Monday, October 18, 2010
MOUNT KINABALU INTERNATIONAL CLIMBATHON 2010
Deemed “the World’s Toughest Mountain Race”, the Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon is the ultimate challenge to take for those who are game enough to test their endurance by running up and down Mount Kinabalu for a total distance of 21 kilometers.
The first climbathon was inaugurated in 1987 when Sabah Parks decided to scout for people to be in the rapid rescue squad, who are a team of rangers who are able to bring down injured climbers in minimal time—especially during times of bad weather or when helicopters are not available.
The participation for the climbathon was restricted to Malaysians only, until a year later when it was then opened for international participation. Starting 1995, the Sabah Tourism Board took over to organize this annual event.
The Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon is now very popular among the European mountain runners. They form the majority members in the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA), whose patron is the International Amateur Athletic Federations (IAAF).
Sabah Tourism Board and its wholly-owned subsidiary - Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd as the organizer for the Mt.Kinabalu International Climbathon; through the Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU), initiated to have Malaysia as the member country in the World Mountain Running Association.
Malaysia is the first Asian member country to be in the WMRA. Climbathon received a major boost when Malaysia won its bid to host the World Mountain Running Trophy in 1999 at Kinabalu Park—which is Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site.