93 have signed up for Mt Kinabalu Climbathon
The annual Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon is still gaining popularity going by the number of foreign participants in the event, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said. Speaking at the Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony between Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) and Sabah Tourism Board (STB) yesterday, Masidi said as of yesterday, 93 people from Australia, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, The Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, Swedçn, USA and Singapore have registered for the event. “There has also been a significant increase in the participation of runners from Peninsular Malaysia in the past two years, thanks to the title sponsor, Telekom Malaysia Berhad. We are expecting more participants as the closing date is August 18,” he said. According to Masidi, the involvement of TM as the title sponsor of the annual event has significantly added prestige to the event which is dubbed, the “World’s Toughest Mountain Race”. The Climbathon, he said, remains part of the prestigious Buff Sky Runners World Series circuit and is the only race held outside Europe. H enoted that the Climbathon is the fourth leg of the circuit which includes Spain, Switzerland, Andorra, United Kingdom and Italy this year. He said Sabah has been chosen to host the 2009 final circuit and the crowning of the world champion of Buff Sky Runners World Series will be be held here. “I am very happy that Sabah was chosen as this reflects the confidence the circuit organizers have in our ability to organize such an event,” he said. Masidi said that in celebrating the event’s 22nd anniversary and to create a more fun as well as exciting atmosphere at the race venue, drawing and colouring competitions will be held for primary and secondary school students. Visitors to Kinabalu Park as well as non- participants will be entertained with cultural performances and games, he said. TM will also be holding its TM Fiesta providing a variety of products promotion as well as other services to ensure the success of the event. The Climbathon offers its winners cash prizes totalling USD$33,400 along with gold pendants for runners who reach the summit first in both the Men’s and Women’s categories. In 2007, the Men’s Open category saw Spain’s Kilian Jornet Burgada coming in first place in 2:39. lOs, followed by fellow Spaniard, Austi Roc Amador (2:47:32s) and Italian, Dapit Dulvio (2:49:36s). The Spaniards also took first and second places in the Women’s category.