Aussie man, 27, on holiday in S'pore, runs 53km across island in 8 hours for 'fun'

That's one way to see the country.

Daniel Seow | May 31, 2023, 02:46 AM

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A 27-year-old Australian man ran more than 53km across the length of Singapore, from Changi to Tuas.

It was a fun idea he wanted to try while on holiday here.

Kalani Scarrott arrived in Singapore on May 24 night, and set off for the run three days later on May 27, accomplishing the gruelling feat in eight hours.

While a tough slog, he said it was an excellent way to see the country.

Kalani also sang praises of Singapore's infrastructure, which in his opinion, made such a challenge possible.

The challenge

Kalani, a lifeguard who lives south of Perth, Australia, considers himself more of a golfer than a runner.

He told Mothership that he does 10km runs every couple of weeks, but this run wasn't something he had extensively trained for.

Instead, it came about when Kalani was joking around with his friends, and mentioned it would be "cool" to run across a country.

He also vaguely recalled that "some alcohol was involved".

As for the choice of country, Kalani felt that Singapore was ideal as the cross-country distance was long enough to be a challenge -- yet it felt achievable.

Kalani had visited Singapore about six to seven times previously.

In 2019, he also embarked on a marathon with zero training after listening to a podcast by endurance athlete David Goggins.

This to him, was a similar challenge that he was determined to complete.


This was Kalani's planned route for the cross-country run.

Image courtesy of Kalani Scarrott.

He also ensured that there were ample 7-Eleven outlets along the route, budgeting for 8km to 10km between each stop.

These would serve as rest stops to grab snacks and refill his 2-litre water bottle.

"I didn't want to pretend to be a tough guy, [push myself too hard] early and have to quit," he explained.

Kalani also brought along energy gels and hydration tablets for the run, as well as some Vaseline to treat abrasions.

Most importantly, though, he got his wife's approval to undertake this challenge, and she also accompanied him for the first leg of the journey.

"I’m lucky that she not only listens to my crazy ideas, but will actively support me," Kalani added cheerfully.

Started the run in high spirits

Around 6am that day, Kalani and his wife started the run at Changi.

He found the first 20km of the run, along the park connector joining Changi to Marina Bay, the most enjoyable.

The beautiful scenery, and seeing plenty of other runners on the route, helped to keep his spirits high.

They were able to maintain a solid pace of 1km every eight minutes, and made regular pit-stops at 7-Eleven outlets.

Image from Kalani Scarrott on Twitter.

As the couple entered the central business district, Kalani admitted getting lost a few times and making small adjustments to his route on the fly.

Some 30km into the run, Kalani admitted that his right quadricep muscles gave him some issues.

His wife also had to drop out of the challenge, and took a bus back to their hotel.

"She had never run more than 12km before," Kalani said proudly.

"So she easily doubled her best effort."

The rest

As Kalani continued his run, the sun came out in full force.

"That's when things got brutal," he remarked, noting that the heat was easily the most difficult aspect of the run.

He was not prepared for the level of heat and humidity in Singapore, since it was the middle of winter before he left Australia.

By this time, there were much fewer pedestrians out and about, which made it a more lonely run.

Around Clementi, Kalani also encountered some construction, forcing him to make a detour of about 1km.

Image from Kalani Scarrott on Twitter.

"It felt like a 10-kilometre detour to me, and destroyed me mentally," he recalled wryly.

Nevertheless, he pressed on.

He also took an unplanned stop at a bus stop to catch a breather, and because the straps on his water bottle were falling apart.

Image from Kalani Scarrott on Twitter.

Kalani described the final leg of his route in the west of Singapore as a "slog".

What sustained him in the final stretch was the knowledge that he was tantalisingly close to his goal.

Although his initial end point was the Raffles Marina lifestyle hub at Tuas, Kalani said his body was in such bad shape that he simply could not continue at that point.

He settled for taking a photo by the coast instead, marking the end of his cross-country run.

Image from Kalani Scarrott on Twitter.

Kalani shared that finishing the challenge was "the best feeling in the world".

"[I was] genuinely surprised I didn't break down and cry [at that point]... I wasn't actually sure I could do it. So I was really proud of myself."

After the run

On the ride back to his hotel, Kalani said he was struggling desperately not to cramp and make a scene.

In the days after the run, he also expressed that his body felt "broken" and his legs felt "like they had been run over by a truck".

Kalani explained that he did not anticipate how much the challenge would tax his body.

However, he said that his mental strength was definitely up for the task.

"I broke it down and imagined I was doing 540 times 100m efforts, rather than 54km which sounded more daunting. It really does come down to putting one foot in front of the other."

Would recommend to friends

Kalani affirmed that he would "110 per cent" recommend this challenge to others, and felt it was achievable with good preparation and planning.

He also wouldn't mind trying it again with friends.

"It's an excellent way to see Singapore, and gave me a good appreciation of how good the infrastructure [is here]," he added.

That said, if he were to take on the challenge again, Kalani said he would train harder to improve his pace, and perhaps opt for an overnight run instead.

He also shared that the run is already one of his favourite experiences, although that might be the influence of "rose-tinted glasses".

"It will be a good story to tell at parties," he chuckled.

Top image from Kalani Scarrott.