No feat too difficult for 70-year-old ex-teacher

PETALING JAYA - Unlike most people his age who enjoy a slower pace in life, Adnan Osman, 70, likes climbing mountains and long distance endurance travelling.

The former schoolteacher, whose fitness level appears to be that of a person half his age, returned home on Aug 10 after spending almost a year cycling to London.

He had left Malaysia in September last year by cycling to Thailand through Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah.

The effort, which was sponsored and supported by sports, fitness and outdoor equipment distributor Universal Fitness and Leisure Sdn Bhd (UFL), also raised funds for the Malaysian Aids Foundation.

UFL had aptly named the cycling challenge the "Road to London Mission".

Adnan's adventure took him through 13 countries and 20,000km before he arrived a month ahead of the London Olympics.

Adnan, who lives in Petaling Jaya with his family, said he started participating in endurance sports late in life.

"I ran my first marathon when I was 46 to keep fit and when I put on weight after I stopped smoking," Adnan said at a press conference at the UFL headquarters in Sri Damansara yesterday.

The British-trained teacher said he also liked mountain climbing and had reached the peak of Gunung Tahan 15 times and Mount Kinabalu three times. He described conquering Malaysia's highest peak as "a piece of cake".

Adnan's feat also included mountain trekking at the Himalayas and participating in the six-day Sahara Marathon in 2009. In that challenge, he completed 240km.

He said he also planned to scale Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro and intended to kayak from the Straits of Malacca to Indonesia once he found a place to train.

Adnan also received a token sum of RM2,000 for successfully completing his cycling challenge.

UFL managing director Datuk Radha Krishnan Nair said the company was proud to have sponsored Adnan in his endeavour.

Also at the conference was UFL executive director and former Asia bodybuilding champion Datuk Malek Noor.

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