Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sabah Adventure Challenge : A Note Before The Race

5 DAYS TO GO TILL THE START OF SABAH ADVENTURE CHALLENGE 2013...and course director Claus Pedersen and Rudy Boyou survey the day 1 route for ultra trail 1 will see runners cover 31 kilometers over a 2200 altitude gain race course out of Mesilau, covering a mix of jungle trails, village roads, and some of the steepest climbs around in the Kundasang valley...55 of the best trail runners take on Sabah Adventure Challenge 2013 whilst 25 adventure racing teams will take on 150 kilometers of mountain biking and orienteering over the course of 3 days... · Monday, March 25 at 9:12am
My heart is beating fast when I saw the description above on Monday, March 25. Fast forward and it is ONE day before the race. Yes, this (the photo above from A. Rahim) is one of the actual route that will be taken by myself and the other 54 runners in the multi-day 75km race. There will not be any losers and only winners in this race. Most of them has raced Sabah Adventure Challenge before. I myself has raced it in 2011 in the Adventure section (150km) but deemed DQ (DisQualified -despite finishing the whole distance) as the team split on second day after CP3. 
This race will be my chance to get to finish what i failed in 2011.
This time around, I will have my dearest wife to join me on this journey. Also my three close buddies Azly Bandit, Kam Kasturie and Juliana Ali. 
Race Expectations
This is a multi-day race where the total distance is 75km. The breakdown is about 30-30-15. While the distance itself is not a killer if taken from a day-to-day basis, it is more of the mental thoughts of waking up the next day to race again. Anyone would rather finish the 75km in "one race by itself", which is why "The Most Beautiful Thing" TMBT was created by Sabah Adventure Challenge company. SAC is in it's 13th year installment and it has grown from a domestic focused race to a globally known race attracting participation from all over the world. It is a reunion of sort of many of these racers. Knowing the format of the race and my one sole experience racing it, I have mentally prepared wifey for:

  • rough terrains;
  • hot weather, that might end up with torrential rain, then possibly more hot weather;
  • elevation that will break your heart;
  • river crossing that is waist deep;
  • endless trails that leads to nowhere;
  • possibility of arguments and fights because we do not agree with each other; and
  • Waking up on Day 2 and 3 and repeating the same thing, again.
Of course, there are good points too, that I made her see and to:
  • appreciation of beautiful Sabah outback;
  • appreciation of the simple way of life for the Sabahan folks in the interior;
  • at least spending Good Friday and Easter Sunday with me (a non-Christian) and there will be church along the way if she wants to sit down for an hour to listen to the mass on Holy Sunday;
  • a chance of a lifetime to experience this together - should she decide not to do it anymore after 2013; and
  • opportunity to come face to face with a wild tiger.
Yeah, don't worry. There are no tigers in Sabah.
Maybe just a confused native. Photo credit - Doc Dev
Our Expectations

This race was committed almost 10 months ago when it first opened for registration and the air tickets were actually bought before the confirmation for the race happened. So, having to deal with missing the kids during the school holiday, me and wifey will be dedicating this race to the both of them - one day, when they grow up (and able to understand the crazy things we do) they will look back and will "want to do what Pa and Ma did". It is about building a lifestyle for the family. 
Then things got a bit complicated when wifey was involved in an accident while preparing for Powerman 2012. We know that SAC 2013 would be at jeopardy if she do not recover on time. As wifey are made up of "determination and all things sweet", she got back and was given a certificate of fitness (by me) after the comeback race at Brooks 21. We both know it is ALL SYSTEM GO.
Our expectations is just to finish the race. This will officially be wifey's first adventure offroad trail race (as she say married to me is an adventure by itself, but that's not counted, she said). My expectation is to be able to finish the race with her. Yes. She was there when i had the lowest health point and picking myself up - and likewise, now that she is recovering, this race is for her. 
If you are on twitter, follow me at @tristupe for race updates. I am not sure if I can get any sort of data plans in the interior of Sabah, but I know GPRS is all it need for Twitter to function (at 26k modem speed).
Thank you Sponsors!
I would like to say a big thank you to 2ndSkin for the apparels that I will wear, Skechers for the shoes, Garmin Malaysia for the tracking device and Hammer Nutrition for the advices and fuel. 
2ndSkin Team Blue for racing Day 1, 2 and 3. Bottom for after race engagement
Sponsored GoTrail (Blue) and the GoTrail (Pink) I got for wifey
Sponsored Garmin Fenix (right) from AECO and self-bought 910XT for wifey
Hammer Nutrition items - unfortunately not enough to share with Wifey
And yes, expect Race Reports and more reviews coming soon!