May 25, 2013

Distance today = 37.65 km; Total distance = 21,094.84 km; Location = Melaka – 02 12.044′ N, 102 15.145′ E; Start time = 0946, Finish time = 1630


Another very difficult day in the humidity, although I fared better than yesterday – maybe I’m acclimatising.

We awoke to a torrential equatorial thunderstorm, which caused a late start to the run. I’d then gone 6 km when I struck a boom gate. Although the map indicated a highway (which there was), it went through an army barracks, and I was turned back by two armed guards. I was pleased I’d only run 520 metres from the branch point I had to go back to (I’ve deducted the 1.04 km from the Garmin total), but the worst thing was I had to go the long way around. For a variety of reasons, this meant I only made it to the city of Melaka (historically spelt Malacca), a famous colonial trading post in centuries past.

Half way through the day, R0ger and Christine Sharp joined me on the road. They’d driven down from KL. Roger ran 7.5 km with me, then Chris took over and ran the remaining 6 km to the hotel. Somehow, courtesy of Roger and Christine, we have found ourselves in the Presidential Suite. Many thanks guys, but you haven’t heard the last of it yet. BTW, for those who don’t know, Roger runs Asia Pacific Digital, the parent company of my generous sponsor, Next Digital.

Both Carmel and I had interesting experiences on the road today. Earlier, I had come across a bunch of monkeys playing on the side of the road. They scattered when they saw me. I then almost stumbled into a monitor lizard. It was more than two metres long, looked just like a huge goanna, and had an animal in its mouth. It scurried down into a large culvert under the road. A little later, Carmel went into what she thought was a market. It turned out to be a Malaysian wedding reception under a marquis. She was immediately taken to meet the bride and groom and had her photo taken with them, then taken to meet other guests, was asked to sit down and have the wedding meal with them, and finally left with a gift that the official guests received. What an amazing experience – beats running into monkeys and giant lizards.

I am resigned to each day in Malaysia being very tough for running, but I’ll get through it. Hopefully I’ll acclimatise a bit more. At least the chafing was fine today, as yesterday’s experience appears to have toughened up the skin.

PS Carmel says today’s photos will be posted tomorrow, as she doesn’t have time to do so before dinner tonight.