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Worth the wait?

Our intrepid reporter Chan SOvannara hoped to take part in a “how long cn you last” contest in Malaysia, where the inner takes away keys to a new car. Instead, he just watched. Here is what he saw.

I started to worry after being invited to see the Asia’s Biggest Endurance Challenge 2010 in Singapore. I couldn’t draw a picture in mind of how the challenge would look, but after arriving in Singapore, I started to understand.

In the morning before the challenge started, there were two long lines of people hoping to be selected as contestants At 1:00pm, the organisers announced that the challenge had started.

All the contestants had to be ready to place their hands on cars sitting in the sun for as long as they could. There were 400 contestants from nine countries – Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong and China – and they had to stand where they were even if it started raining during the challenge.

Unfortunately for the contestants, it rained for about 10 or 15 minutes only 40 minutes after the start, but they stayed put. That night, they had to keep standing and could not go to sleep. If they slept their right hands might move away from the car and they would have been disqualified.

The winner of the challenge was the one who could stay put the longest. They were expected to endure harsh weather conditions, sleep deprivation and had to concentrate on keeping their right palms firmly within the surface area of the palm decals on Subaru Impreza cars. They were allowed a five-minute break once every six hours – at 1.00pm, 7.00pm, 1.00am and 7.00am.

Only 28 minutes into the challenge contestants started dropping out, until the last two remained in position for 73 hours. They put the hands on the same car and waited to see who would last the longest. It was tough on them because the winner received a car worth US$76,510, while runner-up only won US$3,882.78.

Finally, after 75 hours and 17 minutes, there was a winner but his rival, whose hands were shaking, could not stand and fell on the ground near the car, bringing many to tears.

The exhausted but smiling winner was 45-year-old Aloysius Lim, who won a Subaru Impreza 2.5 MT sedan. He added that “whenever I was feeling drowsy and sleepy, my wife would be shouting and calling out to me, to keep me alert”

“It was amazing and actually very encouraging to see how the contestants battled it out to the very last, employing various strategies to outwit and outlast their opponents,” said Glenn Tann, Group Chief Executive of Motor Image Group which regionally imports Subaru cars.



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