NEW DELHI: Natalie Dau, a 52-year-old ultramarathoner, recently completed an astonishing feat by running 1,000 kilometres across Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore in just 12 days. Facing extreme heat and a severe hip injury, Ms Dau pushed through, covering the distance of two marathons each day.
Her journey ended in Singapore on June 5, setting the Singapore record for the “Fastest 1,000km Thailand-Singapore Ultramarathon” and awaiting certification from Guinness World Records for the “Fastest Crossing of Peninsular Malaysia on Foot.” “Today is the first time in four days I have questioned if I would actually finish this thing.I love the challenge of the sport, love the rawness of it all, but hate these low points. And they come often,” she told BBC.
Ms Dau’s run raised over $50,000 for the global charity GRLS, which supports women and girls through sports, aiming to develop their leadership skills. “Whether you come in first or last, it doesn’t matter. You’ve done something almost superhuman, something that 0.05% of the world’s population will never do,” she said.
Running in temperatures as high as 35 degrees Celsius, Dau’s shoes melted, and she battled a hip injury from the very first day. By Day 3, she developed a urinary tract infection.
Despite these challenges, Dau persevered, covering at least 84 kilometres each day. Throughout the run, Ms Dau kept her supporters updated through nightly voice messages, sharing both her successes and challenges. Her team played a crucial role in her success, ensuring safety and meticulously planning logistics.
Dau’s accomplishment goes beyond personal achievement. She hopes her journey will inspire others, particularly women and older individuals, to challenge their own limits. The physical toll of the run was immense, with Ms Dau describing waking up each day as the “scariest” part, fearing she might not be able to continue. Despite the exhaustion, blistered toes, and the overwhelming urge to see her family, she persevered. “The finish line is so far away, you can’t envisage it,” she said.

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