Borneo TMBT Ultra Trail Marathon on Saturday, 16 August 2014 for 100k and 50k categories, starting at 7:00 a.m … I am glad to complete the 50km run within the qualifying time amid many hours of rain; running in muddy, mud slide areas; overcoming hilly and slippery terrain.
TMBT is the abbreviation for The Most Beautiful Thing. This is true for the scenery as the runners would run through padi fields, farm lands and villages with a view of the majestic Mount Kinabalu. But this is definitely The Most Brutal Thing to runners as this is the monsoon time, the weather has been consistent that heavy rain will start in the afternoon.
For this run, the runners were running in the rain for almost five hours until the sky is dark. When the night falls, it was cold in the mountainous areas of Kundasang villages. At the second last water station, i.e. WS5, I was refueling my hydration backpack; within minutes, I was shivering with cold. And I have to quickly continue my run to increase my body temperature.
When I reached the finishing point at around 8:15 p.m. after running for more than 13 hours, I was glad that it was over. But for trail runners participating in the 100k category, that was the beginning of another 50km to go!
The many months of training in local hills and mountains do help to strengthern my body. This time, I ensured that I was well hydrated by drinking lots of water, and to include energy drinks intake at certain fixed interval to sustain the journey.
Do CLICK HERE to view 210 photos courtesy of yours truly.
Do click here for photos album in Facebook.
Systematic and organized method of inspecting the mandatory kits, which are utmost critical in bad weather condition. For any missing items, it would be easily detected; hence, penalty may apply.
Group photos before the run
Happy faces and getting ready for the race
Yours truly (KC) standing at the starting line taking part in the 50km category … the bib number is a moral boaster to me that interpreted as “die, die also must survive”
TMBT Race Director, Avtar Singh, addressing the participants and getting ready to flag off the run. Good descriptive in writting, he has been sending out valuable tips to the participants leading to the event.
The 100k and 50k are flagged off at the same time - at the same spot as last year but the route was different.
Conserving energy mode - Most of the uphill climbs to gain elevation are on trails except a few stretches that are on the road
A warm welcome by the local folks
Knee-deep river crossing and follow by many streams crossing along the trail. It is pointless to remove the trail running shoes trying to keep them dry.
Good to reach thus far
Scenic and peaceful villages
The participants run through many jungle trais, and passing by padi fields, pineapple farms and rubber estates
Children happily greeting the runners with High-5 that boast the energy level of running. The next station is Water Station #3.
This is water station WS3 and from then on, it was raining for about five hours until the sky went dark.
Last year (2013), many of the runners were DNF here as they were stuck in the Miki's Camp as the stream there swelled due to heavy downpour.
I crossed the finishing line at 8:15 p.m., it was cold and I could not take the photo then. This photo is taken the next morning (Sunday, 17 August) after having a nice and comfortable sleep on a silky smooth bed in the nearby hotel while my 100km trail runner friends were still out there running in the darkness and in the cold throughout the night. The qualifying time for 50k is 15 hours (Saturday, 10:00 p.m.), while 100k is 30 hours (Sunday, 1:00 p.m). And on Sunday, just 30 minutes before the cut-off time, heavy rain came again when I boarded the shuttle bus for a 2-hour journey back to Kota Kinabalu.
Posing with YK and Kian Chong, two very strong runners, who completed 50k the day before and now they are running in the 25k category. Bravo!
Do click here for the unfinished mission last year (2013).
Do click here for all my stories on TMBT (scroll down the pages).
Cheers! KC Leong