Gobi Otto

Banker seeks to raise money for cancer charity by running through desert.

With Spitzer and his ilk on their backs, these have been punishing times to be a research analyst, but Otto Wong has decided to punish himself a bit more by running through the desert for the sake of the Hong Kong Cancer Fund.

Citigroup's head of equity research, Wong will run 250km through the Gobi desert over the course of six and a half days. The Gobi race starts a week on Sunday and competitors have to run the entire distance with all their provisions on their back, although they will be given water along the way.

Competitors will have to run in scorching daytime temperatures, and rest through the night in cold zero degree temperatures. One leg will take Wong from sand dunes to somewhat rockier heights at 13,000 feet above sea level.

It is the first time the race has been held and is designed as a sister race to the race through the Sahara that takes place in Morocco. Wong got the idea of doing the race after his elder brother, Dio, did the Sahara race last yea. The brothers are hyper-competitive and Otto decided that if Dio could do a desert race, so could he.

Wong is, however, no stranger to insane athletic feats. The New Zealander has done the Japan Ironman race among other things, an event that involved waking at 3.30am, diving into 25 degree Celcius water; swimming for 3.8km; emerging from the water and cycling 180km; before rounding off the day with a brisk 42km run.

He is hoping to raise at least $50,000 for the Hong Kong Cancer Fund. Should any reader wish to sponsor Wong, they can contact Flora Jim on 852 25012733.

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