Category Archives: Climbathon

Mount Kinabalu Climbathon

Mount Kinabalu Climbathon 2006 video from YouTube

This year’s Mount Kinabalu Climbathon 21st edition will be held earlier than usual, on 25-26 August 2007. I check out their official website and found a very good video on the events from YouTube. Check it out:

If you think of participating, go to their website and fill in the registration form. A US$33,400 in total prize money to be won.

However, if the grueling events made you feel sick, why not watch Kinabalu climbing from a regular climber point of view…

Shoes and gears for Kinabalu Climbathon skyrunners

If you think that choosing a suitable footwear for a climbathon is easy, you should think again. I was surfing around for new content for this blog, when I remembered to check the Federation for Sports Altitude website. Apart from knowing that the 21st Mount Kinabalu Climbathon this year will be held earlier that usual, (August 25-26), I also notice a good resource on choosing shoes and gear for the participant/contestant of the event.

So, if you are thinking of taking part in the climbathon, you may find this guide useful.

Shoes and gear – a skyrunner’s mini guide

In the mountains, speed means safety: the ability to move quickly in the face of an oncoming storm or to have to descend rapidly due to hypoxia can be decisive issues.
Variable temperatures, terrain and altitude all require products that are technical, light, thermal, breathable and elastic that protect without restricting your movements and hence, speed.

Skyrunning has helped to revolutionize this concept.
Trail running shoes with a good grip and a protective upper to resist water and snow are a must. See the table below for recommended styles currently available. What to wear? In certain races, some items are compulsory: like full-length tights or long, microfibre pants, a long sleeved top or cyclist’s top with pockets in the rear for a lightweight windproof jacket. Sun glasses, a head band, or gloves may also be listed as compulsory accessories. Ski poles are usually an optional.

Ordinary road running gear – shorts and singlet – is acceptable in shorter races in warm climates without too much altitude. The list of compulsory race material is indicated in the race brochures and in the rules for each race. In training at high altitude, never leave without a windproof vest, tights or microfibre pants, hat and gloves. Away from marked courses an altimeter/compass is useful or take a GPS. Don’t forget a water bottle and energy bars. Technical fabrics and lightweight trail running shoes are continuously evolving – the whole kit has lightened from 3 kg when skyrunning started in the early 90s – to less than 1 kg. Shoes and equipment are featherweight and functional.

FSA choice
The following shoes have been selected by the FSA Technical Committee as suitable for skyrunning.
Rating: good***, very good****, excellent*****
Weight: Based on men’s size 9 (US)

Shoes and gears for Kinabalu Climbathon skyrunners

***This guide is for climbathon athletes, NOT for regular mountain climber***

Mount Kinabalu Climbathon 2007 set for August 25-26

The World’s Toughest Mountain Race, the 21st Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon will be held next year on August 25-26.

Mount Kinabalu ClimbathonThe change of date is due to the request by the Skyrunner World Series Committee to schedule the event on 25-26 next year as they have decided to host the final circuit/series in their own country in Spain.

The Buff Skyrunner World Series 2007 organized by the World’s Federation of Altitude – FSA (racing on high altitude of 2000 meters above sea level) is scheduled to be held at the following venues:

  • Mexico at Chico Hildago on May 6,
  • Andorra at Vallnord on June 3,
  • Italy on July 1,
  • France on August 12,
  • Malaysia at Mount Kinabalu on August 25-26,
  • Japan at Mount Ontake, Nagano on Sept 2,
  • Spain (final circuit) on September 23.

The Climbathon is listed as one of Sabah’s 13 premier events highlighted in the Visit Malaysia promotional material.

Mount Kinabalu Climbathon 2006 photos

I received an email a few weeks back from a local university student, saying that she is going to participate in Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon 2006. She said to me that she do not have a digital camera, but willing to use her analog camera to capture as much photo during the event.

