KOTA KINABALU, Jan 19, 2016:

With Mount Kinabalu now fully operational, the annual Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon is also making a comeback this year.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, in announcing this today, however, said it will be done in a “different scale with a few adjustments”.

Considering the limitation of climbers for Mount Kinabalu, Masidi said the numbers of participants will also be reduced and the event will only be for one day only, instead of two days previously.

“After the earthquake, we have reduced our daily climbers to 135 from 192. So participants for the climbathon will also be more or less the same figure.

“It will be on Oct 16 and we will be doing it through invitations only, maybe around 120.

“I believe we will have better quality of participants, although lower numbers,” said Masidi.

The mountain runners are expected to use the Ranau trail, kicking off from the Timpohon Gate to Panar Laban, going through the new route at Aki Point before proceeding to the summit, which is about 9km, and returning the same way.

Speaking after re-launching the Mount Kinabalu Via Ferrata by Mountain Torq here, Masidi said the adventure trail for the climbathon had been scrapped as the route was badly damaged in the June 5 earthquake, which claimed 18 lives, including Singaporean primary school pupils.

Asked whether it would be a permanent feature for the international mountain race, which normally woos around 500 participants, both locals and foreigners, Masidi said they would be doing an assessment from time to time and proper adjustments would be made to improve the race.

“Bear in mind, there will also be a new trail from Kota Belud. So we will make adjustments from time to time,” he said, talking about probable new features for the international mountain race.

Last year, the international mountain race was called off to make way for rehabilitation of the damaged trail after the deadly earthquake.

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