Saturday, April 10, 2010

Borneo International Marathon 3—Routes & Distances

Some of my friends from outside KK have been asking me about the Borneo International Marathon (BIM) which will be held on 02 May. In particular, they want to know more about the respective routes and distances at certain points of the course. As most of you know by now, the descriptions given in the organiser's official website are not very clear, and in some cases wrong all together. So I thought it would be a bit helpful to give some help in this blog.

This is the map for the full marathon from the organiser's website (click on map for a larger view):

And this is the description by the organiser:

This begins at the Likas Sports Stadium and runners will make their way out towards the Coastal Highway, turning right at the roundabout and running along Likas Bay towards the Likas Mosque. Runners will proceed towards the Tun Mustapha Tower roundabout. The route then turns left along the seawall, into the Tun Mustapha complex, and out again to the roundabout, onwards to 1Borneo Hypermall. Running around 1Borneo, runners make the first loop of the marathon and return past the Tower and the Coastal Highway towards the central business district. Passing Jesselton Point , runners continue towards Wisma Merdeka Shopping Complex and towards the central market, past Le Meridien towards Wawasan Plaza. There, they turns right along the Coastal highway till they reach Sembulan then off to Tg Aru trafficlight where they make turns to right (Tg Aru) then of to Tg Aru Beach roundabout next to Waikiki condominium passing the Air Asia terminal junction and rugby field. After completing this loop, runners head back to the stadium for the finish.

Mostly an accurate description of the route, except for some portions. So I'm giving here the corrections on my own accord. Upon reaching the Tun Mustapha Tower roundabout, runners will NOT "turn left along the seawall, into the Tun Mustapha Complex and then out again to the roundabout." Instead, they turn immediately to the right (not left) in the direction of 1Borneo.

Runners will NOT be "running around 1Borneo... make the first loop of the marathon and return..." No, that is way too easy, and would fall short of a few kilometres! Instead, runners will run past 1Borneo (as opposed to running around it), and the northern loop is located a few kilometres beyond 1Borneo within the vicinity of 1Sulaman. There, runners will make the first loop for a return leg to the south.

Then the rest of the organiser's description looks sound to me, including those for half marathon and 10km races. For those who've run the full marathon last year and the year before that, you will notice that we no longer enter into the Sutera Resort this year. Instead, runners will proceed directly to the Tanjung Aru Beach roundabout where they will make the southern loop for the return leg to the Likas Stadium which is the finish line of the race.

Some of you have asked me for estimates of distances for certain points of the race for numerous reasons. So I've done a bit of calculations, and although my figures may not be 100% accurate, I'd say that they're very, very close. Well, I have worked out the distance from the Likas Stadium to the northern loop to be about 12km. By the time runners reach the Wisma Perindustrian roundabout, coming from the north, they would have covered about 23.5km. And at the southern loop, i.e. Tanjung Aru roundabout, that would be about 31.5km.

The 2 following maps (click for better view) are those of the half marathon and 10km races. And the descriptions given in the organiser's website are accurate.

I have also been given to understand by the Event Director, Mr Andrew Voon, that this year, road markers will be placed every 1km intervals. I think many runners would appreciate that very much. However, I suspect that these markers are positioned not strictly based on actual measurement on ground; rather based on GPS readings. At any rate, I am convinced that the margin of error, if any, would be very negligible.

As you can see, the full marathoners will be running an exclusive route up north to 1Sulaman, making a loop there, and then all the way back to the coastal highway. Upon reaching the Wisma Perindustrian roundabout, however, they will merge with the half marathon and 10km runners. And here, depending very much on your pace, it can become quite congested. At any rate, there will be enough room to run.

Based on the past 2 BIMs, it is likely that the organiser will run out of cups at the last 2 water stations. And in my case, when I reached the finish line (4:40) last year, they also ran out of drinks whatsoever. The only thing available then was cold Milo, but runners had to wait a good 15 minutes or so for them to replenish the supply.

I will try to invite the Event Director, Andrew Voon, to add further comments where appropriate. If you have further concerns about this event, please feel free to raise them here.

3 weeks to go, folks! Excitement is mounting. I have a bad feeling that I'm gonna lose that lobster bet against Dr Peter. But I just love the challenge!


teo said...

Lobster betting...sounds very tempting. Would like to join the bet. So my additional bet between you & me;

Who ever reach Sutera Main Entrance will win another lobster. Of course the catch is, you will start first (1:30hrs b4 me) but I am doing the 21k. So dare to bet? I will start very very slow as u know, may be 7min/km....and hope to finish strong. What say you? I will add another bottle of red wine if I lost haha

Cornelius said...

Well, let me see, teo...

The full marathon starts 90 mins before the half marathon. I am running the 42km, and you are running the 21km. Let's do a bit of math here.

By taking the 4:40 as a guide (my best time for the 42km so far), that works out to be about 6.6mins per km. Maybe I can run a bit faster this time, but I doubt that it will be significantly faster.

Now let me take your recent 21km time, i.e. Energizer Night Race @ 2:45 roughly. That works out to be about 7.8 mins per km. I am aware that you can run faster than that, e.g. Penang Bridge Marathon, but never mind, just take your slowest time anyway.

Now, after 90 mins running, I would have run about 13.6km based on above pace. I would've begun to feel the exhaustion by then. From that point, I would have to run about 14.4km to the entrance of Sutera. But you would only have to run about 7km to that point. Which means in order to beat you to Sutera, I would need to run more than twice your speed.

So this is the summary:

1) I have to run more than twice your speed for a distance of over 14km, whereas you only have to run 7km to beat me.

2) When "our race" begins, I would have been running for 1.5hrs, whereas you will be fresh.

3) I am about 10 years older than you; and you are taller than me with longer legs as well.

I think if you really want that lobster, you might as well ask me to treat you the meal right now without wasting the time for the bet! It is almost impossible for you to lose, my friend!

Tekko said...

This brings back nightmare memories of the 1st BIM. The Sutera stretch killed me and I gave up after that. One day I shall be back for another attempt at it. All the best to you and your friends.

Cornelius said...


I'm sure Andrew would welcome you back to KK again for the BIM!

Actually, Tekko, based on the long run I did yesterday morning, I think it will still be a nightmare for me this time. Maybe I'm just not built for the marathon, I don't know. After I finished running yesterday, I was thinking I'd be happy if I can improve by even a minute!

teo said...

Hmmm....a valuer indeed. I was just testing your skills la my fren. Haha in that case...can I claim my lobster on Sat nite then? I will bring my bottle of wine too. So we r even.

BTW, Sat 4.30am r u joining the F1 circuit or NASCAR circuit? Liaw, Kevin, Judy, Jack & me - F1. Andrew, Helen - NASCAR.

Tekko said...

btw, the Singapore Bay Run/Army Half Marathon registration has opened. It will be on 12/9/2010. With an early start at 5:15am and a relatively flat route (only a small slope up the Benjamin Sheares Bridge), it will be a good course to get your HM PB. More info here:

Cornelius said...


Makan punya hal no problem bah! But soonest will have to be next week. This week is just too tight! KK Challenge on Sunday.... making last minute rush on everything!

Yes, this Saturday, I will certainly be running. But am not sure if I'm joining the F1 or NASCAR. 4:30am is just too paranoid lah, teo! After all we're only running 20km-21km, so should be able to finish in a little over 2hrs. No need to start at 4:30am!

Cornelius said...


Thanks for the link. Will seriously consider it. Seems like just the right timing in preparation for the Penang Bridge Marathon in November. Will also try to pull some of our local runners to join too!