Triathlon with a Difference

Sunday, 17th February 2008 began as a dismal day.  It was a drizzling morning when Fr Ivan set off to embark on his “Triathlon with a Difference” to raise funds for RBCS.  At 6.30 am, he began his climb at Bukit Shahbandar, Jerudong in Brunei with David, a policeman who acted as his companion and guide. 

Within an hour, they had completed the eleven peaks. The threatening sky did not break into a downpour and the overcast clouds provided a much needed cover for the next leg of the Triathlon, the hike from Tungku Beach to Meragang Beach, an estimated distance of 28 km. 

The first 6 km of the walk on the beach was the easiest.  It got progressively more difficult as the day went on and the sun appeared from behind the clouds and the day became even hotter.  Most discouraging was the fact that they had to beat the rising tide.  Some sections of the beach were almost impassable.  There was a whole kilometre of loose stones along one section and they barely managed to make their way through these stones against the rising tide. 

The most dangerous part of the walk was when they arrived at a rather wide river mouth, something which was unforeseen.  There were only two options and turning back was not one of them.  The most likely thing to do was to find a way to cross the river at its narrowest point further upstream or try to reach the main road.  Some time was lost in the process of finding a way out of the progressively thickening jungle along the banks of the river.  When it seemed rather impossible, they decided to try the unimaginable.  They went back to the river’s mouth and with David’s help and ingenuity, Fr Ivan clung onto a log David had pushed into the river and they both swam across the fast flowing river, using the log as a floater.  From there it was not far to the destination and they struggled on despite having walked more than six hours. 

From the beach, Fr Ivan had to do it along at the swimming pool.  He swam 22 laps within the hour to finish the Triathlon.  Proceeds from the event are still coming in.  So far $12000 has been collected.   MCCC/RBCS extends her gratitude to all those who have contributed generous to the cause.