Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sabah Mount Kinabalu Climbathon 2009: Another DNF

Mount kinabalu view from the park

At the start of the race, just a few hundred meters from Timpohan gate.

This is as far as I went up. Almost 7.5km mark.

Freezing cold...

A runner going down..

Another rest house at Gunting Lagalan...

Going down...

The prize giving ceremony...

With Isidro (center), who reach the peak in 2:25. He's also in the Philippines para Olympic team. His marathon PB is a 2:36

Chong would made it to the top in 2:45 and he only runs indoors and MTB!

As part of the sky running circuit, this is labeled as the steepest mountain run compared to the other nations. 2300meters vertical up in 9km..This year, it was my 2nd run up.

After Tony, Tey, and Yee Choy came back from the men veteran, Raymond and I was left with a bunch of advises on how to tackle it. Tony managed to reach Sayat-sayat, while Tey reached laban rata and decided to snap photos afterwards. Yee Choy did superbly well and game the peak in 3:13, and reach the finishing line just after 5 hours. Georgie, an aussie girl, even managed to get 15th.

It's only this year, I finally figured out the right strategy to tackle the mountain within 2.5 hours. You've got to reach laban rata in 1.5 hours, and another hour to reach the peak.

I wasn't nervous of the race as last year, but I knew, it won't be easy. No, suffering would be the right word.

The horn blew at 7am, and the whole bunch of us ran. Passed right through Timpohon gate, for a brief downhill before slowly running uphill. As I was wearing the heart rate monitor, I could see I was pushing 170..then 180 as we reach the stairs. Everyone was panting, and trying to push as hard as possible going up.

I think I made the first 1km mark in 11 minutes. Roughly, you'll need to run at least 15min/km just to reach laban rata. So I was pretty happy about it. But how long could I pushed in this zone?

Soon, I'd figured out using huge steps might helped. Rather than using cadence, I was trying to gain as much height per step. Cycling does helped in this case, if you've train on high gear. It works almost the same way. However, at 5km mark, I had some cramps in the left calf, and had to stop to nurse it.

With some rest, and caution, I was able to continue.

But with higher altitude, I could sense my movement was slowing down. And it was getting colder.

And I finally reached Laban rata at 1:43. However the next route up Sayat-sayat wasn't easy. I think I did pushed too hard, and was left with not much energy to tackle the rest of the route. It was going a few steps up, stop to take a breather, then continue on.

The clouds have settled and it was sure cold. And my fingers went numb.

To my dismay, I reached Sayat2 at 2:30, which is at 7km mark. I knew it was futile, but continued nevertheless, as I wanted to see how far I could go.

Then I was surprised to see Leonard from behind. He didn't made it last year, and had wanted to try it out again, but he said it's always the same spot he had reached. Now, the air was really cold. Walking up seems like impossible without stopping for a few breath.

I was amazed with the guys coming back from the peak with wristbands. They ran down the slopes like it was a flat.

Soon, I turn around and headed down as fast as possible. The path down wasn't a fast one. I had worn the Adidas Kampung and it's only good for uphills, but downhill, you would go limping if you stepped on a sharp rock.

At the finishing line, was happy seeing the rest of the gang. However Raymond Ng had a fracture on his finger after falling down the steep stairs. And I've seen some blood on the trails as well.

Although it's another DNF, but I think I've given all I got. The thing lacking was having an inferior engine to do it. So, for next year, it'll be high heart rate zone training.


The race is tough because of the cut off time of 2.5 hours up to low's peak, then another 2 to reach the finishing line. You just got to be able to hold a high heart rate zone for at least 2 hours to make it to the top, which is pretty hard. But not impossible.

The best option is to reach laban rata less than 1.5 hours, and given you have still gas in the tank, make it up to Low's peak within the next.


Simon said...

Wicked! Great try man. Sounds amazing but too scary for me for the timebeing.

yipwt said...

easy for your category's 3.5 hrs time up, and 3 hrs down. :)

sofiantriathlete said...

never mind

cRAzYtoMatOmaN-D said...

so when do we start training for 2010 climb? hehehe

yipwt said...


3 months prior have to start training...:P

jonie said...

hehe... try harder next year.. c you there.. hopefully!!