Friday, November 6, 2009

Kinabalu Climbathon 2009 - Day 3

Day 3

2 weeks after the strenuous climb and my dislocated & fractured finger is able to bend a little without pain. It is getting much much better. Phew!Powerman...2 days away so I'll be gentle...

2 days after the clumsy fall... down 8steps on a steep staircase.

This is my souvenior from a failed to achieve climb. Oh yes, I failed to reach the 4095.2m summit on time. At the cut off time 2hr30min, I still have 2km to go and that distance is the toughest climb after Sayat Sayat checkpoint.

Mens open
Time limit to reach summit 2hr30min
Time limit to reach finish line 2hr
Total time limit 4hr3omin

A first try to something totally different from my usual flat road runs is this 23rd Kinabalu International Climbathon - The World's Toughest Mountain Race.

This climbathon's slogan is "Are you tough enough?"

Well, I was tough enough to give it a try but I was not tough enough to reach the summit in the Open category given time. It's mind boggling just to know I have such a SHORT time to finish this race. So, not being too ambitious, I set my target as...Laban Rata in 2hr30min, taking it easy since training for this climb was only a handful and none ever surpassed 1hr climb... :P

Tony, Yip & myself met Tey, Yee Choi & Annat LCCT on Fri morning. Breakfast at McD was Yee Choi's story telling time. His expedition to Everest base camp kept our ears glued. 2 weeks of hiking and in a way, training for climbathon, was filled with achievement, success but sadness and fear were not left out either. 2 members of his team had to be airflown back to Kathmandu due to severe altitude sickness.

Kinabalu...altitude sickness? Oh no!

We met climbers at Sabah Tourism Board office to catch the bus to Kinabalu park. Met a few fellow ironmen, marathoners from KL. At registration office, we were disappointed to find no T-shirt was included in this year's event.

Mens open took place on Sunday 25thOct, a day after Mens Veteran & Women Open. My uncle Peter was kind enough to come all the way from Lawas to give his support.
From left : Shazly, Yip, Uncle Peter, me, Joe

7am sharp...bang! We're off. The 1st km on tarmac and so we sprinted. Crossing Timpohon gate was a descend before crossing a stream signalling uphill all the way. Yes, all the way.
As the climb started, I tried to pace myself. Reaching 4.5km, left calf gave a sudden twitch which made me slow down. Air gradually got thinner not to mention the temperature dropping. 5km and quads joined in the twitching game. I knew it was coming. Cramps! Why can't they leave my legs alone???
Reaching Laban Rata at 1hr57min meant target achieved. But legs were crying. Gunting Lagadan, 2hr5min, rested 5min and that's when the top10 skyrunners went pass going down as if they were doing 100m sprint. Amazing!

The next 30min was the toughest climb I ever experienced. Thin air, cold & freezing, cramped up legs, every step my lungs were screaming for oxygen. Making situation worse, the sky opened up with drizzle and wind factor made the temperature dropped further till I could feel it down to my bones.2hr36min...race closed. Sayat Sayat was 300m ahead, summit 2km further. Not this time...

Going down looked daunting...big steps down the mountain! Poncho I was wearing was flapping non stop catching wind. That was partly why it felt more difficult going down.
Talking about being difficult, I made it worse. Fell down wooden staircase like a bag of tomatoes!
Whacked my left hand ring finger full force on my fall beside my poor butt getting the beating down 8 steps. As a result, my finger was dislocated and fractured, butt got knocked out and I was practically stunned for 5min. Sat there blurred. I was amazed there was no broken bones, no splashing blood, my head was still intact and I was still in 1 piece! Phew! Thank God for that!

My ring finger was bent downwards. Dislocated till I couldn't straighten it. And that's what I had to bear all the way down to the finish line, not forgetting the pain in the ass...literally!!!

10km to finish line with my fingers all wrapped up. Crossed finish line in 4hr47min for a total distance of 17km as opposed to the actual 21km.

Waiting for medical attention and St John's crew directed me to Ranau Hospital

I take this medal as a reminder of what I have to do next year. Reach the summit on time and come down without falling!

Mount Kinabalu...I'll be back!

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