“Why isn’t it raining? I want it to rain!” says WQ as we begin our 50km walk around Singapore. If this is not crazy talk, I don’t know what is.
But perhaps, I should not be too surprised. After all, the craziness had already started earlier when we signed up for the Oxfam Japan Trailwalker. The challenge is to complete the 100km hike over hilly ranges in under 48 hours! Judging from the previous average timings, it means hardly being able to sleep through two nights!
5km: Hmm, not too bad, we cleared it relatively fast including a 30 flight stair climb. And we are rewarded with a spectacular city view!
10km: “This feels like a vacation!” I beam as we tuck into hokkien mee, fish soup, duck rice, ice kachang and cold cheng teng for our 1st dinner pit stop. WQ promises to “ask you again at the end if you still feel like this is a vacation”.
15km: “What? We have only done 15km? How many more hours to go?” Suddenly feeling an urgent need to stop being distracted by food and drinks, we hurriedly finished up our iced coffee, lychee and isotonics at our 2nd quick pit stop.
20km: “Tonight, we are young. So let’s set the world on fire, let it burn brighter, than the sun….” Thank God for YL’s sound bar which tirelessly belts out morale boosting songs as we continue our trek past the reservoirs. We keep going…. But how can we pass up this splendid photo opportunity along this long quiet road!
25km: “Ok keep walking… don’t get distracted anymore…”
30km: That resolve melts at our unanimous decision to have a 3rd pit stop for supper! By now, this is the furthest we have ever done individually or as a team in a single walk. Aches and blisters are setting in… And the legendary food coma affliction that somehow only affects me!
35km: “I may be starting to sleepwalk soon…” I warn as I start to lose the battle with the ZZZ monster.
40km: Nuf is especially energised after we successfully persuade crazy WQ to let us make a brief stop at our home to get towels and a new change of dry clothes. WQ is still pumped up from the yummy furong egg we had for supper and YL is just super fit and showing no signs that this is the slightest bit tiring. I’m reaching my lowest energy point however and start to doubt how I can ever make it for the last 10km with my burning legs. On the bright side, I can no longer pinpoint any particularly painful areas as it is just equally painful everywhere.
“Should I give up,
Or should I just keep chasin’ pavements?
Even if it leads nowhere
Or would it be a waste
Even if I knew my place
Should I leave it there”
YL’s sound bar throws up Adele’s song out of the blue and it is just so apt for the moment! Even though I don’t know how I can do it, I know that giving up isn’t an option. Keep chasing pavements!
45km: “Think of Mount Fuji. Think of Tajimi.” I start to visualize myself being in Japan and surrounded by nature to take my mind off my physical pains. Miraculously, I started to pick up my pace and soon the rest of my teammates are trailing behind and feeling bewildered. Last burst of energy towards the finishing line!
And this is when the sun started to rise. Really beautifully, really slowly.
I push myself to walk as fast as I can to reach the sunrise bridge of Punggol, and to reach our 50km target.
We can only stare and be mesmerised by this sight. Forgetting all our pains and aches as we bask in the warm glowing ball of fire in front of us!
With 5% phone battery left, we still need to clock 2.4 more km officially on run keeper, even though at this point we have already walked more or less 50km.
YL our team wonderwoman decides to start running (along with her giant backpack) to clock that mileage before her phone battery runs out. Where did this reserve store of energy come from??? WQ our team Gandalf gallops after her, leaving Kenneth and I to slowly hobble our way towards them from a far distance behind.
Amidst the sea of pain, we finally catch up with them and we hobble our way to our final pit stop: Breakfast! We are feeling real proud that we did it! It is a mega accomplishment for an endurance noob like me.
Now, just have to double that distance and add some hills into the mix…