Thursday, March 16, 2017

Borneo International Marathon 2017—New Race Routes

There was something of a stir when the organiser of the Borneo International Marathon published the race routes for the 2017 race, which will be happening on 07 May. Of the 3 main categories—10km, 21km (Half Marathon) and 42km (Full Marathon)—there are major changes to the 10km and 42km routes; whereas the 21km remains the same as the previous year.

Here are the race routes as published:

10km Category:

This route is substantially different from the previous year in that it does not bring participants to go round the KK city centre up to Jalan Tuaran, thus making a loop to finish at the Likas Sports Complex. Instead, starting from the sports complex, it brings participants out to the coastal highway through Jalan Istiadat, making a left turn heading towards the city, but making a U-turn before actually reaching the city centre. Participants then make their way north, passing Taman Awam Teluk Likas before turning at the roundabout and then heading back to the finish line at the sport complex.

Although there is an intimidating elevation profile of the course at the bottom of the map, I wish to advise non-local participants that that profile is essentially misleading and does not reflect the true profile of the course. You can take it from me—this area is my training ground—the entire course for the 10km race will be FLAT; you can't get any flatter than this kind of flat!

Half Marathon (21km):

As mentioned earlier, this route is basically the same as last year's; that is to say that participants start from the Likas Sports Complex, heading out to the coastal highway through Jalan Istiadat, and then turning north, passing the bridge across Sungai Likas. Then proceed north before entering Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) for an approximate 5km-6km hillwork, and then back to the sports complex again for the finish. The only slight difference is just after the bridge where there is now an overhead bridge, but the difference is very slight and minor. The challenge is still the hills in the UMS sector, which is approximately the midway of the 21km course.

Full Marathon (42km):

I reckon approximately 40% of the race route for the full marathon is different from that of last year's. Participants start from the Likas Sports Complex as in previous years; then out to the coastal highway, and turning south to the KK city centre to reach Jalan Tuaran where participants turn north towards Likas. However, instead of turning back into the sports complex, participants proceed all the way up to Likas proper to reach the Inanam Bypas. Continue along the Inanam Bypass all the way to Manggatal at the point where the old Jalan Tuaran rejoins the Inanam Bypass. There, at the traffic lights, turn left heading to Sepanggar. This road eventually connects to Jalan Sulaman which is familiar territory of the previous route. Participants then find their way back to the Likas Sports Complex for the finish, but having to enter UMS for about 5km-6km of hillwork.

Participants should bear in mind that on the whole, the race route is more challenging this year since the undulating elevation is more pronounced during the second half of the course, and of course the toughest will be that of the UMS sector which is beyond 25km into the race. Now is perhaps a good time to make proper plans on nutrition and hydration in anticipation of the tougher challenge in the later stages of the race.

I hope your training for the race is progressing well, and I take this opportunity to wish you all the best. See you on 07 May!

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