SINGAPORE: In just 12 days, ultra-runner Natalie Dau ran a whopping 1,000km across three countries, powering through health issues and raising thousands of dollars for a charity to uplift girls and women through sports.

Ms Dau’s journey was the furthest thing from a walk in the park. She ran the equivalent of at least two marathons a day from May 25 to June 5 amid the hot and humid Southeast Asian summer in a run that began in Thailand, crossed Malaysia, and finished in Singapore.

She faced sunburn, exhaustion, and a hip problem, among other health challenges, which included a urinary tract infection on the third day.

And though she started each day’s run in the middle of the night to avoid the intense heat, temperatures at times still reached 35 degrees, so hot that it made her running shoes melt.

As she neared the end, the ultra-runner said that her body was “feeling extremely broken”.

However, the mental aspect of the endeavour appeared to have been the most challenging, as she faced low points during her run and had moments when she asked herself if she could finish it, BBC reported Ms Dau as saying.

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She sent voice notes to BBC daily during her run, which she and her friends dubbed “Project 1000.”

On day 10, she said, “I am struggling to walk, tired, and just want to get home and see my family. I’ll try to enjoy tomorrow, but I really can’t wait to cross the border [into Singapore]…”

Thanking BBC in an Instagram post, Ms Dau wrote that she hopes her run “inspires others to make an impact where they can in the world.”

With her remarkable feat, she has set the Guinness World Records title for the Fastest Crossing of Peninsular Malaysia on Foot as well as a Singapore Records title for the “Fastest 1000 km Thailand-Singapore Ultramarathon,” but said that the records are merely secondary to her goals.

In a tearful video she posted on social media, Ms Dau said she wanted to prove to “women that they can do anything.

Especially as you get older, you lose your identity, you doubt yourself…  you can still go and achieve things that are meaningful to you.”


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A post shared by Natalie Dau (@rockstararms)

Ms Dau’s gofundme page may be found here and says that part of the proceeds will go to five schools in Thailand toward girls’ sports, and the rest will go to GRLS, a charity that empowers girls and women through sports and play. /TISG

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