Diehard runner Lau to compete in tough Arctic Circle race


IPOH: He walked across the Sahara desert during the Marathon Des Sables ultramarathon, not once but twice.

Now Jeff Lau (pic), 26, has set his sights on becoming the first Malaysian to compete in the gruelling 6633 Arctic Ultra Race in the Arctic Circle.

The freelance graphics designer said he was training daily to be even fitter and to prepare for the race.

“I’ve already signed up. I am doing 20km runs and regular workouts at home daily. I will probably do 60km to 80km runs next month,” said Lau, who is also the brand ambassador for Sanctband Active Series – a range of fitness products by Sanctuary Health.

The race is an ultramarathon that covers a distance of about 560km from the Yukon in Canada to the Arctic Circle and is set to take place on March 10.

The race is limited to only 30 participants and they must finish it within eight days.

Lau said this year’s race would be the ninth and would also be the last ever in the Arctic Circle.

“Part of the route will cease to exist due to global warming. This will be the final race,” he said.

Lau has been getting advice from experienced participants of the race.

He said they were really friendly and willing to share tips.

“I really don’t know what to expect. It’s the little details that I am trying to get more information on.

“The extreme weather conditions will be a major factor. It is also a race where we have to be self-sufficient and we will be running with our belongings in tow.

“We will be pulling a sled with tent, sleeping bag, rations and other necessities on it,” said Lau, adding that these could weigh between 25kg and 30kg each.

“Only 20% to 30% of the participants complete the race; I hope I can be one of them,” he said.

Lau is always asked why he puts himself through such challenges. “There are many people who are not as lucky as I am but I understand the tough and challenging surroundings they live in.

“I want to contribute something,” he said.

He helped the Malaysian AIDS Foundation raise funds while spreading awareness on HIV, its treatment and advocacy to young people when he took part in the Marathon Des Sables in 2014 and 2016.

Lau is a Red Ribbon Youth Icon of the foundation.

“I hope to run for a good cause again. Things are still being discussed with the foundation,” he said.

News Credit: The Star

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