KOTA KINABALU – Limited spots are still available for qualified high altitude runners for the 29th Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon next month.
Qualified athletes are invited to join 109 elite runners from around the world as they gather at Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site on October 16, at Kinabalu Park, Kundasang, for the much-awaited race.
The Climbathon has attracted participants from 15 countries to date – United States of America, Mexico, Spain, Great Britain, the Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, Kenya, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, France, Brunei and Malaysia, of which 50 will be facing the challenge for the first time.
This year, the race is open only to qualified participants recommended by their national federation or have finished the race within the time limit in the previous years’ Climbathon, said deputy Tourism Minister, Datuk Pang Nyuk Min.
Thanks to concerted efforts between Sabah Parks and mountain rangers, participants will be able to use the new route via the newly-opened Ranau trail, located on a higher elevation that is not only more challenging but offers a breath-taking view.
The Summit Race flags off at Kinabalu Park and runners will make their way to the summit of Mt. Kinabalu (4,095.2m) before crossing the finish line back at the park, making it a total distance of 26km. Previously, the race would end further at Kundasang Town, extending the course to 33km.
While casual climbers may take an average of two days to scale the mountain, professional mountain runners can clock as fast as four hours, for this sporting event dubbed the World’s Toughest Mountain Race.
Mount Kinabalu suffered considerable damage during the earthquake in 2015.
Consequently, the 23km ‘Adventure Race’ will not take place this year as the Mesilau trail remains badly affected after taking a hiatus last year.
Previously, the Adventure Race started from Kinabalu Park to the summit trail of Layang-Layang, which is the half-way point of the summit trail (2760.3 m). The participants will then continue their race to Mesilau and cross the finish line at Kundasang town.
The return of the Adventure Race for future Climbathons is pending further notice.
The closing date for registration is Friday (30 September 2016).
Supporting documents (i.e endorsements by sports and athletic associations, participation records of previous high altitude running events etc.) are required for proof of qualification.
For more information, please contact Winceslaus Gerald Autine, Organising Secretary, Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd at +6088232121, email email@example.com, or visit the website www.climbathon.my.