This is Jocelyn Saw's (Josaw, Auntie as we call her) review about the race. The climbathon is my second time of being with her. We were together at Mt. Ugo for a practice trail for this event. On this trip she did not compete, she just enjoyed the mountain, the different trails and the company of each and every one. She has been to major international races and one of the few who pioneer trail running in the country. She inspires me to aspire for more on running, the reason I wanted to re-post her email. This will be my constant reminder of my fun memories in Kinabalu.
Hey guys, just want to share with you my Kinabalu climbathon experience. Hindi ako marunong magblog e kaya iniemail ko.:D
NO, I did not join the race.:D I’ve been in a long hiatus from running and hoped that the trip will give me opportunity to start my back to fitness plan.
I tagged along with the Pinoyskyrunners as I suddenly was free and it was a chance to be in the Kinabalu mountain trails many times. It’s a different atmosphere as the race has a small no. of participants making it a close-knit event with more interactions among the participants. The elites of trail running such as Kilian, Marco de Gasperi, Anna Frost, Brandy, Sudip, Greg Vollet, Ricky Lightfoot, etc were in attendance. Competition is stiff as this ends the skyrunning series and all eyes were on the two leading contenders: Kilian and Marco. Unlike in ultrarunning where Kilian is way ahead of everyone else, he suffered defeat from Marco in a skyrun race..
Marco holds the fastest record in Kinabalu with two hours and thirty and will defend his title in the last Kinabalu climbathon to follow the same race route to the peak. Kilian aimed to win the last toughest race in Asia to cap his victories in five continents for 2011: TNF100 in Australia; WS100 in N.Ameria; Tabletop Mountain in South Africa and UTMB in Europe. However, he recognizes that the races against Marco were the most difficult for him.
Skyrun races are intense pala! Parang karera ng kabayo.:D The racers’ progress is very very fast and competitive. Seconds of distance. Marco was leading all the way and though we’re die-hard Kilian fans (albeit Marco is such a supernice guy), we were resigned to an Italian win while waiting for them at the finish line. The announcer informed us that Marco was leading by minutes at the last 4 kilometers. I positioned myself at the 200 meter bend of the last stretch. Suddenly, Kilian was sprinting out of the bend! We were all so surprised and witnessed the look of pain on his face as he gave his all for the last stretch of the race. Wow! Kilian overtook Marco in the last 3 kilometers! Marco arrive forty seconds after (ang layo din pala ng 40 seconds) visibly and graciously resigned to a second place.
The crowd cheered the two for giving their best performance.
The 20 member Philippine contingent was able to place 11th (Marvin of Doc Chi’s Malaybalay runners) and 12th (Leo of the same group). Leo fell and had to undergo several stitches. Helen (of the same group) placed 20th while Merlita of PSA, suffered a sprain and placed 21st. The rest were not able to make the summit cut off and has next year to look forward to.
For me, what makes racing events memorable are the people , the atmosphere and emotions that go with it. I totally enjoyed spending time on the trails and the mountain. The PSA members are so nice, diverse and fun! There is a communal atmosphere among racers and spectators (Philippines, HongKong, Malaysia, France, etc) with photos and blogs exchanges, plans of future comps, right after the race. An encounter with Kilian on the trail was the biggest thrill. My gulay, the shirtless superstar of trailruns came from behind and greeted me on his way up. Then on his way down, he stopped for a brief chat ( hindi ko hinarang ha. Siya ang huminto at bumalik.:D). He was humble enough to admit that it is going to be difficult for him to win. Everyone was thrilled with their own moments with him.
I hope next year’s route will take the Mesilau up to the peak. This will make the race more challenging, interesting, and fun.
Many thanks to PSA!!! Happy trails everyone!
Hi Rachel, many thanks but don't thank me.:D I think the universe was watching over you guys. All of the ladies were trying to convince
me not to stay and take the trails because of the bad weather - but I was stubborn. As I texted Mayan that I will start my trail
visit, you called. Imagine, if I was already on the trail with no signal.:D Then, as I was running towards the main entrance,
the rescuers suddenly arrived and started disembarking! See, divine intervention.:D You guys were being
watched....:D Please pass on to the others as I dont have their email addresses.:D