"Update from the race director, TMBT Ultra Trail Marathon, Sunday, 7th June 2015.
At 7.15am, Friday, 5th June 2015, Sabah was hit with an earthquake that measured 6.0 on the richter scale. This is the second time in the last 40 years Sabah has had an earthquake of this magnitude with the last one being a 6.2 earthquake back in 1976 on the eastern seaboard near the town of Lahad Datu.
As of today morning, 8.00am, local authorities have reported structural damage to infrastructure in and around the district of Ranau and the surrounding Kundasang area with land slides in rural village areas and damage to jungle areas below Mount Kinabalu.
I am also very sad to report casualties on the Mount Kinabalu summit on Friday morning in which a number of mountain climbers and lead guides, including a group of young school children from Singapore on a mountain expedition were killed instantly from the massive rock falls off the summit during the earthquake.
Efforts have been made since Friday to recover their remains and thus far, it has been successful but the area below the summit is still 'challenging' as there have been minor tremors and soil and rock movement off the summit and there are still a number of bodies to be recovered as of today morning.
We would also like to express our sincere condolences to the family of lead guide RobbI Sapinggi, who assisted us during TMBT 2013. Robbi was a cheerful, charismatic but dedicated mountain guide and leader from Kiau Nulu.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Sabah Parks and the management team and board of trustee's who were able to co-ordinate the rescue of well over 100 climbers from the summit of Mount Kinabalu in the aftermath of the earthquake as many were stranded on the summit for the day and it was with the efforts of Sabah Parks rescue teams, lead guides, park rangers and the assistance of village folks from the entire Mount Kinabalu valley who dropped everything and rushed to the Kinabalu Park headquarters to offer their help in whatever capacity that the rescue was able to be carried out.
State and federal authorities were able to bring in more assistance later in the day as an earthquake of this size and magnitude was not expected and it needed more resources to be brought in from Labuan and Kuala Lumpur to assist in the search and rescue operations.
\What made the damage so severe and what caused the number of casualties on the summit of the Mountain was in part the location of the epi center of this earthquake which was to the North West of Mout Kinabalu which severly affected the summit and led to the casualties on the summit. The other being the timing of the earthquake which unfortunately, occurred during the worst possible time when climbers were either on the summit itself, or were coming down from the summit after run rise and/or were on third party managed routes along the summit.
Nobody in any capacity could have predicted this earthquake from happening unfortunately.
As of today morning, we are evaluating the TMBT 2015 race course and thus far, there has been some soil movement and some minor damage to the race course from what we have been informed though not enough at this point in time to demand a wholesale change to the race course or any significant route changes to any of the routes for each category.
There have been no damage to the major trunk roads and highways connecting Kota Kinabalu and the Mount Kinabalu area to Sandakan.
We continue to assess the situation and will take a 'wait and see' approach as there have been a consistent number of tremors for much of the weekend but significantly smaller in scale and time frame but nothing in the scale we felt at 7.15am on Friday, 5th June 2015. These tremors general do happen after a major earthquake and do subside over a 24-48 hour period as the techtonic plates shift.
As of today morning, we have no plans at this moment in time to postpone the Borneo TMBT Ultra Trail Marathon 2015, scheduled for Saturday, 29th August 2015.
The TMBT route does not go up or near the summit of Mount Kinabalu and our route remains on the Western and South-Western/Southern ridges of mount kinabalu so the routes are not near or anywhere close to the summit area and are significantly far from the trail route that climbers to the summit traditionally use.
We are all very sad by what has transpired over the past 48 hours and the losses suffered by loved one's in Sabah and across the seas in Singapore and our neighbouring countries and I think all Sabahan's are traumatized by the whole experince but everyone needs time to recover and overcome this tragedy....
As of today, the event itinerary remains unchanged and the event continues as planned.
If there is a change in our plans or if there is a change in our decision making between now and the end of August 2015, all runners will be informed via email should there be any major announcements that affect the event.
Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of those who lost loved one's on the summit of Mount Kinabalu and with all Sabahan's near and far.
God bless everyone...
Avtar Singh Race Director Borneo TMBT Ultra Trail Marathon 2015"
TMBT Ultra Trail Marathon 1st June 2015 Update
1-TMBT 2015 has been certified as a 3 point qualifying race for "Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®" 2016 effective 1st June 2015 for the 100k category for runners who finish the event within the 30 hour cut off time.
2-Please note of a course deviation for the following categories for the finish line location effective Monday, 13th April 2015 for TMBT 2015:
25k & 50k competitors now finish the TMBT 2015 at the village of Nabalu between Tamparuli and Kundasang.
Kindly take note of this change. All buses will now depart from this location to Kota Kinabalu for competitors who have requested a bus transfer.
3-Deadline to make changes to event shirt sizes, event shirt purchased sizing and alterations to errors must be done before 25th April 2015. We must meet deadlines given to us by our suppliers to ensure all event shirts reach Kota Kinabalu in time for the event, taking into account production times and then shipping time frames from West Malaysia to Borneo.
4-We have a small number of 50k & 100k slots available for TMBT 2015. These are on a first come first basis. Kindly contact the organization for details.
5-Official Adidas Finisher Jackets for 100k category. Kindly note priority will be given to BUTM 100K competitors on the official registration list and any spare jackets available to the next TMBT 100K competitors who finish there after.
We have a limited number of the adidas finisher jackets which were originally pre-ordered for BUTM 100 in July 2014 so we do need to ensure BUTM runners get their jackets should they finish the race within the set 30 hour cut off time.
Obviously, we will have a few spare jackets which we will issue to TMBT 100K competitors as they finish in ranking order. Runners who miss out on the jackets due to them finishing OR not having the size you need will be awarded official TMBT finisher shirts from 2nd Skin Clothing range instead.
6-As a reminder, the TMBT race course is designed exclusively with competitors in mind and not designed to be 'supporter' friendly. Please note the TMBT is a non-supported race and competitors cannot recieve assistance, food, drink or any assistance in terms of material, products, race gear (replacement or not) from non competitors or 'outsiders.'
To recieve such assistance will incur an automatic disqualification from the race.
Competitors are also reminded that much of the race course is designed on private village lands and lots belonging to farmers and individuals whom have given us permission to enter and pass. These for the most part are not public parks or public trekking routes.
We cannot divert resources for search and rescue operations for non competitors and cannot guarantee the safety of non competitors on the race course.
It is not a case of "it is my responsibility if anything happens to me" but rather you do not have permission to be on the race course" from the village authorities and land owners and as such, you should not be pacing, trekking or following the competitors on the course except at pre-determined check points along the race course which will be highlighted to all competitors once the race course maps for all categories are available in mid June 2015.
We apologize for being heavy handed but we have had issues in the past with individuals, supporters and family members completely ignoring our directives and then getting into trouble on the race course and getting us involved in issues we should not and do not want to get involved in when there is a dispute with a land owner or they have put themselves in trouble on the route.
Our focus must remain on the safety and well being of the competitors.
Your kind co-operation is appreciated.
7-Bus transfer options have now closed and we thank everyone for their co-operation in helping us ensure we were able to meet the deadlines set.
8-Orders for official TMBT buff scarf's and event tee's have also closed and we are no longer taking orders for these items.
9-We are in the process of migrating to a new registration system for all competitors in the TMBT/BUTM 2015. This migration has already begun with the Hasuu Tasuu Night Trail Run 2015 and will continue shortly with TMBT/BUTM 2015 competitors.
Relevant emails will be sent out in the next 4 weeks category by category as we set up the system which will not only cut down the registration time to sign up for a race but will also give you access to your race profile, official race competitor lists and options and the ability to amend event shirt sizes/emergency mobile phone number and so forth.
Thank you for your attention. If you have questions or need clarification, please email us at
and please indicate your full name and official bib number when corresponding with us.