Solo runner taking on Alor Setar - Putrajaya for Merdeka, this time with a friend

Zuliaty Zulkiffli

ALOR SETAR: There is no limit to what a person can achieve when they put their minds to it, especially when it comes to expressing love for country.

Runner Nasir Abas may be 63-years-old but age is nothing but a number as he sets out on a 550km run with his friend Krishnan Andy, 61, from Dataran Bandaraya, here, to Putrajaya.

Both are army veterans and they started warming up for the long journey ahead at 7.30am today.

Nasir and Krishnan were flagged off by family members who accompanied them at Dataran Bandaraya.

This is not Nasir's first time as he has completed the run 14 times previously, 13 of it solo.

This time around however, Krishnan will be accompanying him on their second run together. The two completed the journey together for the first time, last year, also in the run up to Merdeka.

Nasir who is also an imam in Kuala Kedah, said he initially did not expect Krishnan to join him in the 12-day mission this time around as the latter only gave his answer last night.

"Every morning I will exercise and run for close to an hour in the morning and evening as preparation for this mission, apart from watching what I eat and taking care of my health.

"We are expected to reach Gurun this evening, covering 40km. We will break for the night and continue tomorrow," he said when met, here, today.

Throughout the run, Nasir said they would be stopping for a day to celebrate Hari Raya Aidiladha in Taiping.

The Armed Forces' Camp 72 Workshop Division in Taiping is expected to greet them upon their arrival there.

Touching on hot weather and rain, Nasir said they have gone through such weather conditions previously, however he was worried that the haze in Penang and Selangor may affect their health.

"That is why I have a face mask with me and will use it if the haze worsens," he said.

"We will use the same route as before and will fly the Jalur Gemilang while we run, we hope people will see us and give their support," he added.

Nasir and Krishnan are expected to arrive in Putrajaya on the eve of Merdeka and both hope they will be greeted by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad upon arrival.

Not a stranger to long distance running, Nasir is also a record holder in 2002 for running solo from Rantau Panjang to Johor Bahru and then to Kedah, covering 1,754km.

The run took him 30 days from Aug 1 to Aug 30. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd