Ultra-marathoner has a close brush with death, shares daunting experience with fellow runners

By October 25, 2019Current

TL;DR – “If you are given a second chance at life, give it all you got.”

Ultra-marathoner Alvin Png who crossed the Craze Ultra 2019 finish line as the 2nd place overall, recounts his brush with death in a Facebook post.

According to Png, he collapsed and got into a seizure two hours after the race due to hyponatremia.

He was hospitalized for a week and out of which, four days were spent in the intensive care unit (ICU).

In his lengthy post which has garnered over 400 reactions and 300 likes, Png said that he hopes to share his experience with everyone so that others can learn from it and not go through what he had gone through.

While Png thinks that being mentally strong is a great trait to have, he also urges fellow distance runners to always remember to know when to hold things back and never push through symptoms, and to always remember that as long one is still alive, one can fight another day.

You can read Png’s original Facebook post below:

And in case you can’t read his post, here’s what it says:

“Just one week ago, I finished Craze Ultra 2019 in overall 2nd place. However, not many knew I actually collapsed and got into a seizure 2 hours after the race due to hyponatremia and was hospitalised for a week spending 4 days in ICU. I like to share my experience with everyone so others can learn from this and never have to go through what I went through. Please pardon me for the long post.
First thing first, in case you might ask If I am prepared for race day conditions. I undertake alot of my trainings near similar conditions.
1. Drinking too much – During the first half, I was taking 2 salt tablets (70mg sodium per tab) on top of 500-600ml of Tailwind (approx 1.5 to 2 scoops, 300mg of sodium per scoop). This would bring my sodium intake to approximately 590 to 740mg per hour. I also make it a point to drink up at least 500 to 600ml of plain water at aid each stations which are approx 1 to 1.5hrs apart to balance things up. Things were running perfectly fine for me this way for the first half.
However, on the second half when the weather started getting crazier, I unknowingly started drinking way too much plain water. The weather certainly played a part in this but to go to such excessive extent. The only reason why I might be doing this could be the fact that I got disoriented and my body kicked into survival instinct mode and ended up gulping down too much water.
On hind sight, I should have increased the amount of sodium and electrolytes intake further to complement the increased water intake or to hold back the huge increase in consumption of plain water to prevent the start of even any slight disorientation. Do get a proper test done if you can to leave any guess work out.
2. The mind can be too strong for it’s own good. I am not trying to say it is not a good thing to be mentally tough. It is certainly a great trait to have but always remember know when to hold things back. Never push through symptoms. Always remember, as long you are still alive, you can fight another day.
Through this episode, I really learnt to appreciate people around me and the simple little things one can do when they are healthy.🙏🏾
“If you are given a second chance at life, give it all you got.”
And yeah I cut my long locks to signify a new start! 😊🤘🏽
#brandnewstart #secondchance #gratefulheart”

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Phew, what an experience! But we’re glad he’s alright.

Editor’s Note: In case you’re wondering about the difference between a marathon and an ultramarathon, it’s all in the marathon length. A traditional marathon is usually 42.195 kilometres (KM), and an ultramarathon is any footrace longer than the traditional marathons. Ultramarathon is also called ultra distance or ultra running.

The Craze Ultra 2019 held here in October were of 101km, 72km, 45km, 55km distance.


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Joey Wee

Author Joey Wee

I am nice, most of the time!

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Lynn says:

    My friend ran a ULTRA marathon, not jus a marathon. Pls verify the facts, and have the courtesy to inform the owner if u want to use his post.

    • The Editor says:

      Hello Lynn, Thanks for leaving us a comment. We’ve updated the article title and also the article itself with a little note to share with readers the difference between a marathon and a ultra-marathon. Also, as Mr Png’s Facebook post is a public one, we’ve cited source and in fact, embedded the original post accordingly.

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