Race Format

The original plan for the 2016 version of the SAC involved an epic journey from the Sea to the Summit of Mt. Kinabalu. In the aftermath of the June 2015 earth-quake that devastated the Summit Trail to Mt. Kinabalu, safety concerns have prevented us from achieving the required permits to use the new summit trail, which was only very recently opened to tourist. We hope that we will be able to offer the opportunity of the Sea to Summit race in 2017.

We have instead chosen to revert to the well established format that has seen 15 successful races since 2000. The 2016 version of the Sabah Adventure Challenge will be going "Back to the Roots" with camping in a relatively remote village and going to areas in the Kiulu Valley traversed by some of the first SAC races in the early 2000's.

As outlined under "Race Information", the Sabah Adventure Challenge is a stage race over three days and involves two race categories:

  • Two-person teams in the multisport category
  • An individual trail running category

Each runner or adventure team will be timed from the START and to the time they cross the FINISH line. The total accumulated time over the three day's (ultra) or three day's (multi-sport) will determine the final race time and overall placing.

The multisport category is expected to include the following disciplines:  Trail running, mt. biking, biathlon (1 bike per team), river tubing, navigation, with possible additions of rope skills. The final list of disciplines will be informed competitors at least 1 month in advance of the race. The Ultra Trail category will use parts of the same trails as the multisport course, but all on foot. Both categories will navigate through a series of Check Points (CPs) based on provided contour maps and course notes. Water will be provided along the course at selected CPs. There may be cut-off times imposed at certain check points for safety and logistical reasons. These are generally generous and should not affect reasonably fit competitors.

Race Course

The Sabah Adventure Challenge involves basic navigation and map reading, and the exact race course will only be revealed during the race briefing.

The race is a stage race over 3 days with the multisport course expected to cover in the order of 120-150 km combined over the 3 days. This will mostly be on gravel roads, jungle trails and in rivers, with the ultra trail run covering in the order of 80-100 km through similar terrain.

Important Note!

The race director reserves the right to reduce or modify the race course at any time in the interest of safety or if a course change is forced on him due to conditions or events beyond his control.

The race directors reserve the right to impose mandatory rest times at designated check points during the course of the race for all competitors to reduce the risk of heat stroke. The time spent waiting will be deducted from your total race time.

The race director and event doctors reserve the right to withdraw a competitor if there is a medical need to do so and any decision made will be final.

Training Advice

Both the multi-sport Adventure Race and the Ultra Trail run are endurance events in varied terrain and with full exposure to variable weather conditions that can range from extreme heat and dry conditions to torrential, chilling rain. There will be steep hills with narrow trails in uneven terrain. It will be an endurance events designed to daily race times in the order of 5 to 10 hours. It is recommended that training for the event should include off-road training in terrain to strengthen ankles, balance and sure-footedness in uneven terrain. Longer session in hotter conditions to "acclimatize" are also recommended.

A pair of good trail running shoes with good grip is highly recommended.