Sang: I felt so excited because it was my first time taking part in a race, and moreover it was the famous “Spartan Race”. It was very challenging and I felt motivated to continue the race after witnessing a group of ladies finishing the race. It made me feel stronger.
Johnny: It was exciting, I could say that this was my first time participating in a race. I was discouraged at the beginning, after seeing all the other participants were strongly-build and bigger than me, but then trusting God, knowing that He will give me strength, I was no longer afraid. Praise The Lord.
First obsticle… Over this wall to the starting line.
Do you have these types of activities back home?
Sang & Johnny: No. We don’t have such events in our country.
Did you learn anything through this race?
Sang: Yes, I learnt how to work as a team, to be patient and not to rush into things and at the same time to help others in need.
Johnny: Patience, team work and helping others.
Would you like to participate in a race like this again?
Sang: Yes, but financially I just can’t afford it.
Johnny: Yes, but I don’t have enough money to spend on this. I pray that God will bless me.
Why sign up ElShaddai students to be involve in this race? What was the thought behind it?
Noraini: In the first Peace Camp that The Blue Ribbon conducted, some of the ERLC students expressed their interest in running competitively. I thought it would be a great opportunity for them to be invited to Spartan Race.
I had a major surgery 3 years ago and my hamstring is still recovering. My discipline and determination to do this race in spite of my leg situation expresses my desire to help underprevillaged young girls pursuing their dreams for higher education. I am so glad that The Blue Ribbon can partner with ECB not only in providing education, but also in transforming community.
What was your experience to be involved in this race especially with students that are new to the race?
Noraini: It’s my first Spartan Race too. I have many friends from Malaysia, but…
It’s irony but very fulfilling that I completed my first Spartan Race with 15 years old Sang Sang and Johnny, two youngsters who are in refuge in my home country.
As a trio-team, I believe we finished well 2 hours was not too bad for first timers and an aging lady like me.
Sang Sang and Johnny waited for me occasionally during the race as they were much faster in overcoming some obstacles. Their fitness level and agility was very impressive! There were times when we all failed some obstacles and laughed as we did burpees together as penalty for failing. There were times too when I had the opportunity to encourage them to keep going. At the slip wall, Sang Sang and another racer pulled me over the tip of the wall. I could not overcome this obstacle, and hence the race if he had not help me!
I am also very proud that both of them walked the lady who had her ankle sprained, to the finishing line. She completed her Beast Race challenge.
To me, Sang Sang and Johnny completed two challenges; one was Spartan Sprint Open and the other compassion. They earned the true medallions!
Imagine how great our nation shall be if those in refuge in our country are given the opportunity to unleash their full capacity.
It was also awesome to know Sang Sang and Johnny personally. I was very delighted to see them laughing and enjoying themselves trying different obstacles prior to the race.
The race was one thing, but the friendship we built from the time they stayed at my house, to running together and having food together has taught me a lot about sharing. I have never imagined that they have never eaten satay and crab before, especially after staying for a number of years in Malaysia.
I wished we could have been more hospitable to others in refuge in our country, for example by inviting them to our home for Hari Raya, Christmas or any other festivities.
From this race, I felt glad to be given the opportunity to extend hospitality and comrade spirit to them, and to peek into their lives and to be a part of that too.