Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Klaus Mitchell : Trekking Across Malaysia For Homelessness Charity

Those of you that raced Morib Triathlon on Sunday would most likely saw a man with backpack walking on his own with a orange plastic bag filled with what looked like bottles.
Under the 38degree heat on Sunday along Route 5.
When I was busy taking photos of the triathlon race, I thought to myself it must be some "crazy mat salleh" doing one of those crazy things again; or did he missed his bus to town?
As he walked closer, I see a burnt lone figure. Well build about 5'11. Youngish looked perhaps in his mid 20's. I have to stop what I was doing and strike a conversation.
A brief exchange initially and he told me he was walking from Singapore and heading to Thailand.

There was a brief silence.

Like, what am I supposed to say to that? With a back pack? Holding what looked like 6 bottles of 1.5liters of water? In a plastic?

Like, seriously?

I wished him good luck and helped him to take a photo (with his camera). We parted way. I mean, what else is there for me to say? Offer him a ride may make as if I questioned his ability to walk all the way. At best, at that point, a Good Luck, was to me most appropriate.

And "Civilisation is about 2km from here bro". That was my parting words to him.
I know that 4-Malaysia friends are out running until December 31, 2013 around Malaysia which totalled about 2,100km. But those I know are accomplished ultra athletes. This man that I do not know left me with a big question - WHY?
So, i continue to take photos of the race, but the man's intention kept lingering in my mind. WHY? Why is he doing this? I realised I have my big straw farmer's hat with me, I was wearing it while taking photos of the Triathletes. I found the most appropriate reason to find him again, further up the road and give that straw hat to him - he needed it way more than me. Like all 600km more. I parked my car close to the race venue and got down to continue to take photo. All the while seeing how he has been progressing. Every steps he took was consistent. He lifted his feet up when he walks, no dragging. I waited until he came near me and passed him the hat. 
You needed the hat more than me
 I then introduced myself and asked him why he was doing it. He introduced himself as Klaus (ah, a German) and he say he is from the UK (ok, now I am confused). I then asked why is he walking from Singapore to Thailand, because there got to be a reason - even if it is "just for the fun of it". 
What technical gears?
As it turned out, Klaus (full name Klaus Otto Mitchell) is WALKING TO RAISE FUND FOR CHARITY back in UK, known as Shelter. It is a charity registered in the UK . Klaus is not looking for big donation and in fact placed a very very small target of GBP1000.00. Something I find very do-able.
However, his task ahead, as he briefly introduced himself to be suffering from post thrombotic syndrome, where his right leg is at risk. As he candidly puts it - "which makes it difficult for me to sit or stand for periods of time. So walk I shall! "

I pass Klaus my phone and asked him to put in his details, so I can follow his movement and also help to give him a shout out in his quest. Walking along the old trunk road is a challenge. Not only from the element (sun and rain) but also from traffic and mugging. 

Thanks for sharing the details with me on my phone
Being a foreigner in our country does not help and he told me it will take him about 4 more weeks to move from Morib (Klang) to Thailand. He will be walking mainly on the trunk road and will camp out to save cost - as he is moving around with limited funds.  
These feet (and shoes) are made for walking.
How You Can Help
I promised Klaus a shoutout in my blog (no, he do not know I have one) and to help raise awareness for him in his quest. Here is a few ways I believe we as Malaysians can help. 

1. Donate directly to his cause via Just Giving : https://www.justgiving.com/Klaus-Mitchell. Any amount is welcome in his quest to raise GBP1000.00. 

2. Help him out with food/lodging/logistic/laundry as he walks near your town or where you are. While the money he raises goes directly to Shelter, Klaus being away from creatures comfort may appreciate some sort of helping hands with basic food, drinks, logistic support. I've seen how we supported a runner that ran through Peninsular about a month back. How about lending hands to this kind soul with his quest directly (by helping him too).

3. Share this posting out as much as you can. More people know about it, the better coverage Klaus will have. He has a Facebook page. Search for him as "Klaus Otto Mitchell
Last spotted - Morib on December 22, 2013.
Merry Christmas Klaus, if you are reading this. Keep up the good work and we will be in touch soon. 

Keep inspiring. Keep moving forward!


  1. You're real, man! Thanks a million for sharing such wonderful things people do :)

    1. Inspiring bro. We all can cycle long distance. Can also run. But to walk with a 20kg pack...that some military personnel can't even do!

  2. Very inspiring :) all the best, Klaus!

  3. thanks for sharing bro. heart is swelling now. all the best Klaus! I now tunggu gaji masuk only :D

  4. Klaus - you're amazing - keep walking and keep safe xxx All the Hubbards xxxx

  5. Klaus has completed the whole journey safely as of today, Jan 15. Nicely done Klaus!