1.0: What are the categories available for the SAC 2016?
Competitors can choose to do the 3 day 100-150km adventure race (60%-70% mountain biking
and 30%-40% trail running / river tubing) OR the 3 day 80km-100km ultra trail marathon.
Competitors in the adventure race will race as a duo.
Competitors in the ultra run will run solo.
For the adventure race, competitors can expect mountain bike sections, trail running sections, biathlon sections (1 mountain bike between 2 competitors to share with 1 running and the other cycling and rotating as often as they wish with a maximum separation of distance of not more than 500 meters).
The routes cater for a variety of different types of people who may not want to run the route but rather trek the routes or brisk walk the routes with the ultimate objective of experincing some of the most beautiful parts of Sabah and with the intention of completing the entire route over the course of 3 days.
1.1: Do all teams start at the same time at the beginning of each day or will there be "staggered" starts?
All competitors generally start together on each day. Ultra-trail runners may start at the same time as well unless the start involves a mountain bike section. If so, ultra-trail runners may start 1 or 2 minutes behind the adventure racing competitors and allow the faster competitors on bikes to get ahead of the runners or at a different location before or after the start of the adventure race. Much of this will depend on the final race course the race directors put together. The format for the start will be announced during the official briefing of the event.
1.2: Will there be scheduled snack breaks / water stops during the race, or is it up to each team to decide / organise what is best for them?
There will be water stations at regular intervals along the race course for teams to top up their water before proceeding. The distance between water stations can be significant with steep climbs and hot conditions, and responsibility lies with each competitor to ensure they have adequate drinking water from check point to check point for the distance they need to cover each day. Race officials will patrol the race course to check up on competitors who need assistance on sections we feel require additional over-sight by the organizers.
All competitors will be advised where the water stations are before the start of each day and it is their responsibility to top up on water before proceeding. The SAC does not encourage individuals to drink river or stream water without treating the water for consumption first with water purifying tablets.
No meals are provided on the race course - it is up to competitors to bring sufficient nutrition to complete the days course. It is allowed to bring money and purchase food and drinks at small shops along the way. It is NOT allowed to receive assistance from support crews outside the start and finish area.
Breakfast and Dinner will be provided for teams for the duration of the event from Friday morning till Sunday afternoon.
1.3: Will there be a schedule of events available for each day?
The basic course and activities for each day will be provided with the course maps for each day. These are generally handed out the night before.
We do not give out information about the race course before the race to anyone, including support crews or the media to ensure a fair playing field for all concerned. This applies to both adventure racers and ultra-trail runners.
1.4: Must I follow a particular road, trail or the race course notes to get from a CP to another CP regardless if I am on foot or mountain bike?
Although not marked, the course is generally prescribed based on the course notes and the established CPs. There may be optional routes in some cases, and other routes using main roads will be off limit. For specific navigation sections, there may be a higher degree of route choices.
Competitors are also reminded that they may NOT get assistance to be transported around the race course, regardless of the distance and circumstances. Anyone caught breaking this rule will generally be disqualified.
1.5: Any advice on the map reading?
The maps and accompanying notes should be carefully studied before the race, including taking note of distances and bearings. Good navigation is a lot about being ahead - anticipating what is coming next, and checking that observations are in line with expectations. The maps are reasonably good in terms of the contours, but are at times outdated in terms of the roads shown as new roads and trails are constantly created while other become overgrown and disappear. You need to determine distance’s on map’s, important check points, and villages that will assist you in navigating from check point to check point using basic compass, good sense of bearing and proper planning. Team dynamics are important and depending on other teams to navigate from point to point may sometimes not be a good idea. We have much too often seen two teams following each other - both thinking they were on the right track as the other team was with them.....
Speedometers are useful items to have for your bike to make distance calculations. However, GPS units are not allowed for use at any point in the race.
1.6: Could you give us some guidance on what type of special training we should be doing for the adventure racing category?
