Malaysia

Bayan Atuh Trail Ultra 2018

The first time my family and I traveled to Kuching was in March 2017,  purpose was to visit a university that had accepted my son’s application for a Bachelor degree in electrical engineering. Unfortunately for me, I had a bad sore through and was running an uncomfortable fever during the trip, food wasn’t particularly exciting in my condition and walkabouts in the city on a sunny day, well, you know how the rest of the day went.

Fast forward a year to April 2018, I signed up for the Bayan Atuh Trail Ultra 50K in Kuching organised by Grit Event Management, the same weekend as Cameron Ultra 2018. I had no expectations of how the event would turn out for me, my only qualifications (similar distance and total ascent) were having previously completed TMBT 50K in 2016/2017, Cameron Ultra 55K in 2017 and BUTM 2018 50K.

I did however have one concern and that exactly a year ago, during Cameron Ultra, I suffered searing knee pain on both legs after the 15km mark only to struggle the remaining 36km with something I later learned was Iliotibial band syndrome, commonly referred to as ITBS. I had logged 7,700m of climbs that month without sufficient rest in between.

Visit Bayan Atuh Trail Ultra’s official Facebook page for many more race day photos to wet your appetite for their 2019 edition. 50K flagged-off in the dark and also finished the same so I relied on the photo sets from various photographers to see what I had missed that day.

15 hours and close to 50km later at Bayan Atuh Trail Ultra, my total climb for July 2018 came to 9,100m (1,400m more than the previous year), and I was relieved and delighted at the same time to have finished the grueling race with no injury other than much needed rest to make up for how early we began our journey from the hotel to the jetty to the start line.

Because this was Grit’s first ultra trail event, curiosities arose as to whether this 50K was easier or tougher than TMBT’s 50k. I made the comparison purely for fun as we all know numbers alone only provide one side of a race course’s story — the other side needs to be lived out however challenging it becomes in reality.

Malaysia

Postcard From Mount Kinabalu

Sometime in May 2016 John Huong had just descended from having successfully reached Low’s Peak and was resting at Laban Rata before continuing on his descend down to Timpohon Gate. I can’t remember if I saw his status on Facebook or Instagram but I was quick to ask for a favour while it was still convenient and that was to mail me a postcard from the highest post office in Malaysia — located right next to Mountain TORQ’s Pendant Hut at 3,289m above sea level.

I walked past this very post box during my climb a month earlier and it didn’t hit me at the time that it might have been a functioning one until I chanced upon a web page that said it’s “certified the highest post box by Malaysia Book of Records.”  John picked the postcard of St John’s Peak and gave me an exciting addition to my growing collection of postcards from around the world.

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Google 'shimworld postcards' and you'll see a couple of blog posts of my postcard collection from senders around the world including Bruneian friends who took precious time out of their holiday to send me one sometimes two. Thank you very much! Here's a unique one of them all — mailed in by trail runner friend @laribananaz after he successfully completed his Mount Kinabalu climb in May 2016. Location: Next to Mountain TORQ’s Pendant Hut Elevation: 3,289 metres above sea level Date of installation: 14th February, 2015 Certified highest post box by the Malaysia Book of Records All outgoing mail receive the Mount Kinabalu post office ink stamp. John, I have finally visited Kuching 😎 #sabah #malaysia #kotakinabalu #postcard #postoffice #shimworld #mountain #MountKinabalu #trailrunning #gunungkinabalu #mountaintorq

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Malaysia

Climbing Mount Kinabalu Ranau Trail

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Photos: Canon PowerShot G5 X and Samsung Galaxy Note5

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Our mountain guide was a young, patient gentleman who let us take our time descending from Low's Peak with a view of the iconic South Peak in the distance (second photo). And taking our time I did being the last one (not counting the other brave souls attempting their Via Ferrata some stones away) Compared to my miserably wet and depressing 2013 climb this one was godsend nevermind that the sun was up in full force and I was still moving snail pace soaking up the gorgeous, breathtaking but often nauseating (not a great fan of all things altitude) panoramic views owing to perfect weather. I took this rare opportunity to take as many pictures as my semi-numbed fingers could handle. 📷 Jan Shim Photography #mountain #mountainclimbing #MountKinabalu #malaysia #sabah #kotakinabalu #shimworld #fitness #sunny #landscape #photography #photographer #mountaintop #panorama #serene #cold #amazingborneo #janshimphotography

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