Run. Mix. Burn!

Sunday 22 April 2012

Report: Sabah Adventure Challenge 2012

No doubt, Sabah is very beautiful. Cantik didarat, indah dilaut dan menarik dipendalaman. I dreaming to make a comeback after family trip + solo climbing to Mt.Kinabalu since 2006. I took a deep breathe once walk-down from plane and let the freshness of oxygen running in my lungs.

I been following Sabah Adventure Challenge (SAC) 3~4 years ago. Actually they started in 1998, long before i started jog. During that time they organized a multi disciplines - running and cycling. Tak berapa ambil pot. Until they start introduce trail running

After read blog reports of SAC 2011, I was amazed by photo background and I think it's a doable event for average runners but must include extra mental strenght inside.

September 2011, I paid an early bird fee and booked a return flight from Penang to Kota Kinabalu. Tried persuade other running friends but said not ready yet. So I went as Lone Ranger.

My last 3 months training only cover 50km per week. 30km in weekdays and 20km on weekend. I think < 50km. I'm average runner, a daddy with 3 kids end of January 2012 but +1 after February 2012. 'Potong kayu api' almost 12hour per day... Paid almost a thousand ringgit malaysia for a 6 month advance running event. Took me more than a week to decide - It was a very hard decision being made.

Before, I thought the SAC is adventurous but after i did 60km trail ran in 2 days, for me the greatest adventure started when I was kena racun - 8 months ago.

Invest a 6 months advance for registration fee and flight tickets was 1 issue, others... I'm zero in map reading, got no trail shoes and no hydro-backpack and most harder... we expecting a baby on February 2012.

For that.. I'm very grateful living with supportive spouse. She not a runner. But I did bring her to running events and she took part in 3~4 running+walking event - Thanks. Many thanks.

Registration Fee
Initially the registration fee looks expensive on website but lodging, transport and meals included along the event.

When do the maths... a 5D4N (3 nights @Mesilau + 1 night @KK) lodging, a transport to/fro KotaKinabalu - Mesilau, a tranport to/fro hotel - starting+end point (Day1@Kundasang, Day2@Ranau. Both days took nearly an hour drive), nice meals served for 3 days (breakfast + dinner), well organized event with friendly SAC team, 20~30 photographers along the course, hand-made finisher gifts.. It is reasonable!

Route Course
To be fair for all participants, maps and routes was revealed on a night before race day - so the ultra-runners had 2 nights of race briefing. While adventure races – 3.

It's a complete trail-run course with all weather condition. Tarred, concrete, gravel, dirt, uphill, downhill, muddy road, running along 3.5km river, thru kampung, rubber plantation, belukar, hiking, running in cold, hot, humid, dry, dusty... still can't resist to stop and captured a few photos...

@Mesilau Nature Resort - Waiting room keys

Race briefing

Map reading with Erwan - photo DeoRunner

Day1 (30km Trail run): Start-CP4
- Running downhill on tar sealed road thru Kg. Himbaan and Kg. Pulutan. Syiok turun bukit.

Before transport to starting point - photo KianChoong

With Azly - photo DeoRunner

Ready for Day1 race - photo KianChoong DevSidhu KianChoong KianChoong DeoRunner Nasier Lee

- Still running downhill on dirt road. Kids waving & cheering
- Left turn to Kg. Ratau. More downhill.
- For first time left only 2. Me and a women category. No others behind us. Cuak. She asked me whether we're on right route. I said I don't know. Luckily came 2 MatSalleh said we on track heading to river.

- River!
- We required to run thru 3.5km river to CP6!
- I'm wore a LunarGlide2. Running shoes! Take-out shoes and try ran barefoot. It slow me down. More kakis sayur me. Put-in shoes back and pray hard hoping tapak kasut tak lekang. And able to sayur back those kakis. Nasier Lee

photo Nasier Lee

A 3.5km running in river - photo DevSidhu

- Up, up and up-hill. No flat road for 2km. Some local I meet, they showing me the short-cut but I cuak. Return back on actual route.
- @CP7, served bananas - took 3. Other... 2 ORS and 1 PowerGel.

