Sabah Advance Challenge 2013

Every year I saw nice photos tagged to OP Bandit when he took part in Sabah Adventure Challenge (SAC). So, I decided to try it out this year. Actually, I was not keen on trail running before this but I made an exception this year after I've done Gunung Nuang 12 hours challenge earlier in March and I kinda like it. TNF Philippines is another ultra trail running I signed up in April this year. This time 3 OPs and an OPs wife taking part in SAC. 
3 OPs and an OP's wife
OP Bandit, OP Stupe, his wife Aileen Har and me leaving for Kota Kinabalu a day before race check-in. We stayed at a hostel for a night and get together for a dinner with OP James (MAS Engineer in KK) and OP Tuck Loong (MAS Pilot stop over in KK for that night).

View always amazing during sunset at waterfront
The next day, we went to Mega D'Aru Hotel at Tanjung Aru for race check-in. Here I met Aman Avtar for the first time, the man behind SAC. I always hear good things about him how efficient he organized races in Sabah. I think we are in good hands in this race.
Transportation was provided from KK to Mersilau
The journey started in a van no. 6 to Mersilau and we had the opportunity to get to know other competitors.
9 people from 4 different nations here in the van
We stayed at Mersilau Nature Resort which is also part of Kinabalu Park. This is the starting point of Mersilau Trial for those who want to scale Mount Kinabalu.
After dinner we had race briefing for day 1 and map distribution

Day 1 is the toughest of all 3 days. The race started from the resort to Layang-Layang via Mersilau trail.
We are ready to rumble!

Group photo first

Smiles before suffering

First 10km route covered from Mersilau resort up to Layang-Layang then descended to Timpohon Gate.

Everybody takes the opportunity for a photo

Trekking poles did help
After Timpohon Gate, we passed through 5km Liwagu Trail. Most of the time I was running alone in the jungle.

Approaching CP 2
After CP 3, the route mostly tarred, gravel & sealed road. At some point we had to cross through the farms and a small stream. 

I completed Day 1 in 11 hours and we covered 34km distance. By the time I crossed finish line, the day has turned to dark.
Happy birthday to me!!
My birthday fell on Day 2 of SAC. This is the second time I race on my birthday. The first time was during KLIM in 2008. 

The race started from Bongkud and finish at Poring. It was a very hot race! I'm mean really hot until my Timex melted down.
At starting line

It was mental race too.

One of a few bridges along the route

The first river I jumped in

40 degree Celsius.

Pit stop at the one of the stalls

The village was very clean. Not a single rubbish on ground 

Managed to have a chit chat with the locals

Hot & Cold

The second river I jumped in. See sunburn on my shins

I took a long break here

More river after the last CP

Walked with Zhariff & Peter at the last 4km

Completed Day 2 in 7 hours and covered 26.5km.

Let's go back to the resort

Day 3 started about 1km down from the resort. It was very scenic route and we were lucky the weather on our side. So, this 15km route took me nearly 4 hours to complete because of a lengthy photo session. Yup, blame it on the nice weather.
with JJ & Chee Ming

Should buy a house over looking Mt. Kinabalu

Highly recommended to bring your wife along

Friends from Brunei & Sabah

I would run everyday here just to enjoy the scenery

The most beautiful cabbage farm in the country

Si Comot... After hard day work at farm

Si Comel... She also helped her parents at farm

Arghh... bicycle ran over me

Finally, I completed the race. Yatta!
Total distance was 75km (according to Endomondo) . According to Stupe's Garmin Fenix (it can calculate elevation) the distance was 83km.
Bandit tuang star jump

Well done Bandit, Aileen & Stupe! You guys are awesome!!

At closing ceremony

Closing ceremony

Another one for my collection

Finisher medal & T-shirt
To sum up the race, I think SAC is the best 3-day holiday package, where we would be able to see the wild side of Sabah. If they still have ultra running category next year, I will take part again. Well done to Aman, Doc Dev, Claus, Rudy, great people in organizer's team and everyone in support team medics, radioman, photographers, drivers, hotel staff, etc.





Anonymous said…
nasib baik x kena kejar 'karabau pindik'...banyak kat sana tu..hehehe..

Kam Kasturie said…
Kerbau pindik jgk takut tgk kami bah....heheheh
nnnana said…

Hei, subhanAllah... Chantek gler scenery in all your pics! Especially pic yang u tulis 'buat rumah berview kan GK...' *lebih krglah ayat*. Chantek gler. Tenangnyalah rasa. Bguslah byk lari. Byk dpt tgk view chantek. Keep it up, man!

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