Frequently Asked Questions

Competitors can choose to do the 3 day 100-150km adventure race (60%-70% mountain biking

and 30%-40% trail running) OR the 3 day 75km-100km ultra trail marathon.

Competitors in the adventure race will race as a duo.

Competitors in the ultra run will run solo.

For the adventure race, competitors can expect mountain bike sections, trail running sections, the biathlon section (1 mountain bike between 2 competitors to share with 1 running and the other cycling and rotating as often as they wish with a minimum separation of distance of not more than 300 meters).

The routes cater for a variety of different types of people who may not want to run the route but rather trek the routes or brisk walk the routes with the ultimate objective of experincing some of the most beautiful parts of Sabah and with the intention of completing the entire route over the course of 2 days.

For the SAC event, all competitors will compete on 1 race course and also cover a similar distance and difficulty levels presented by the race course director.

There are no extreme or adventure categories for the multi-sport category.

1.1: Do all teams start at the same time at the beginning of each day or will there be “staggered” starts?

Yes. All competitors start together. Ultra-trail runners may start at the same time as well unless the start involves a mountain bike section. If so, ultra-trail runners may start 1 or 2 minutes behind the adventure racing competitors and allow the faster competitors on bikes to get ahead of the runners or at a different location before or after the start of the adventure race. Much of this will depend on the final race course the race directors have put together. The format for the start will be announced during the official briefing of the event.

1.2: Will there be scheduled snack breaks / water stops during the race, or is it up to each team to decide / organise what is best for them?

There are generally at least two or three water stations along the race course for teams to top up their water before proceeding. Responsibility lies with each team leader or individual runner to ensure they have adequate drinking water from check point to check point for the distance they need to cover each day. Race officials will patrol the race course to check up on competitors who need assistance on sections we feel require additional over-sight by the organizers.

All competitors will be advised where the water stations are before the start each day and it is their responsibility to top up on water before proceeding. Alternatively, they will need to improvise if it means collecting river water and purifying it sufficiently to make it safe for drinking.

The SAC does not encourage individuals to drink river or stream water without treating the water for consumption first with water purifying tablets.

Breakfast and Dinner will be provided for teams for the duration of the event from Friday morning till Sunday afternoon.

1.3: Will there be a schedule of events available for each day?

Yes and No. Yes in that you will only know what activities you will be doing the next day during the official briefing each night where the next day’s course description and maps will be passed out and questions

We do not give out information about the race course before the race to anyone, including support crews or the media to ensure a fair playing field for all concerned. This applies to both adventure racers and ultra-trail runners.

1.4: Must I follow a particular road, trail or the race course notes to get from a CP to another CP regardless if I am on foot or mountain bike?

You should use the race course notes assigned to you with your topographic maps as an essential guide to getting from point A to B during the race because we feel/felt this was the safest/best option to get you from CP to CP in the shortest time possible without putting you or your team mate in danger or risk getting lost on a trail that maybe looked like a short cut but wasn’t in reality. Competitors must be responsible when plotting their routes and figuring out what they should or shouldn’t do in order to complete the race course in a reasonable period of time. Competitors also need to use a degree of common sense because more than likely, they may  be putting themselves in trouble by taking a route that we had not recommended or even suggested.

Competitors are also reminded that they may NOT get the assistance of a vehicle or bicycle or to get transported around the race course, regardless of the distance. Anyone boarding a vehicle or using/getting on a mountain bike is breaking the rules and regulations of the race and will be automatically disqualified.

1.5: Any advice on the map reading?

Obvious, one member must be able to read, understand and use a topographic map. The maps are reasonably good and detailed enough. You need to determine distance’s on map’s, important check points, and villages that will assist you in navigating from check point to check point using basic compass, good sense of bearing and proper planning in success. Team dynamics are important and depending on other teams to navigate from point to point may sometimes not be a good idea. Speedometers are useful items to have for your bike to make distance calculations. However, GPS units are not allowed for use at any point in the race.

We use 1:50,000.00 scale topographic maps. A basic graps of being able to understand the maps is important and using a compass. As such, a race clinic has been organized in February and March 2011 with our partners in sport, Edge Adventure Sport. Please refer to our Updates Section of the website for details.

1.6: Could you give us some guidance on what type of special training we should be doing for the adventure racing category?

For adventure race competitors, focus on basic mountain biking skills going both uphill and downhill are essential; being able to do basic repairs to your bike, repairing flat’s and being able to ensure your physical abilities are up to par for a long 8 hour to 12 hour days are crucial in preparing not just your body and mind for a Sabah Adventure Challenge, but having the right attitude and team work with your partner.

Having a comfortable pace for running, jogging or brisk walking with your mandatory gear is important. Stay off the main roads and head out into the outback/bush or look for hills where you can get productive training hours spent on. Train as you would compete.

