Singapore

Father and son to blaze through Gobi desert for a cause

Temperatures can go up to 50 deg C and plummet to below zero in Mongolia's Gobi Desert. These conditions may be harsh but are exactly what Mr Carl Chan, 52, and his son are looking for.

On July 29, they will be taking part in the Gobi March, an annual international endurance competition.

For seven days, they will traverse 250km of uneven terrain, on foot with 15kg backpacks, squaring off against more than 160 competitors from around the world.

The older Mr Chan took part in his first triathlon in Sentosa about 20 years ago. Today, the programme manager at local non-profit organisation, Lutheran Community Care Services (LCCS), has participated in numerous international triathlons.

His son Sean, 20, a national triathlete, said: "I am excited because I have not run in a desert before. Its uneven terrain and subzero temperatures will push me beyond my limits."

Every week, the older Mr Chan runs, cycles, hits the gym and swims. He will be revving up his exercise regime to better prepare for the gruelling race. He has another younger son.

He said: "We will be running at Mount Faber and Bukit Timah more often. It is impossible to simulate the desert's terrain in Singapore. So, we will anticipate and adapt accordingly (in Mongolia)."

Mr Chanis aiming to do his best and not vie for a position. He developed a bond with his older son through sports.

He said: "I am proud of him and am thankful he is pursuing his passion. Our upcoming race is a valuable opportunity for us to bond because he prefers to travel with friends now. So, such trips are getting rarer and (more precious)."

Through their race, they hope to raise $10,000, which will help LCCS' work in mending familial relationships.

LCCS counsellor Leonard Ng said: "Mr Chan and his son's mutual support for each other is a sign of a healthy relationship. Through this, more families can see the importance of doing things together to build positive relationships."

Supporters can donate at LCCS' online page at www.giving.sg

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