Thank you

Thank you

It’s hello to all from good ol’ Singapore again! And lest I forget I’m in the tropics once more, a torrential downpour hit while I was out on the trail for my morning run. And 23km run cut to 2km = heartbreak :(

In any case, this forces me to sit down and go through the horde of photos and stories from the blitz desert run. And boy, do I have some stunning stuff to show for our pains. In the coming weeks, I’d like to blog about each stage of the race in more detail and also do some gear reviews for those who are thinking of joining a race like this. Y’know, add my voice to the collective opinion of what worked and what didn’t, etc. You can thank me after getting your third blood blister in the desert.

But first, a look at how the feet fared in the race:

sahara race 250km 57
Not all that bad compared to the absolute carnage of a few other runners.
This is damage done PRIOR to the 94km long stage and not from it, mind you. Right foot really taking this whole “look, look we’re in Egypt!” thing to heart and doing a convincing imitation of a mummified foot.The “you don’t even want to know” is a monster blister that consumed the entire pinky toe. When I finally dared to take a look at it, the skin of the toe was so loose it resembled an ill-fitted surgical glove hanging around real flesh. It has since come off in one big swoop, along with the toe nail. The toe now looks really soft and pink, but not in a “baby” way; it’s more of the bald, raw, wrinkled, toothless gum variety. I feel like I’ve got Voldemort for a toe.

sahara race 250km 58

And that, folks, is a blister that spanned the length of the arch. In the worst buy-one-get-one-free deal I’ve ever made, I got a matching one on the other foot. Wasn’t exactly a hoot to take these into a 94km leg after already clocking 150km in the days prior. And they refused to pop despite some vicious needle attack! So every step was like a crunch of flesh and water. EVERY. FRIGGIN’. STEP.But who cares now that I’m done with the race? As Lance Armstrong so wisely said once, “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place.” That “something” for me is pride, confidence, courage and a sense of peace gained from the knowledge that I have completed what I set out to do.

Which brings me to a few rounds of special Thank Yous because these people really helped to shape every step of my journey from 0 to 250km in a span of nine months. Also thank you to all of you who showered me with love and messages every day of the race — you made the race possible — and in particular:

To Pan Pacific Seattle, whose messages throughout the race moved me to tears. I know you guys always get rave reviews from the guests and I’m just honoured to now personally experience the reason, despite never having personally met the team and being half a world away and in the middle of nowhere.

To Shi’ai, shadow queen of the fund raising efforts and provider of a good night’s sleep throughout the entire race with those dodgy sleeping pills bought off the streets of Bangkok.

To Hilda, who sent me the gift of preparation with that video.

To the awesome team at Pan Pacific Xiamen, for keeping me in one piece and for showering me with Tiger Balm products the day after I finished the 84km race and moved like a pregnant woman in her third trimester. Wouldn’t have healed half as fast without your care. 

To Mark, my running buddy who helped me take the first steps to making this a reality, for giving me enough Runners World magazines to last a year, and for the plethora of reasons that cannot be adequately summarised.

To the Singapore government (no seriously), for making the streets of this country safe to run in. There just aren’t a whole lot of cosmopolitan cities in this world where one can go running safely at 11pm.

To Sandy and Lixin – without whom I would not have been gnawing on delicious bak kwa in the middle of nowhere. Best desert snack ever.

To Jun Hao – your senseless poems and Go The Distance lyrics are seared in my mind forever.

To Lisa – for lending me her pair of marathon legs in the darkest hours of the race. So proud of your stunning PB in the latest marathon!

To Thaddeus, Denvy, and Pearly – for being the sparkling beacons of inspiration in running and in life.

To Pan Pacific Hotels Group, Singapura Finance, Canon, GNC, Outdoor Life, and ASICS – my awesome sponsors who believed in my dream and helped me in getting there.

To those who questioned why I was doing this and (secretly) doubted whether it could really be accomplished – you gave me a darn good reason to prove that this is possible, that the heart can transcend more than you think, that the body is capable of so much more than we give it credit for.

And finally to my mum and dad, who never, ever questioned why.

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