member of the public while you were taking part in the challenge?
Kim Hong: They might be wondering what all these crazy people were doing…
How did the two of you prepare for the race?
Alvin: We stepped up the intensity of the regular training that we were already on before this race; we basically trained longer and harder.
Kim Hong: Other than the training that we would do on our own, we would meet up every Saturday to train together. We would bike more, run more, and canoe or kayak more. Basically, we aimed to complete three disciplines in a day instead of over two, which is the normal amount of time we take when there are no competitions.
Do you still remember the first thought that came to mind when you crossed the finish line?
Alvin: Something along the lines of “finish this as soon as possible” I think!
Kim Hong: Mine was “We’re not too far…not too bad!”