- @11am. Hot day. Alone. No kakis in-front and behind. Left with me map and compass as my guidance.
- Practise map reading with compass and I asked local kids for verification.
- Running uphill and downhill thru gravel road DeoRunner DeoRunner DeoRunner YK Foo

- Still alone. Gravel road. closely checking on map.
- Running thru trail marked by 4x4. Downhill.
- shoes full sand from river.
- Stop by at local house asking for direction and wash shoes. DeoRunner DeoRunner

- Last CP! Refill
- Long, long, long walk. 5km Uphill. No flat road. Totally open gravel road. Dust. @2:10pm. No shading. 2 adventure races walking and pushing he bikes.
- My begpack almost ringan. A few water left i guess. Can't run. Still walking/hiking. The 2 adventure races out of my sight behind. DeoRunner

Last checkpoint. Refill - photo DeoRunner

With DeoRunner - Azrul. - photo DeoRunner DeoRunner

5km hiking to finish check point with same road condition @3pm - photo DeoRunner

Finish Day1
- ....
- Luckily the finish point set-up earlier than in the map. I clapped for myself and bend-down kissing Kundasang soil. Totally exhausted and hungry.
- Finish 30km Day1 race in 6h34.45mins. Position 14.

End of Day1 - photo Deo Runner

Raw top20 finishers including Adventure racers - photo Deo

Day 2 (30km Trail run)

Day2 Map.

Day2 - Mesilau. Waiting to transport to Ranau

- @Ranau, Kg Narawang. 9++am
- Gravel road, hot, dust, legs still suffering from day1 course. Did run-walk-run-walk

With Erwan Sabahan guy - photo Deo

@Ranau. Starting point - photo KianChoong

Flag-off - photo DevSidhu KianChoong

- Running on same road condition as Start-CP6

Sign-in at CP6. Before heading into rubber plantation - photo Deo Runner

- Uphill. Passing local fruit plantation and rubber plantation
- Downhill thru dirt road. My trail shoes not cooperative. Toes hurts. Blister develops on same spot each time i ran with this shoes. Reason why I worn LunarGlide on first day rubber plantation - photo Deo Runner Deo Runner Deo Runner

- Various road condition up to CP9
- Concrete road. First time I ran out of map. 500m wasted. The road looks different from map.
- Rolling dirt road. Run-walk-run. Hot.
- @Bongkud. More civilized kampung. Asked/verify with locals for direction to Kg Napong - CP9
- Stop @local store had cold Coca-Cola - nikmat/nyaman Deo Runner

I should take this route instead straight on concrete road about 500metre - photo Deo Runner

@Noon. Looking forword for hilly. I turn back to store bought a can of coca-cola - photo KianChoong

- Gravel road. Hot. Dry. Dust spread out after pick-up truck pass by.
- Asked local kids for direction to river
- Half way, saw a hilly dirt road far in-front. That pick-up truck looks so small. Dalam hati - "Mampus kering aku tang sini"
- Luckily @CP9, we divert into jungle track.. Phew!

- Jungle tracking, like HHH running track. Marked by ribbon. My cup of tea track but toes hurt inside Cascadia5. Did Run-Walk-run.
- Found water tap. Refresh. Found more runners and group photos.

Beautiful river stream. If I come-back for leisure @Poring... this my first visit for mandi. I give a hint.. [Kg Napong] - photo Deo Runner

..together 4 of us walk/hiking until CP12 (Air Terjun Langanan) - photo KianChoong

Band of Brothers.. - photo KianChoong

We left the Band hehehee.. - photo KianChoong

- CP11 located at Poring. A finish line too but need to continue hike 3.5km to Air Terjun Langanan for last check point - CP12
- Join 3 other runners heading CP12. Totally hiking.
- Climbing. Passing the Bat cave. Hiking. Passing my room-mates Azam, Deo and Erwan. All of them were running down to finish line.
- Passing 2km marking, 2.5km mark, 3km mark and finally 3.5km.

- Peeehhh! Air Terjun Langanan! Cantik siot. Hilang penat.
- Descending to finish line via same route.

After river... next seek this waterfall. Forget about Poring aka Lost Of Tambun. 3.5km of hiking.. worth it. Tiredness gone. - photo KianChoong

Finish Day 2 - Completed
- 7hour 17.58mins
- Quickly take-off my Cascadia5 - Had 2 black toes. Hurts badly but gumbira able to complete a 2 days grueling race.

Cloud 9

Dinner Award

Local handmade gifts for finisher.. - photo Deo Runner

With Aman, the man behind SAC - photo Deo Runner

Last Day - Sunday

Geng HHH Kuching. We had good time together on 2days course.


@Kedah, we call it.. ikan tongkoi

Other blogger wrote about their SAC adventure report. Deo Runner, CheeMing and photographer sam4605.

For Sabah Adventure Challenge 2012 official result here.

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