S'pore Special Forces soldier, 45, runs 342km over 51 hours with no sleep to win ultramarathon event

Last man standing.

Nigel Chua | October 25, 2022, 02:01 PM

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It takes something exceptional to be a Special Forces soldier, though the mental and physical feats these men and women are capable of are rarely put on public display.

One such feat took place in Singapore recently, when one soldier took part in a gruelling ultramarathon race and emerged the winner.

45-year-old Lieutenant-Colonel (LTC) Joshua Toh from HQ Special Operations Task Force (SOTF) completed 51 loops on a 6.706 km route as part of the Big Dog Ultra Satellite Team Championships in Singapore.

Toh stayed awake for more than two days as he raced, according to an Oct. 25 post by The Singapore Army Facebook page.

Race continues till only one participant left

Toh was competing in a novel ultramarathon race called the Backyard Ultra, where participants are required to complete a 4.167-mile (6.706 km) loop every hour.

After the participants complete each loop, they have the rest of the hour to rest and prepare for the next loop.

Toh resting between loops of the race. Photo via The Singapore Army on Facebook.

Participants are eliminated if they do not complete a loop, and the race continues indefinitely until only one remains.

Toh's 51 loops saw him clocking a whopping 342km, and emerging as the "Last Man Standing", and Singapore's individual champion.

The distance for one loop, 4.167 miles, was chosen as it works out to 100 miles over 24 hours, according to the race's inventor in an interview with BBC.

The result saw Toh qualify for the World Individual Championship event next year.

Runner-up completed 50 loops

The runner-up for the race in Singapore, Deric Lau, completed 50 loops.

Toh and Lau at the Big Dog Ultra Satellite Team Championships in Singapore. Photo via post by Naresh Kumar in Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra Run Group on Facebook.

Lau and Toh were the only two runners in the race for over 20 hours.

The third-place runner, Ned Phillips, completed 28 loops before being eliminated.

Screenshot via official results of Backyard Ultra World Team Championships 2022.

Toh credited his military training for contributing to his win, saying:

"I strongly believe that training such as the SAF Ranger Course and Special Forces training, have strengthened my resolve, mental resilience and contributed towards my success in the race. This race is a combination of both physical fitness and mental resilience, the latter being much more crucial in this race as compared to a regular race."

Here's The Singapore Army's post about Toh's achievement:

Top image via The Singapore Army on Facebook