|About Borneo SF200K|
'Borneo SF 200k' as an extreme ultra marathon with the express intention of remembering the 'Z men' who conducted operations particularly in Borneo between 1944-1945. There has been discussions on forums amongst veterans and military history buff's about the correct use 'Z Force' and the 'SRD' and we humbly respect the fact "Z Special Unit Association of NSW refer to themselves as "SRD Operatives", "Z Men" or (army only) as members of "Z Special Unit".
Many Contemporary and post-war records (such as individual service records and nominal rolls) show the unit as "Z Force". This appears to have been a standard (AMF) administrative term for ISD/SRD. "Special Operations Executive - Australia" was the classified designation for the whole organisation with "Inter-Allied Services Department", the cover name. When SOE-A/ISD was disbanded, the organisation was absorbed into the Allied Intelligence Bureau and its classified name became "Special Operations Australia" with "Services Reconnaissance Department" as the cover name.[F]
For the purpose of non-military historians and the general public who have yet to discover or understand the history and exploits of the 'Z Force men' in Borneo or the units/teams that operated in the area we are based in, we shall refer to the teams/men/units as 'Z Force' to keep things simple. We hope this will not upset veterans and families of veterans.
Much of the work of "Z Force or SRD" (Services Reconnaissance Department), has set a precedent for modern special forces and their ability not only to work and train local indigenous forces, but to build a guerilla force and to operate behind enemy lines.
The 5-day ultra marathon takes runners through the highlands and lowlands of Mount Kinabalu to the banks of the Kinabatangan river near Sandakan and an opportunity to join in the memorial service at the end of the event to remember those who lost their lives in Borneo on the infamous Borneo Deathmarch of 1945. Very few people outside of Borneo or Australia know about the Borneo Deathmarch. There is great awarness of Hell's Pass and the 'River Kwai' and treatment of Prisoners of War in Thailand, and of Filipino and American Prisoners of War on the brutal Bataan Deathmarch but very little has been highlighted amongst historians in Malaysia about a brutal historic event that happened in the state of Sabah.
Over the last decade, both amateur and dedicated military historians have made efforts to highlight the works of Kevin Smith and Lynette Silver and it wasn't until 2006 and the efforts of Sabah Society and Dr. Ravi Mandalam and local tour leader Tham Yau Kong did we see an actual trek to re-trace the actual route in it's full 250 kilometers from Sandakan to Ranau. That would mean, since 1947, nobody had gone back and done the actual walk so it was a historic march of sorts.
I have decided to start in Ranau and to work ourselves East to Sandakan in reverse.
This is an extreme event for experinced extreme runners looking for a challenge beyond the normand for those looking to understand in a small way what the prisoners went through and what challenges they faced in their sorry state.
This ultra is also Malaysia's first 200 kilometer ultra marathon.
Rules and Regulations for the event
We are keeping the rules and regulations as simple as possible for the SF Ultra.
1) All competitors will commence the event together at a designated time and location. Competitors who are delayed are given a reasonable amount of time to join the race. No separate starting time will be applied as such.
2) We will utilize a stop watch to record the actual finish times. Each day's finish time will be accumulated and a total time over the 5 day event will decide the winner of the event.
3) This is a marked race course with course markers spread over 100m-200m. We will be utilizing reflecting marking tape and flags on the race course. Signages will be used at junctions where applicable.
4) Removal of any marking tape, signage or flags means an immediate disqualification.
5) Competitors are responsible in following basic traffic rules and ensuring common sense is applied at all times when on the race course especially when there is heavy traffic on the road. Headlamps must be used from 6pm-6am and a reflective vest worn for safety reasons during these times.
6) The race director reserves the right to suspend the event due to act's of god or if there are safety issues. The race director also reserves the right to make race course changes in lieu of acts beyond his control or due to bad weather or acts of god.
7) Competitors understand this is an extreme event over a 5 day period and they are responsibile in ensuring they are medically fit and have sought the advice of a doctor to approve their participation in the event. Conditions during the day may be extremely hot and competitors understand the risks associated with competing in hot conditions and should be experinced enough when competing in this event to know how much drink is needed to keep hydrated.
8) The race director reserves the right to withdraw a competitor from the race if he feels the competitor is medically unfit or unable to continue.
