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Tuesday August 27, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday August 27, 2013 MYT 8:51:04 AM
by oh ing yeenphotos by raja faisal hishan
A participant heaving himself up a haystack
MORE than 8,000 participants took part in the inaugural Viper Challenge that tested contestants’ physical limits as they went up against 20 man-made obstacles set over a 20km course.
The fastest time clocked to complete the course was a staggering two hours, while most contestants took four to five hours to finish.
The presence of alternating hot sun and rain over the two days made the challenge even more daunting for participants, who could join either as a team or individuals.
Illa Afi, 23, Laura Liew, 22, Adam Faris, 24, and Leslie Ong, 24 were spotted near the starting line waiting to be flagged off.
Liew mooted the idea of joining the challenge and the others gamely agreed.
“We will time ourselves, our goal is to finish within three hours,” she said.
“We do not want to skip any obstacles,” Ong added.
It was not easy preparing for the challenge, especially for Illa and Adam as they were fasting during Ramadan.
“Mental preparation is important too. I hope I would not sprain my ankle,” Illa said.
Lecturer Evan Long, 26, and his 10 team-mates finished the challenge in around three hours.
“This is great for team building. We have been training two to three times a week prior to the event.
“We would want to do it again if there is a chance,” he said.
StarMetro journalists Yasmin Ahmad Kamil, Vincent Tan, and Brenda Ch’ng also took part.
Yasmin was in a team of 15 people.
“I have always loved to test my physical limits. It is good to be in a team as we support each other.
“I have not been training much during the fasting month but I try to run 5km during the evenings,” she said.
Tan, who joined solo, felt it was more challenging.
“I was glad Yasmin’s team helped me at some obstacles, especially ones with walls.
“I wish I had brought better boots though,” he said.
Several local celebrities also participated in the Viper Challenge, including former Channel [V] VJ and current ntv7 host Jonathan Putra, along with comedians Kavin Jay and Papi Zak.
Jonathan finished the challenge in just over three hours and proclaimed “The Viper tried to bite me, but I crushed it!”
The funny men had a slightly tougher time but nevertheless emerged victorious and completed the course in about five hours.
Both had trained hard before entering the Viper Challenge arena and were proud to see their efforts pay off.
Viper Challenge event director and Original Bootcamp Malaysia founder Selva Kumar said the event was a great success even with some small issues on the first day.
“Completing the course was no easy task and we heartily congratulate everyone who participated. We would like to thank the sponsors, especially Tourism Ministry, for their support in making the Viper Challenge a reality.”
Some participants posted online they were displeased about the way the event was organised. Complaints included the lack of water and poor safety measures.
They claimed the organisers failed to provide water as promised and they had to drink from a Syabas tank instead.
However, there were also those who wrote that they would not mind participating again if it is organised next year.
Owayne Khoo, a 20-year-old student, said: “It was pretty fun and we had a nice time bonding with friends, but it was a little too expensive.
“It was satisfactory but could have been organised better,” he said.
On the Viper Challenge Facebook page, the organisers posted, “We sincerely apologise for the shortcomings experienced by both participants and volunteers. Indeed we have taken all your comments and suggestions into consideration and where possible, done what was possible to rectify and improve.
“While we understand some things were less than acceptable, we thank you for pushing through with the challenge and also as volunteers.”
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