Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Running: Borneo International Marathon 2014 (Sabah)

You Pace or Mine? May The Fourth Be With You!

On May 4th, 2014, I successfully ran in the Borneo International Marathon 2014 held in my very hometown, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Had registered earlier as when the registration was open for the early bird fee. Since this was my first time joining, I decided to go with the 10K distance. My younger brother had his 4th full marathon 42K (if not mistaken) on this event. People asked me why 10K only? I should participate in the Full Marathon 42K distance since this is my hometown. But I would prefer to run towards city and enjoy the morning scene in KK city more since I have been spending most of my time in Kuala Lumpur.

Race Pack Collection Day
Reached Kota Kinabalu city with AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur on the last day of race pack collection (RPEC) day held in Suria Sabah located 10 minutes away from Terminal 2 Kota Kinabalu Airport. RPEC was managed smoothly when I arrived. I just have to hand over my registration receipt and sign my name on the runners list. Can see many of outstation runners on that day. Bumped with some runner friends from LYN Runners too.

There were some exhibition booths at the venue. Not sure about promotions but participants could buy good running accessories from compression gears, hydration kit and others. Heard that Rock Tape sold out from one of the booths.

Running Day
I left home an hour before flag off time. My younger brother, Shafwan was already running by that time since the full marathon 42K category was flagged at 3am. Parking was ample since the location was at the city stadium. This stadium was well-known for local people as it is the usual venue for sporting and major events in Sabah.

Thought of doing a quick pre-hydration before flag off, but no water station was seen at the area. I decided not run with my hydration belt this time as the elevation was flat  and I was quite familiar with the route. The 10K category was flagged at 6am and I started from the back of the group.

Sunrise in Sabah is an hour earlier than peninsular Malaysia as the geographical location. So flag off time was just right to enjoy a sunrise scenic by the sea coast during the run.

Beautiful morning by the sea in KK

Water stations were available at every 3KM with mobile toilets and medical team on standby. Each water stations provide normal drinking water and 100 Plus. The medical team was efficient as there were 2 - 3 volunteers with muscle sprays. Distance and direction signs were placed at every checkpoints and turns.

Signages and mobile toilets
Water Station

Traffic control was good by the police and RELA officials. Traffic cones were placed along the running route to separate motor vehicles and runners. Volunteers with bicycle acts as sweepers were seen along the running route too.

At KM7, the heat was already getting its way. It's been a while since I had a very good tan in my hometown. 

Came out with my Sabah flag upon entering the Likas Stadium with just a few hundreds metres to cross the finishing line. The Sabah flag have been with me throughout most of my runs. Would'nt want to miss this flag at its origin.

Completed the 10K run at 1 hour 7 minutes via Nike Running app. Did get 'Fastest 5K and 10K" on the apps even with a few stops for some photography actions.

The medal, mineral water and a can of Malta were given upon crossing the finish line. After a short warm-up, I queued for a cold cup of Milo at the Milo mobile van continued with another cup along the queueing lane, then a cereal breakfast and a chilled ice-cream. All this were free for participants. Saw a couple of volunteers giving out free Sabah Times newspapers too.

Bumped with my schoolmate from SBPS @ SMESH, Jasmie at the gathering area just right after his 21K. Shafwan, Hazazi and Zul were still en route to complete their 42K during that time. Guess most of my friends in Sabah were running either Half Marathon 21K or Full Marathon 42K in this event. 10K is absolutely not a challenge for the usual trail runners.

My younger brother during his 42K
Noticed some exhibition booths but didn't managed to check it out since the venue was very crowded. Go ahead, click my Keek video below.

The registration fee was too expensive from my point of view. I registered the 10K for RM60 at an early bird rate. I could be running for Half Marathon 21K distance with a well known brand with this type of fee. I will expect more on the entitlements with this type of fee in the future.

Medal design could be improved. Why must somewhat same design from 2013 but with different colours? As this is going to a yearly event, organisor may consider to revamp the medal designs. The running tee was alright, but the design or brand could be much better. 

I understand that there are photography service provider for running or finishing photo. But to find out that to register your bib number before the race was absolutely a turn-off. Think that the photography (even to make some money) could be managed similar like FinisherPix. But at least you should have uploaded the runners finishing pictures for free on Facebook.

But I heard that there were a lot of improvements in this event if to compare from last year. Excellent water stations and traffic control. Totally love the Milo mobile vans, cereal and the ice-cream. Keep it up!

Summary: Good job to all! Event was well managed by organisor and partners. I may join next year for the Half Marathon 21K. Looking forward for more improvements in this event.

Event Recommendation: ★★★★

Borneo International Marathon 2014 Completed!

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