Taking on the Gobi Desert

Singaporean Kelvin Wong is the first-ever Asia Pacific Executive MBA (English) representative to fly our national colours across the finishing line at the Gobi Desert Challenge.

He is also the first Singaporean among the participating EMBA schools to complete the 112 km race across the desert.

Kelvin Wong Gobi Desert Challenge Singapore flag

The annual Gobi Desert Challenge – which stretches across four days – was inspired by Chinese monk, scholar, traveller and translator Xuanzang’s pilgrimage to India.

It has now become an annual event that tests the physical endurance, determination and grit for EMBA students from China and global business schools.

Before he took part in the Desert Challenge, Kelvin never imagined that he would run in a desert. But his experience taught him that one must not be afraid to try. “We all need to dream big. Otherwise, we will live to regret it.”

Kelvin Wong Gobi Desert Challenge Singapore

Looking back at his training and the Desert Challenge, Kelvin believes the following four principles led to a successful race.

1)      Set clear goals

This means setting up routines (waking up early) and structured training plans (gradually increasing the frequency and distances of runs).

2)      Be disciplined

In a long race in high temperatures and extremely dry conditions, it is only a matter of time before doubts and negative thoughts start to creep in during the run. A focused mind keeps all these away.

3)      Ensure Teamwork

Team members help to motivate each other. And more importantly, Kelvin says, “go fast if you want to do it alone. Go far if you do it as a team”.

4)      Be Prepared

For Kelvin, the race is one huge exercise in risk management. “Anticipate the challenges that you might encounter.”

While the Gobi Desert Challenge has allowed Kelvin to achieve a personal breakthrough, he believes nothing is more important than safety.

“Understand your mental and physical limits and do not let the environment take its toll on you. If we fail today, it is not the end of the world. Train harder and come back next year.”

Kelvin is an alumnus from the 20th intake of the APEX-E programme

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