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Iconic three-decade Mt Kinabalu climbathon comes to an end

KOTA KINABALU: The iconic Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon, dubbed as Malaysia’s toughest mountain race, will finally bring its curtains down after a 30-year run.

Event race director, Zachary Mobijohn said the move to discontinue the prestigious race was decided as the objective of promoting Mount Kinabalu had been achieved.

“Initially, the original purpose of organising the race was as a marketing tool to promote Mount Kinabalu.

“We had achieved the objective and the mountain is being over promoted now,” he said, adding any event would definitely have a start and an end.

Zachary added that the discontinuation of the Climbathon, is also aimed at preserving Mount Kinabalu’s status as United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage.

“Mount Kinabalu has its own carrying capacity or the maximum number of persons that can be at the mountain at one time.

“There are also minimal development that can be done at the site,” he said, adding such controls would help to maintain the natural state of Sabah’s iconic landmark in long terms.

On reactions over the cessation of the Climbathon, he said many of the race’s affiliations such as the Sabah Parks, International Skyrunning Federation and World Mountain Running Association among others have been informed about the decision.

“Some of them were sad due to the discontinuation, but they do understand,” he said, adding the organiser would focus on other promotional events.

The 30th Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon,which was held on Oct 15, 2017, saw Sabahan Safrey Sumping emerged champion when he clocked in at 2.18.28 for a shortened race route from Kinabalu Park to Panalaban, which stands 3,272 metres above sea level.

The Climbathon saw 116 runners from 18 countries and locally vying for honours in Kundasang with temperature of 7 degrees Celsius at Panalaban.

Source: New Strait Times | Feb 19, 2019