9) Competitors are reminded to be courteous towards other competitors and to respect the spirit of the race and it's intentions. There is no prize money for this event so competitors are reminded to respect the feelings and intentions of fellow runners, some of whom are doing the event for sentimental or personal reasons. We will be camping out for 5 days together in difficult conditions and we need everyone to co-operate and to be tolerant of each other.
10) A briefing of the following day's race course will be conducted each night before/after dinner to ensure competitors go on the race course with the most up to date information relating to the routes. There will be a question and answer session at the end of the briefing.
11) Competitors accept that the race director reserves the right to delay or to start significantly earlier if there are conditions or situations that require him to do so. We are starting the event early in the morning on day 1,2,3 but for day's 4 and 5, we will be starting either at midnight or in between 12:00am and 6:00am.
12) Competitors must arrange their medical insurance in the event a competitor needs specialist treatment in Sabah. We recommend buying a basic international travel insurance which includes evacuation costs covered. This event can be classified under a "tourism" package of travel.
13) Drinking water will be available each morning pre-race and post-race for competitors in 500ml sized bottles. There will be designated water stations along the race course, generally every 10-20km, depending on the race course and the race director's experince of the route.
The location of these water stations will be made known to all competitors during the briefing and at what kilometer.
14) Please refer to the mandatory kit list for the required equipment for the event. Competitors may be penalized anywhere from 5 minutes to 1 hour if mandatory kit is found missing during random checks on the race course. The mandatory kit is extremely basic and is not designed to weigh you down but it contains what we feel is neccessary for an event of this sort on the race course you will be running on and over.
15) Nudity is unacceptable and all competitors are required to respect the local traditions and to ensure they are not walking about nude or in underwear. It is fine to be topless around the camp area but understand you will be travelling through native villages and towns and it is not in anyone's best interest to be offending anyone with any eccentric antics. The race director will intervene if he feels someone is going too far.
16) The support team and volunteers for the event are there to assist you. They are not however there as coolies so please understand they have job taskings and responsibilities to attend to during the event and even whilst you are resting at the camp sites. If at anytime you are unhappy with the conduct or actions of a marshall or support team membr or volunteer, have a word with the race director and leave it to him to attend to whatever issue there may be that needs to be resolved.
17) Hoping in vehicles or getting lifts is unacceptable during the course of the event and means an immediate disqualification. If you are unable to continue, withdraw at a check point or wait for the sweeper vehicle to catch up and to pick you up.
18) Competitors who have withdrawn at any point in the event may continue the next day but unranked. It is not our intention to deny competitors the opportunity to finish the event but common sense is needed. If a competitor has suffered heat stroke or heat exhaustion and has been withdrawn from the event, the are unlikely to be allowed to continue the race.
19) Some locations and camp sites have very little faciilities and spartan toilets. We ask for your understanding and co-operation at these locations and to be as practical as possible when using water to bath or when using the facilities.
20) Communications: there is mobile phone signal at 90% of the camp sites so you are able to recieve/make calls. We however request you respect other competitors and refrain from talking loudly past 10pm when there may be competitors fast asleep. If you need to talk on the phone, please do so away from the sleeping area and discreetly/quietly please.
21) Meals served will be basic asian fare. Please do not expect gourmet meals. If there is a particular item you are allergic to, please let us know ahead of the event.
22) Competitors will be given the opportunity to switch shoes from trail running to road running or road running to trail running shoes at one 'transition point' on certain days where there are sections on the trail and then on a main road or asphalt road. You need to pack your shoes for the transition point in a shoe bag with whatever items you wish us to move for you before the start of the race each morning to the designated check point (will be highlighted to you during the briefing the night before) at least 30 minutes before the start.
23) This is not an IAAF or officially santioned ultra race.
24) Competitors who withdraw from the event may transfer their entry fees to another SAC organized event in 2012 such as the TMBT ultra marathon 2012 in September. We will not be extending any carry over's into 2013 or beyond. The cost to organize the event is fixed and we cannot be refunding money for slots that have been paid for and essentially confirmed.
25) Competitors may use headphones and listen to music whilst running on all sections EXCEPT at designated sections the race director will highlight to you during the briefing due to heavy vehicle traffic or safety reasons.
Credit: [F] [F] credit to the discussion on the proper use title/name applied to SRD operatives: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3AZ_Special_Unit