Melinder achieves crazy mission

KUALA LUMPUR: Melinder Kaur has pulled off the crazy feat.

She became the first Malaysian woman to run non-stop on a treadmill for 25 hours and recorded the longest distance within 24 hours.

Kicking off her attempt at the Arte by Thomas Chan in Mont Kiara at 10am on Saturday, the 34-year-old former national athlete pushed her body to the limit and etched her name into the Malaysia Book of Records by completing not only 25 hours of running, but also covering a total of 123.85km within the stipulated time.

Shortly after pulling off the amazing feat, Melinder limped off the treadmill and shed tears of joy, realising that she had accomplished arguably the greatest achievement of her life.

Melinder said it was a triumph of mind over body.

"It's not easy to start running again 10 years after quitting the national team," she said.

"Just after a few hours on the treadmill, my legs were already in pain, my muscles started to cramp, while my feet swelled up and sustained multiple blisters.

"As tough as it was, I didn't stop. It took me two months of solid training to prepare for this record attempt, and I did it without guidance from any coaches or personal trainers.

"So, every milestone after that gave me the same feeling of accomplishment and pride that I stuck with my main goal.

"It was a real test to my mind as well as my body. The pain that I endured was terrible enough that I swear I will never run on a treadmill again.

"My feet were in so much agony that I had to run bare-footed for the last few hours.

"I'm just really happy and proud that I managed to overcome all of them to break these two records."

Melinder certainly could not have done it without her family and friends who were present for her, and acted as supporting crew throughout her bid.

She added that the cheers from her friends were vital especially in helping her to battle sleepiness that crept in during her run.

"I was so sleepy after 3am to 4am, but I was lucky that I had a group of amazing friends to keep talking to me throughout my run, and it was good to have all of them around to provide me a much-needed mental stimulation," she said.

"They told me I had come a long way... it's not time for you to give up. Every hour, I took a two-and-a-half minute break to stretch and for toilet break. So, during that time, they would also help me to stretch my legs and ensure I was eating something once every two hours to replenish my energy."

The only thing unfulfilled for Melinder was perhaps her failure to raise RM10,000 for underprivileged children through the 25-hour run.

"It was kind of bittersweet because I failed to hit my RM10,000 fundraising goal," she lamented.

"I took up this battle to raise funds for underprivileged kids. I was willing to do anything for my mission.

"I delivered my promise, but it just wasn't enough to convince people to contribute."

With two more records to her name, Melinder now has four national records on top of her longstanding 12-year 3,000m steeplechase and the fastest 100m forward roll, which she did in April. Her winning time of 10:55.31 in the 3,000m steeplechase at the 2010 Malaysia Games in Melaka still hasn't been surpassed.

"This will not be my last. I will target other fitness records after this," vowed the mother of one.

If you wish to celebrate Melinder's accomplishment and support her good cause, you may channel your contribution to Melinder's Affin Bank account: 200218347928.

Melinder thanked Arte by Thomas Chan, and also BainsPhysio for treating her after the record attempt as she was not able to walk.

Melinder said Datuk Dr Balwant Singh Bains, the owner of BainsPhysio, will sponsor her treatment until she is able to walk like normal.

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