The journey to the summit this time was an eventful experience for her. The bus that she follow broke down on the way, and have to wait for another bus to come to continue the journey to Kinabalu Park.

She did not able to finish the event at the allocated time, as she said to me she did not have a enough training. The certificate that she email to me shows DNF, means ‘did not finish’. You can see her certificate in the gallery.

Anyway, I said to her that there will alway be next year for her to try.

For Wai Yong, thank you for your nice photos!

Wong Wai Yong

To see more of her climbathon photo, checkout the gallery.

Mejia bags two titles

Kota Kinabalu: Ricardo Mejia pulled off a great come-from-behind victory to retain the men’s crown in the rain-hit Climbathon in Kundasang yesterday.

And the Mexican had more reasons to celebrate as he also walked home with the Buff-Skyrunner World Series FSA title.

The way he won the Climbathon should go down as one of the best ever finishes in the history of the event, officially known as TM 20th Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon this year.

Local hopeful Mius Balinting was two minutes ahead of Mejia after passing the Timpohon Gate (4km to the finishing line) but latter was undaunted and stepped up the gear toward the final stretch of the race.

“I know the final stretch is on flat road which is very good for me… my confidence never faded despite trailing him.”

“I managed to overtake him in the final 500m and I never looked back,” said Mejia, who clocked 2:50.52s to beat Mius (2:51.44s) and another local Safrey Sumping (2:53.22).

Mejia, who also won a gold pendant for reaching the summit first, said he lost his lead as a result of his safety first aproach on the decend.

“I dislike running down…it was very slippery and made worse by the rain,” he said.

“I fell four times on the way down but thankfully I could still keep my momentum.”

It is Mejia’s third Climbathon title after winning in 2001 and 2005, and the day also saw him taking the Buff Skyrunner World Series crown by collecting 400 points to edge Spaniard Agusti Roc Amador, who managed 342 points and Italian Dapit Fulvio with 322 points.

The Climbathon is the eighth and the final leg of the Skyrunner Series where the ranking is based on the four best points achieved by the runners in any legs.

“I have two titles today and I’m extremely happy,” said Mejia, who declined to confirm whether he will comeback and defend his crown next year.

Mejia received USD4,500 for his effort in the Climbathon and 3,000 euros for his first place in the Skyrunner Series.

The Climbathon offered a total cash prize of USD33,400 to the top 15 finishers in the men’s and women’s open.

In addition, a gold pendant eas offered to each of the first runners in the men’s and women’s open to reach the summit – the Low’s Peak.

Taken from local newspaper, The Borneo Post, by Lester J. Bingkasan.

Anna first up Mt Kinabalu, and down

KOTA KINABALU: Czech Republic runner, Anna Pichrtova, led from start to finish to win the 20th edition of Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon.

She won US$4,500 (about RM16,600) and a gold pendant for being first up and down the 4,095-metre mountain, covering 21km in the process to win the event for women.

Having finished second in 2002 and winning it in 2001,2002, 2004 and 2005, she beat her compatriot and debutant Iva Milesova, 29, who got second prize of US$4,000.

Briton Dr Angela Mudge, who won the race in 1999 and 2000, was third.

In the men’s veteran race, Sarun Sadi, 41, won RM1,000 by crossing the finish line ahead of Francis Cosgrave of the Philippines and last year’s champion Taising Bukolong.

The race continues today with the men’s race.

Mexican Ricardo Mejia defends his title against runners from 21 countries.

Local runners, who are farmers, porters and guides from Kadamaian, Kota Belud and other areas, are expected to give them a tough fight. Many of them have joined the Kadamaian Mountain Running Association to prepare for the event.

Protem president of the association, Johnny Gilong, said many local runners had been taking part in the race since it began in 1987 but only a few had won.

“When a local wins, we celebrate the victory for a few days or weeks but after that there’s nothing. I have yet to see any concrete follow-up to develop the sport.”

“We hope to groom more mountain runners who are capable of challenging the world’s best,” he said adding the association had also organised mini mountain races in Kota Belud.

