This is the part you want to read if you want to know more about the race event.
Day 2 – 14 September 2018 , 2.30pm
All participants, fellow volunteers gathered at Bario Asal longhouse for race briefing conducted by Julian and assisted by Liuyi. It was a short informal briefing where everyone just gather around the dining table. There was also a question and answer session. Then after that, followed by race pack collection. Names were called out 1 by 1 to collect their race pack. Much like classroom attendance.
By 4.00pm, we were brought to part of the trail to understand the route and marker. It turns out to be like a hike.
Dedicated volunteers going up to the mountain with the waters and their own supply which staying overnight in the jungle for the event.
After checking out the route, we returned to our respective home stays, eat our dinner and prepared ourselves for the main 21KM event.
We started off at the Bario Market, where some of the locals came out to support. The route is very well planned as we get to see interesting places. The route wasn’t that technical, just make sure you have enough stamina to climb the constant elevation. From the market, we continued with the village road, followed by the farm trail, Buffalo trail, jungle trail and the last one is my favourite which is the Mossy Forest.
The mossy forest is very very unique as you will be running on bouncy sponge texture. Its softer than your gym mats. Along the route, you will also find large growth of moss on the tree trunk which is very nice to touch. You probably only can find this in high altitude place like that. A tiny bit of the route is technical.
The finishing line atmosphere was as welcoming as when any place in Bario. The earlier participants, volunteers were all there cheering and calling out your name and bib number the moment they see you. Photographers waiting for you to take a shot with the pineapples while crossing the finishing line. There were fresh fruits, bbq chicken wings and rice available at the finishing line.
At night, we had dinner then followed by the appreciation night where the local folks performed their cultural dance and getting the participants to involve as well. There was also prize giving ceremony.
This event is not about the finisher medal or finisher shirt or what you get in your race pack. Its not about winning the top places either. That is just not important here. You will find your soul in Bario, you will learn to smile, being humble and be kind to others.
It is truly a wonderful experience staying in Bario for the past three days. So much to learn from their culture. Such a magical place. Joining an event with small group of participants gives everyone the opportunity to know one another. Unlike most events where its usually a Hi during the run and Bye at the finishing line.
Just don’t be shy and all awkwardness will go away with a simple “Hi!”
Will I be back next year? Not only I would, but i will drag more people to come along.
Founder of Racekaki.com. I run to eat and eat to run.
Trail Runner + Photographer + Web Designer