Alan’s inspirational tale of surviving cancer to become an Ironman

Alan's inspirational tale of surviving cancer to become an Ironman earns him the opportunity to fulfill his dream at the Ironman World Championship 70.3 in Florida

6 November 2009, Singapore – Inspirational local Ironman, Alan Lim Ming Yong, who took part in the Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore triathlon for the first time this year, has been selected by Aviva as the winner of the inaugural Aviva Life Challenge Award, for his remarkable achievement in overcoming life's adversities.

The award, which aims to recognise the most inspirational local Ironman who has conquered life's toughest challenges, was conceptualised for this year's Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore triathlon. As winner of the prize, Alan has won a trip, fully sponsored by Aviva, to the Ironman World Championship 70.3 in Clearwater, Florida, which will be held on 14th November.

To congratulate him on his victory, Simon Newman, Managing Director for Aviva Singapore, and Teo Ser Luck, Mayor of North East CDC District, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports & Ministry of Transport, presented Alan with a race gift pack, comprising items such as power gels and hydration vitamin and electrolyte tablets, to prepare him for his upcoming race at the North East Community Development Council today.

Mr Newman, who presented Alan with the gift and a send-off party comprising the Aviva team from the local office, said, "Alan has truly inspired us with his strength, determination and perseverance in life. Not many people can complete a triathlon, and Alan's achievement is even more remarkable considering the fact that he has survived cancer to become an Ironman."

Mr Newman, who took part in this year's Aviva Ironman 70.3 and will be taking part in next year's edition, added, "Alan's story embodies our belief in recognizing those who have overcome great adversity in life, and we are rewarding his great achievement by sending him to Florida to compete in the Ironman World Championship 70.3, an opportunity that many triathletes in the world dream of having."

Alan won the opportunity to fulfil his dream when his story was unanimously selected by Aviva from a pool of twenty inspirational stories submitted online through the official Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore event website.

Stories submitted by athletes, their friends or families were also accepted, and the winning athlete had to meet the Ironman World Championship 70.3 qualifying time of 8h 30mins in order to be eligible for this award. Alan finished the event in 6 hours and 44 minutes.

Alan overcame the deadly disease, salivary cancer, five years ago through sheer perseverance, determination and support from his family to witness the birth of his 2nd and 3rd child.

Said the 36-year-old Alan, "I was driving on the road with my daughters when we saw a poster featuring the Aviva Ironman 70.3 and my daughter turned to me and asked if I was an Ironman and whether I could be one. That really motivated me to sign up for the race and fulfill my daughter's request!"

"It is an amazing feeling to have won the first Aviva Life Challenge Award and I am extremely excited about competing in Florida. Thanks to Aviva's sponsored trip, I can tick one item off my list of things to accomplish in life", shared the beaming Alan, who was visibly thrilled about his trip.

Mr Teo Ser Luck, who is an avid triathlete and a participant at this year's event, encouraged Alan to savour his experience in Florida. He shared that he was motivated by Alan's story and said, "After reading Alan's story in the newspapers, I was so inspired by him that I went out on a 32 kilometre run the next morning," he said.

He added, "Stories like Alan's truly inspire me and others out there, more so than stories of professional athletes who win gold medals. There is always a new champion for every different sports event, but a story like Alan's does not come by often."