The last local runner who won the men’s event was Guianus Salagan in 1994, 1995 and 1996 while Danny Kuilin Gongot won the women’s race in 1997,1998 and 2003.

Taken from local newspaper, 01 Oct 2006:

by Roy Goh

20th Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon 2006

They call it “the world’s toughest mountain race”. It takes a gruelling soul to run, race and climb Mount Kinabalu with a total distance of 21 kilometers for both men and women. Takes place in Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site, Mount Kinabalu (4095.2 meters) International Climbathon is a true challenge to the spirit of human endurance.

Mount Kinabalu Climbathon 2006

The race first started as a competition among the Kinabalu Park staff aimed at improving rescue efforts on the mountain (especially useful during bad weather when helicopters can’t be used) in the development of a Rapid Reaction Rescue Squad and, as such, was first held in 1984. It was not until 1987 that outsiders were allowed to take part. Following the success of the first national race in 1987, the Climbathon went international in 1988, earning itself the title of “the toughest mountain race in the world”.

Indeed, Climbathon is not for the faint hearted. Its gruelling 21 kilometers (13 miles) route over a more than 2,250 meters (7,357 feet) ascent, and the punishing pace, test even the most experienced, but every year more mountain runners take part, including the world’s best. Participants who do not finish the race within the time limit – 2 hours and 30 minutes to the peak and 2 hours from the peak to the finish line – are automatically disqualified.

Mount Kinabalu Climbathon

In the early days, Nepalese Gurkha runners dominated the men’s race, with Sundar Kumar Linthap winning from 1988 to 1990, followed by Kusang Gurung from 1991 to 1993. In 1994 the crown was taken over by Guianus Salagan, before he was overtaken in turn by Ian Holmes of Great Britain in 1997. Holmes hold the title with the record of 2 hours 42 minutes and 7 seconds for the fastest race, but in 2003, the record was broken by Italy’s Marco de Gasperi who finished with time of 2 hours 36 minutes and 59 seconds.The Climbathon resulted in Malaysia organizing the 15th World Mountain Championships in Sabah in 1999.

It was the first time that the World Mountain Race Championships was held in Southeast Asia. In 1998 the race was held in the Island of Re-Union under the French Athletic Federation and in 2003 it was held for the first time in Alaska, USA. This will be the fourth year that the Climbathon is the final determining race for the SkyRunner® World Series circuit. The Spanish based company Buff® has taken over this circuit as its main sponsor. Last year Climbathon has been endorsed as one of the 7 official races of the Federation of Sport at Altitude for the Skyrunning World Championship Circuit (racing on high altitude). A total of 247 participants (men category:126 women category: 51 and veteran men: 70) came for the ultimate endurance test.

The race will be held in Kinabalu Park HQ and Mount Kinabalu on the 30th September and 1st October 2006. Are you tough enough? Thinking of participating? US$33,400.00 in total Cash Prizes awaits those who dare to accept the challenge!! Send your registration form from the Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon official website.

Last year’s winner of the event:
Mens open category:

  1. Ricardo Meija from Mexico, 2 hours, 41 minutes and 51 seconds.
  2. Dapit Fulvio from Italy, 2 hours, 48 minutes and 18 seconds.
  3. Jean Pellisier from Italy, 2 hours, 49 minutes and 57 seconds.

Women’s open category:

  1. Anna Pichrtova, 3 hours 13 minutes and 25 seconds.
  2. Favre Corrine, 3 hours 29 minutes and 08 seconds.
  3. Cruz Aleida Salazar, 3 hours 42 minutes and 19 seconds.

Veterans category:

  1. Taising Bukulong, from Malaysia, 3 hours 12 minutes and 28 seconds.
  2. Jios Kundapit, from Malaysia, 3 hours 26 minutes and 32 seconds.
  3. Raimin Ikin, from Malaysia, 3 hours 39 minutes and 29 seconds.