Cyclists lining up for the race, eager to take on the off-road course. (Photo by VOXSPORTS)
The obscure route and uneven terrain of Lorong Asrama served as a personal challenge and a fundraiser . Approximately 100 mountain bikers of all ages put their mental endurance and physical strength to the test in the first ever Performance Challenge Race series.
The series was designed to cater to a niche crowd in Singapore, the mountain bikers. The bikers participated in the name of fun and helping to raise funds for the Singapore Disability Sports Council.
Harun Rahamad was the representative for Singapore Disability Sports Council and his life story serves as an inspiration to many disabled Singaporeans out there. He is currently the national defender for the Singapore Cerebral Palsy Team. Being diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a tender age, the 24-year old did not let his disability get in the way of his dream of being a Team Singapore athlete.
“Yes I did have my setbacks when I was young because people looked at me in a certain way and there are certain sports I can’t do because of the physical challenges. But I told myself that being disabled does not mean that I can’t do sports, you just have to research and try it out.” said Harun, who conquered the arduous nine-kilometer route, displaying his sheer will and tough mental endurance.
Planning the event was not easy according to Kevin Wong, founder of E3Sports, organiser of the event; “The day before, four trees uprooted and one of the trees was just too huge to move that’s why I was rushing till the last moment to map out a new route!”
Kevin also indicated that the sight of seeing people coming together and enjoying this off road race is what heartens him as an organizer.
He also indicated the E3Sports is a series of three races with this being the first. The second challenge would be an urban off road challenge designed to be build within the CBD area and the third race would be somewhere near the Lim Chu Kang estate.
Dr John VAN WYHE was the champion for the individual category, cycling 62 kilometres during the three-hour race. (Photo by Voxsport)
The race sure took a toll on some participants but it was not powerful enough to deter Dr John Van Whye from clinching the top honors during the individual category. Dr Van Whye cycled a total of 62 kilometres with 51.7km/h being his top speed, the fastest in this race. Aside from winning the top honors, Dr Van Whye shares his amazing moments while mountain biking in Singapore.
“I saw so much wildlife that no Singaporean would see as much as I do. I saw snakes, butterflies, incredible birds and about twelve species of snakes because I’m in the forest so much. In fact, I was here last week and I saw a gigantic snake about ten feet long!” exclaimed Dr Van Whye.
A father and son taking part in the family category. (Photo by Voxsport)
The event ended off with a hearty family race, some were even seen collecting durians along the trails while cycling and bringing it back for a mini-feast. The first Performance Challenge Race was indeed a great way of getting people together and getting exposed to the niche sport of off road biking in Singapore. Only time will tell if off road biking in Singapore will just be another common hobby among busy Singaporeans.