From freezing temperatures of the Arctic to the searing heat of the Sahara desert, now ultra runner Jeff Lau Jun Tean, will be the first Malaysian to test his mental and physical strength against the suffocating jungle undergrowth and river crossings at the Jungle Ultra in the heart of the Amazon rainforest in Peru.
What could be challenging at the Amazon?
River crossings, poisonous insects and plants require some research and the trail will be tough, muddy, undulating terrain starting from Cusco at 3000m elevation through 230km. The thin air at that elevation will double the effort required to move, much less run.
Heavy rainfall will add onto the adventure, and there maybe times when you will be running in darkness lit by your head torch.
“I will be carrying compulsory 3 liters of water daily, and will try to pack my knapsack within 9kg consisting of my own food, clothing and compulsory gear throughout 230km for 5 days,” said Ultrarunner Jeff.
A graphic designer by profession, Jeff started extreme long distance running known as ‘ultra running’ in 2014 has been running ultra races for a good cause and raising funds for the Malaysian Aids Foundation (MAF). He is the youngest Malaysian to complete the 250km Sahara Marathon des Sables twice at age 24, rated the toughest footrace on earth by Discovery Channel. In April 2017, he also raced 250km in bone-chilling temperatures at the 6633 Arctic Circle race.
In this Jungle Ultra race, he’s is self-funded and supported by Sanctband Active with contributions in kind from Under Armour, Amazing Graze, Hammer Nutrition, PFC Studio and JR Vacation Sdn Bhd. The race will be divided into specific distances, averaging 35km for the first four days, and an ultra distance between 70-92km on the last day.
“We have a long day which requires us to finish 70-92km in a day depending on the rainfall. We will start at 5am and if we don’t arrive within the day’s cut off time, we have to lay over and will only be allowed to continue the next day at first light.”
To help him recover from the daily strain on the footrace, Jeff has packed the Sanctband Resistive Bands & Comprefloss (Flossband) (pic above). He will use the floss band to wrap and compress his muscles, and when it’s released, fresh blood will hydrate the muscles and to relief the pain. Flossing can be used preventively before and after sports. The Resistive band will be used to condition and strengthen his muscles.
Although far from home and in the thick of the Amazon forest, Jeff will be staying true to his Malaysian roots.
“Food wise, I’m carrying granola courtesy of Amazing Graze for breakfast. For dinner, I’ve tried expedition food, but I didn’t like it. I need something salty and tasty, so I chose Maggi noodles. To cover my nutrition needs, I’m also carrying vitamins, fish oil, and Hammer supplements.”
Stay tuned as we follow Jeff on his journey through the Jungle Ultra marathon and an exclusive interview upon his return.