For the ultra trail marathon, expect village trekking routes and abandoned logging roads as part of your trekking routes each day. You need to be able to not only stay focused on dealing with whatever routes are presented to you by the race directors but also have the ultimate goal of finishing the race course.

You do not need to run the entire route and it is very possible to trek the routes or brisk walk the routes if you are able to keep a consistent speed and/or keep a steady pace.

it boils down to putting in the hours each week and getting yourself both physically and mentally prepared. Conditioning your body not only physically but also in the afternoon sun will help as well as trying to make your preparations as realistic as possible by putting in the distance and effort with your pack and gear on your back.

Work on basic orienteering skills with topographic maps available in your area and get friends to test your orienteering skills by getting out on a bike and following instructions on getting from point to point over the day during the hottest time of the day are some of the steps you may consider.

1.7 What is “homestay?”

It essentially means living with a local family in their home and using one of their rooms as an accomodation. All homes have a basic toilet and kitchen for you to use and also an opportunity to mix and interact with local families rather than isolate yourself in your tent at the end of the day and to just minggle with other competitors rather than truly discover what Sabah is all about and the experince of discovering what Sabahans are all about.

It was introduced in 2009 and has proven to be a successful option and we have introduced it yet again.

However, the option for homestay accomodations is not available for the event.

1.8 Can I pull out of the race at any point and continue the next day?

Yes you can. There will be a designated location each day where teams or individuals can opt to pull out. Individuals who withdraw at any point in the race CANNOT continue the race on the day but may continue with the permission of the race director the following day. The race director has the final say on all issues relating to competitors being allowed to compete each day. Competitors in this instance are therefore competing unofficially and unranked.

1.9 Will meals be provided during the event?

Yes. We will be providing a basic breakfast and dinner for competitors from Friday, 3rd April till Sunday, 5th April 2015 (Sunday afternoon) which includes basic local vegetables, a meat dish, and rice as well as local fruit for dinner. For breakfast, bread, butter and jam, as well as eggs. This menu may vary according to the recommendations of the cooks and caterers in the area of operations for the event.

2.0 What is the breakdown of mountain biking vs running/hiking vs water activities for the adventure race of SAC?

There are no specific rules or formula’s for each year’s race course. The race directors put together a race course that is challenging each year based on their experince and knowledge of the area’s in question where the race is organized and it may included more hiking than mountain biking, or longer mountain biking sections as opposed to hiking sections. Teams and individuals must be prepared mentally and physically for a combination of mountain biking and trekking over the three days. This is the challenge put forward by the SAC and its course directors and for competitors to attempt to complete within the designated time given.

Assume a 60%-70% mountain biking section and 30%-40% trail running/hiking section for all competitors but this may vary day to day or year to year +/- 10% or 15% either side of mountain biking vs trail running/hiking.

2.1: What are the changes to the format of SAC 2015?

The 2015 SAC is the final year the event maintains the format of a 3 day race over the Easter holiday weekend. This changes completely in 2016 as we make new changes to the race format and course design as well as number of day’s of the event and the event date it is traditionally held on. An official announcement for these changes will be made in mid to late 2015.

1.No changes to the 3 day adventure race format. However, the ultra now is a 3 day event and covers a longer distance of between 75 km to 100km over the 3 days.

2.All competitors must arrange their own pre-race/post-race accomodations for SAC 2015. You may pre-pay for rooms at Mega D’Aru Hotel (3 stars) or at Pacific Sutera Harbour (4 stars) as our transports depart from either of these locations.

All competitors are responsible for getting to their own hotels be it multi-sport teams or ultra trail runners. Do check with your hotel as some hotels do provide a free shuttle service and airport pick up without charges.

3. All competitors must bring their own tents (or share with friends) for SAC 2015 as we go back to the original concept of the SAC and campt out for 2 nights at Poring Hot Springs Camp site on the race course. Facilities are incredibly basic but we camp out along a river on a soccer field in the hot springs area and basic shower and toilet facilities are available on the camp site and a medical team will also be available to attend to basic medical needs post-race each day should a competitor need medical attention.

The SAC does not provide tents for use for this event but will assist in transporting your tents and travel bags to the camp site for you.

2.2 What time do transports head back from Poring Hot Springs back to Kota Kinabalu after the race on Sunday, 5th April 2015?

Transports depart at 3.00-4.00pm after the lunch and prize giving ceremony. The buses do not stop on the journey back and will drop competitors off at Mega D’Aru Hotel or Pacific Sutera Harbour Resort/Megallan Hotel in Sutera Harbour only. If you require a transfer to the airport after the race, please inform the race organizers as this will be arranged at your own cost.