May 27, 2013

Distance today = 50.19 km; Total distance = 21,187.92 km; Location = Batu Pahat – 01 51.531′ N, 102 55.626′ E; Start time = 0911, Finish time = 1726


I’ve thought up a new invention – ice under your cap, to keep you cool on oppressively hot days. Ohhh, Carmel just informed me that people have been doing that for years.

Seriously, I’m glad I’ve now acclimatised to the conditions, as today was the most difficult so far in Malaysia. The sun shone fiercely all day long, there was no shade, the humidity was at nearly 100%, and the middle of the day was as still as a ….. mmmm, maybe I need Watto to complete the simile. Thankfully, later in the afternoon a breeze sprung up and there was a lot of shade. It got me through the final part of the day.

Carmel was more important that usual today. Without her there to provide me with drinks and ice during the middle of the day, I don’t think I’d have made it.

Having said all that, I did finish feeling surprisingly well for such an extreme day. I have just two more days of this humidity before I finish in Malaysia.

Where to start and finish is often a more vexing question than one might think. My original plan was to start my short Asian stint at Kuala Lumpur Airport and finish in Singapore. However, KL Airport is surrounded by pedestrian-free freeways, so I started at Port Dickson, the nearest town to the airport on the coast. And it is now illegal to cross from Malaysia to Singapore on foot, so I will finish at the coast in Pontian, the town closest to the most southerly point on the Malay peninsula. I have illegally run across bridges before, but to get on to the causeway to Singapore, I’d first have to breach the immigration check on the Malaysian side – a sure way to end up in jail.

Now, I have been reliably informed that the huge lizard I saw two days ago was a Komodo dragon, the largest of the monitor lizards. I saw another today, although it was only about 1.5 metres long. There are plenty of dead ones along the road. I think they get creamed by cars at night.

As for road kill, I’ve seen all sorts on this run, from deer to armadillos to rattlesnakes, but Carmel pointed out a new type today – a monkey. He looked like a small baboon, with enormous sharp teeth. I’m surprised there aren’t more monkeys killed by cars, as they come very close to the edge of the road.