KOTA BARU: Early last month, David Wu’s drinking mates said they would pay him US$15,000 (RM66,187) if he walked from Kuala Lumpur to this north-eastern tip of the peninsula.
Wu gamely took on the challenge and had the last laugh when he completed the walk.
The 48-year-old businessman started his journey on Sept 9 and ended the trip in 25 days on Saturday in a gruelling 500km walk.
However, the money that he won will not be banked into his account and instead would go towards rebuilding houses in Rantau Panjang that were devastated in last December’s massive floods.
“It was a spontaneous decision that I made after one of my buddies made the challenge.
“I had not prepared myself for the epic journey of my life, but a week after that I began the journey from Dataran Merdeka.
“Call me mad but I was determined to carry out and what started as a harmless challenge became an obsession. I didn’t care if it killed me as my only aim was to carry it out,” said Wu, who looked tanned.
His arrival at a hotel here was greeted by about 50 of his friends and supporters, sporting blue T-shirts with the words “Just Wu It” printed on it. Some were in white tees with words “You will never walk alone in red”.
Wu said throughout the journey he had met many interesting people, clocking 25km a day and putting up the night anywhere along the route.
He added that it was an entirely a different experience for him, being on the road alone, but it has allowed him to kindle friendship and interest in people of various backgrounds that he had met along the way.
“It was a fantastic journey. Although there were times when I felt like giving up as all that I would lose was my pride, the thought of those flood victims who would be disappointed if their houses were not repaired kept me going,” he said.
Wu said he was accompanied by a car throughout his walk just in case he was involved in an accident.
“I had a personal goal to achieve, apart from raising money for the flood victims.
“Now I feel a sense of satisfaction after completing the long walk.
“I surprised myself the moment I completed the journey,” he said with a smile.