Greater efforts sought in making Brunei's national attractions UNESCO World Heritage sites
Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin Sunday
Borneo Travel Tips, Trip Advisor, Current News, and Tour Alerts - Sabah, Sarawak (Malaysia Borneo) and Brunei Darussalam tourism
Labels: Borneo Eco Film Festival
Labels: Sabah Tourism
Labels: Sabah Tourism
Labels: Sabah Tourism
Labels: Brunei Tourism
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!
I was trekking up the Kipouvo-Kokol route with my friend, Pamela Fletcher, a couple a weeks ago as part of our training programme for The Most Beautiful Thing (TMBT), and I was telling her that the easiest part of an endurance event such as a road marathon or the ultra trail marathon is the race itself. Pam was rather taken aback, but I hastened to explain my statement. You see, the hardest thing about an endurance event is in the training, not so much the event itself. A race may take a few hours to finish; perhaps up to 30 hours for an ultra trail marathon (100km) like the TMBT; whereas a decent training programme may take up to months of regular workout—running becomes almost a daily routine; and almost the entire weekends are used up for long workouts on secluded village roads in the hills.Training requires a lot of discipline and quite often a lot of sacrifice. Such was the case when we were preparing for TMBT. This year a lot of my close friends had opted to attempt the 100km category of TMBT, although some of us were doing it for the second time.I was chatting with a friend, Esther Sim, via Whatsapp one day, and she said she's aiming to finish the 100km in 20 hours, and I almost fell of my chair! I have gone trekking with Esther to Terian last year, and she did not seem to be an extremely strong and fast trail runner to me. So it must have meant that she's improved by leaps and bounds since then.I was also impressed by another lady friend, Hana Harun, by her strength during training. She demonstrated her ability to sprint up a steep slope after trekking for several hours. I'm able to run uphill too, but I very rarely do so during training. I'm always approaching the endurance training the old-fashioned way—no sprinting business. Another friend, Claire, has been training almost entirely out of sight for months. Anyway, these ladies really made me think that I'm getting too old for this sort of event; they kept me on my toes! And I was, like, "I'm not even a ballerina!"Last Saturday morning, we found ourselves at the starting line in Kundasang town. It was a fairly cold and windy morning. There were a number of familiar faces in the crowd.Hana was also there in her outstanding outfit; and of course not forgetting Claire the creature with a pair of long sexy legs.It was a strange start—we were still busy chit-chatting when suddenly there was a whistle, and everybody started running. We were not even aware of the countdown. A short climb to the road, and then it was a pleasant downhill stretch. I turned to Bob and suggested that we do a slow jog down the slope as a warm up; and while we were at it, I watched in amazement Esther Sim surging ahead. Others in the group—Boyd, Eric and Jonas were also among the front pack.