Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Most Beautiful Thing (TMBT) 2012: Beautiful Borneo

The Most Beautiful Thing (TMBT) Ultra Trail Marathon 2012 was held on 15th September 2012 (see Official Website). TMBT saw competitors competing (over 3 different categories - 27 km, 50 km and 100 km) over the Crocker Range mountains of Sabah which includes village trails, open gravel roads, very short tar sealed sections and crossing over hanging bridges on the race course with Mount Kinabalu in the background .

Below is an account from Tori about finishing the race, second female and sixth overall - courtesy of her blog called Fit Chicks & Fast Women:

The last time I was on Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Borneo was when I was 11.  I won’t tell you how long ago that was but long enough! Scaling South Asia’s highest peak at 13,435 ft / 4,095m was a grand adventure embarked on with my dad whilst my mum and little sister, Alex, chilled by the pool at a nearby resort.

This time … this weekend in fact … I returned to run instead of walk to compete in the Sabah Ultra, an event aptly named The Most Beautiful Thing (TMBT). The race was yesterday.

My expectations were low … after such a trying week, I had slept little and had thought about the race even less. On the eve of the race and continuing until the early hours, the heavens opened like only Asian rains know how and the winds were ferocious.  Combine these with the tin roof of our hotel hut and it sounded like our little abode would be trashed by sunrise.

But by morning, the rains had all but gone. I got up, readied myself, read my affirmations and gathered with the others to wander the kilometre or so to the race start. The route was stunning … think quaint villages and fields, rice paddies and cabbage crops, rivers and streams, bridges and ridges, red dirt tracks and lush green jungle.

The weather remained windy but the sun was shining and the temperature, a very civilised 30c or so. The course markings were great … I only got lost once and the ribbons in the trees, unlike in Nepal, remained on the trees.  In Nepal, you can lose sight of the ribbons for ages, until of course, a pile of little girls pass you on their way to school, wearing them in their hair … annoying at the time but enormously sweet in hindsight!