For adventure race competitors, focus on basic mountain biking skills going both uphill and downhill are essential; being able to do basic repairs to your bike, repairing flat’s and being able to ensure your physical abilities are up to par for a long 8 hour to 12 hour days are crucial in preparing not just your body and mind for a Sabah Adventure Challenge, but having the right attitude and team work with your partner.
Having a comfortable pace for running, jogging or brisk walking with your mandatory gear is important. Stay off the main roads and head out into the outback/bush or look for hills where you can get productive training hours. Train as you would compete - preferably including exposure to rough terrain and climatic conditions.
For the ultra trail marathon, expect village trekking routes and abandoned logging roads as part of your trekking routes each day. You need to be able to not only stay focused on dealing with whatever routes are presented to you by the race directors but also have the ultimate goal of finishing the race course.
You do not need to run the entire route and it is very possible to trek the routes or brisk walk the routes if you are able to keep a steady pace.
it boils down to putting in the hours each week and getting yourself both physically and mentally prepared. Conditioning your body not only physically but also in the afternoon sun will help as well as trying to make your preparations as realistic as possible by putting in the distance and effort with your pack and gear on your back.
Work on basic orienteering skills with topographic maps available in your area and get friends to test your orienteering skills by getting out on a bike and following instructions on getting from point to point over the day during the hottest time of the day are some of the steps you may consider.
1.7 What is "home stay?"
It essentially means living with a local family in their home and using one of their rooms as an accommodation. All homes have a basic toilet and kitchen for you to use and also an opportunity to mix and interact with local families rather than isolate yourself in your tent at the end of the day and to just mingle with other competitors rather than truly discover what Sabah is all about and the experience of discovering what Sabahans are all about.
It was introduced in 2009 and has proven to be a successful option. However, the option for home stay accommodations is not available for the 2016 event.
1.8 Can I pull out of the race at any point and continue the next day?
Withdrawals from the race have to be at designated CPs - barring medical emergencies. Once you pull out of the race you will no longer be ranked, and you will not receive a final total time. If physically fit (not injured), you may however be allowed to take part in the race the following day to get the most out of the experience, but you will be competing un-ranked. The race director has the final say on all issues relating to competitors being allowed to compete each day.
1.9 Will meals be provided during the event?
Yes. We will be providing a basic breakfast and dinner for competitors from Friday night till Sunday morning as well as a prize giving lunch (Sunday afternoon). This will generally be expected to include basic local vegetables, a meat dish, and rice as well as local fruit for dinner. For breakfast, the likely menu will be bread, butter and jam, as well as eggs and fruits. This menu will vary depending on the caterers in the area of operations for the event.
2.0 What is the breakdown of mountain biking vs running/hiking vs water activities for the adventure race?
There are no specific rules or formula's for each year's race course. The race directors put together a race course that is challenging each year based on their experience and knowledge of the areas in question where the race is organized. It has to fit both the local trail options and logistics and it may include more hiking than mountain biking, or longer mountain biking sections as opposed to hiking sections on different days. Teams and individuals must be prepared mentally and physically for a combination of mountain biking and trekking with river crossings and tubing over the three days. This is the challenge put forward by the SAC and its course directors and for competitors to attempt to complete within the designated time given.
Assume a 60%-70% mountain biking section and 30%-40% trail running/hiking section for all competitors but this may vary day to day or year to year.
2.1: What are the changes to the format of SAC 2016?
As the planned Sea to Summit event for 2016 was not possible in the aftermath of the June 2015 earth quake, the 2016 SAC has reverted to the well-known combination of the 3 day adventure stage race and ultra marathon. specifics of the 2016 format can be found under the race and course descriptions.
2.2 What time do transports head back to Kota Kinabalu after the race finishes on Sunday?
Transports are expected to depart at 3.00-4.00pm after the lunch and prize giving ceremony. The buses are expected to reach Kota Kinabalu within an hour. If you require a transfer to the airport after the race, please inform the race organizers as this will be arranged at your own cost.