Let the Games Begin

 Shanghai Advanced Institute Of Finance(SAIF) hosted its trial for the 3rd Asian-Pacific Region's Desert Challenge in Pudong Century Park at 1pm, February 22nd.
The Asian-Pacific Region's Desert Challenge is a sports event among MBA students in the best business colleges in Asian-Pacific region in order to enhance the cultural communication. The students are going to hike through 70 kilometers' desert to deeply experience the concept of the competition, which is environment, cooperation, perseverance and responsibility. Over 30 colleges from the mainland of China, Hong kong, Macao, Taiwan and Singapore are going to take part in the competition this time. SAIF got the first place in this competition last year.
The trial took place on a severely cold day, which is only 7℃ outdoors. Maybe it was in reward of the students' courage, this day turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. Everyone present can feel the students' perseverance and determination.
This time, 43 students, including 12 female students, both full-time and on-the-job students from MBA classes of 2012 and 2013, signed up for the qualification trial, and all of them showed up on that day. One student even came all the way back from his business trip in Japan, just to take part in this competition. Before the challenge, they encouraged each other, saying:" we have to do our best! This is our one and only chance to get into the desert challenge!"
3! 2! 1! Let the games begin!
He Chuan was the first to get to the finish line. It took him only 1 hour and 37 minutes to finish the 20 kilometers! Xiao Jie tailed the champion to take the second place with 2 hours and 8 minutes. We were all amazed at their speed and energy. They achieved a record way beyond our imagination!
Before this race, none of the students have ever done a 20 kilometers race. But when they made it, everyone felt joyful instead of exhausted, because they totally cracked the challenge.
Zhou Ying, who enjoys a reputation of excellence on study, said:" I've been telling myself the whole time: hang in there! hang in there!"
Ling Jun took only 20 minutes for the first 5 kilometers, which made him feel exhausted for the second lap. However, he not only finished the race, but finished it with a pretty good performance. he told me:" All you have to do is to stick to your goal! keep running, don't stop, and go beyond yourself! If you can just hang in there for a while, you will make it. when you finally make it, you have already went beyond the old fragile you!"
Ren Beini and Li Sijing, who didn't even get through the 800 meters race before, said:" In the beginning, we just thought to ourselves: just do our best, whether it's 800 meters or 1000 meters. However, when we were out of breath and wanted to quit, everyone in our group clapped on our shoulders and rooted for us. At that moment, we didn't feel tired anymore. It is the positive energy our buddies gave us that helped us finish the 20 kilometers trial. Now we can't believe that we made it! Yeah!"
Liu Jinghua, who weighs nearly 100 kilograms, was extremely excited when he reached the finish line:" I don't have any regrets today, even though I may not make it to the next round. Personally speaking, finishing 20 kilometers was like a mission impossible before. And it was really hard. I was this close to give up after the first 3 laps. I sweat like a pig, and my legs were about to cramp. But I want to give myself a perfect ending, even if I have to reach that goal by crawling to that finish line! and I really did it!"
Zhu Guang is a big guy. However, when it comes to 20 kilometers challenge, even he had to say:" Goal, perseverance, challenge: these are the key words. All I have to do is focus on myself and go beyond myself. This trial is so hard that I even wanted to quit the third lap. But I decided to go for the goal I've set. So I stuck to it, and I made it!"
" 20 kilometers,4 laps around Pudong Century Park. This is the only way that we can find the best competitors!" When I first heard the tough decision, I was a little bit worried. However, with the outstanding performance of our students today, the way they stuck to their goals, I believe that we have found the best. There's not even one quitter. From their words, I truly get the idea: it is the belief, not the result, that matters. What's more important is that we've got the faith and perseverance to go beyond ourselves and achieve our goals!
The winners of this trial will take part in the final competition in Tengger Desert in Alxa League, Inner Mongolia in May. Desert Challenge, we are ready! Let the games begin!
Author: Huang Minfeng On-the-job MBA student of 2013 Class B, SAIF