For the entire month of October, members of the LKCMedicine family and friends pounded Singapore's pavements and parks, clocking up kilometres and raising funds as part of the LKCMedicine Run It Forward initiative in support of President's Challenge.
Runners and walkers alike signed up in their droves, with 525 community members getting behind the cause which benefits 70 social service organisations across a variety of sectors in Singapore.
Participants were invited to set their own goal of completing a symbolic finishing line of 5km, 10km, or 100km for the virtual run over the course of the month, with Run Co-Chair, Jowe Chu, from the School's Education Management Department and Dr Wan Mohd Khalil Wan Sapian Sori from LKCMedicine's GDSM Class of 2019 throwing down the gauntlet as the first female and male runners respectively to submit their completion of the 100km challenge.
Recently recovered from an injury that set back her usual run training and with the lifting of restrictions surrounding Covid-19, Jowe, was set on a new goal. She said, "I found myself running further away from home and seeing my neighbourhood in a different light. That motivated me to complete the distance while enjoying the many scenic runs. It felt incredible, unbelievably satisfying and I'm now motivated to put myself into a long-distance challenge as soon as we can travel."
For Dr Wan, however, his motivation was simple: "I believe that exercise is medicine." Averaging 20km per day on the weekend, it was his first time to complete 100km in an impressive four days.
LKCMedicine Governing Board Chairman, Mr Lim Chuan Poh, joined Jowe and Dr Wan in attaining the 100km target, while single-handedly raising just over a remarkable $67,000 for the President's Challenge cause.
Putting in an average of 40km per week, Mr Lim is also no stranger to the world of running. His personal goal was to run for a good cause in the hope of making a useful contribution and he relished rising to this challenge close to home. He said, "The Botanic Gardens are near to where I live and have a round trip of over 10km with minimal repetition of route, variation of terrain, good at all times of day from early morning to late afternoon, and the Gardens are beautiful."
Similar to Mr Lim, Corporate Services took advantage of Singapore's many beautiful locations and seized the challenge as a team-building opportunity, getting respective teams out into the open air, from the lush greenness of MacRitchie Reservoir to the breezy banks of the southern coast, all the while observing social distancing.
Four-legged friends also joined the fun, most notably Boscoe, the much-loved dog of Director for Development, Planning & Strategic Relations and 10th Anniversary Celebration Chairperson, Suzanne Lim, who racked up an impressive distance of 150km on walks all over the island. Boscoe went with her every step of the way. Of Suzanne and Boscoe's Run It Forward experience, she said, "We usually do one long walk every weekend, so it was just a matter of ramping up our walks to hit the 100km for a good cause. I'm very glad Boscoe did not give up!"
Much in the "come one, come all" spirit of the OneLKC community, our Simulated Patients (SPs) Charles Wu, Thomas Lim and Gracie Lau were out representing the SP team, as well as Dr Tan Eng Chun for the House Tutors, while former staff member, Ms Atiqah Sarkawai, and husband Sufian Bin Suderman from the RASS team spurred each other on in the challenge. Even members of the public, such as Iris Beatriz Rosas Gonzalez from Latin America, flying the flag for her home country of Chile, joined in supporting the event.
The Run It Forward challenge has raised in excess of an incredible $120k to date, which is more than twice the original target of $50k. Funds raised will go towards the principle aim of President's Challenge to help disadvantaged communities in Singapore, which has been especially important in light of the unprecedented challenges Covid-19 has brought about. During this time, the charity has impressed upon the importance of promoting mental and physical wellbeing through active participation in activities such as these.
In total, those who participated covered a collective distance of 23,960km – the equivalent of a round trip from Singapore to Greenland – with 183 entrants achieving the 100km landmark distance. In congratulating all who got behind the event, Chairman Mr Lim said, "Thank you to everyone for their participation and for supporting a good cause, President's Challenge. For those who are regular runners, I hope this has made your running that much more meaningful. For those who are less so, I hope this will encourage you to continue running for your good health."