To his friends, Syed Mohamed Yusof (picture) was always jovial and full of life, able to strike a conversation with anybody. He also had a thirst for adventure sports such as bungee jumping and skydiving.
However, tragedy struck on Saturday night when the 37-year-old bachelor died of a cardiac arrest at the Bintan Reebok Spartan Race.
A regular at such races, he was taking part in the 21km category on the first day of the two-day event in Bintan, said a statement from Mediacorp, which partnered global obstacle race company Spartan Race for the event.
“He loved to do all these interesting things,” said his friend Ismail Wajeeh, 54, who first met Syed during a bus ride in 2013, after the latter noticed that Mr Ismail, like him, had participated in the Men’s Health Urbanathlon.
Mr Ismail woke up yesterday to the sad news about his friend after Syed’s mother had left a post on her son’s Facebook wall.
The race he had joined, called the Spartan Beast, is said to be gruelling, comprising more than 40 obstacles ranging from climbing walls of various heights, crawling under barbed wire and traversing different terrains such as the beach, rocky surfaces and forested areas.
TODAY understands that Syed, who worked at Google Singapore, was running with two friends and taking on the Beast for the first time.
Regular Spartan Race participant Michael Sim, 47, who took more than six hours to complete the race, said that the most important thing was for runners to be “prepared” for the distance and the added challenge presented by the obstacles.
Engineer Aaron Tan, 31, who took on the shorter course called Spartan Sprint, which packs in some 22 obstacles on a 6km route, said that while the terrain was not too challenging, he sustained minor injuries such as scrapes.
After Syed was found unconscious, medical personnel performed emergency resuscitation on him, before taking him by ambulance to RSUD Raja Ahmad Thabib Tanjungpinang, the local hospital.
He was pronounced dead at 7.25pm.
A moment of silence was observed for Syed before the flag-off for yesterday’s races.
He was buried at the Choa Chu Kang Muslim Cemetery.