Friday, March 21, 2014

Mt. Kinabalu Climbathon Race VS Mt. Kinabalu Climbing Experience

Hey guys! I just did my Mount Kinabalu climbing trip not long ago and it was awesome! I could barely feel my sole during my descend to Timpohon Gate, Kinabalu Park. Regardless all the ruthless pain during my climb, the view from the top of the summit was worth it! I felt like I was on another planet and I could never look at my hometown the same anymore.

I arrived at the summit around 6am and I stopped hiking up and stand on a slightly steep slope to witness the wonderful daybreak accompanied by the visible clouds movement below me. The view was magnificent, priceless and rewarding. The wind was strong and it surged in and out my ears giving me natural rumbling noise.

I couldn't imagined I have made it so far and I could only hear my strong heart beat with heavy breathing because the oxygen level was low. The temperature of the day was zero degree Celsius and I was shivering even though I wore 3 layers of shirts and jacket and 2 layers of warm pants and tracksuit. I don't mind

Since I have done both normal Mountain Kinabalu Climb and 24km Kinabalu Climbathon Race itself, I'll be sharing my experience here. Perhaps it could help those who wish to participate either one of them. Having said that, both had their own unique challenges and it can be very hard to those unprepared climbers.

Mt. Kinabalu Climbathon Experience

Mt. Kinabalu Climbathon Adventure route (Red dots line) started from Kinabalu Park - Timpohon gate - Layang-Layang hut - Mesilau Nature Resort - Kundasang Town.  There are two routes (summit and adventure) Summit route is only open to elite racer with pre-fulfilled requirement on past race achievement. The adventure route is open for public to join and I think it's one of the toughest race in Sabah.

The Freezing Start at Kinabalu Park to Timpohon Gate (4.5km)

One of the challenges is the cold weather at the starting point of the race at Kinabalu Park. I think the temperature was around 13 - 15 Celsius because I was shivering badly before the race. Fortunately, 30 minutes into the race and my body warmed up and I could run properly again. It took me about 45 minutes to complete the first 4.5km route because of the cold temperature start and stiff tar road.

Tips: Best not to run up the stiff road section but try to take huge steps. It helps.

The Though Ascent Trail from Timpohon Gate to Layang-Layang (4km)

Timpohon trail is famous for it high steps. Their steps can be as high as 3 - 4 feet and there are man made wooden stair in certain part of the trail. It's extremely hard to keep on going during the ascent and you need to practice interval rest before you continue a section of ascent.