Wednesday, October 23, 2013

David Simpat: Porter wins Kinabalu climbathon

VETERAN CLIMBER: Pint-sized David Simpat is second local to win in race's elite men's category

KUNDASANG: THE 27th Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon over the weekend ended with surprises, thrills and a promise of bigger participation in the future.

More than 500 runners signed up for the race, which was divided into the elite 33km race on Saturday and adventure 23km race on Sunday. The route of the race covered the mountain trail and finished here.

The biggest surprise came from the elite men's race. It was won by a small-sized participant, who also emerged as the second local to win the climbathon.

Pint-sized porter David Simpat, 31, reached the 4,095m summit first in 2:11:17s before finishing the route in 4:12:29s.

Guianus Salagan, who won the men's veterans race on Sunday, was the last local to win in the elite category in 1996.

It was his third consecutive victory, having won it in 1994 and 1995.

David, from Kota Belud, said it was not an easy race.

He kept a steady pace through- out the race.

"When I reached the summit, I saw my nearest challenger was still behind and it boosted my confidence," he said, attributing his win to his routine of carrying bags up and down the mountain as a porter for more than 10 years and a simple training regime of running up and down the steps on the mountain trail.

In second place was a professional athlete from Japan, Dai Matsumo, 31, who also won the Mount Fuji race this year. He clocked 4:18:26s, while in third place was Park Ranger Safrey Sumping, 30, who finished the race in 4:25:47s.

Ruth Charlotte Croft, 24, from New Zealand, won the elite women's race in 5:24:28s followed by local farmer Danny@Kuilin Gongot 47, in second place with 5:57:34 while third place went to Swiss runner Nora Barbara Senn, 38, who clocked 6:11:17.

Both men's and women's category winners bagged RM8,000 for the first place, RM6,000 for the second place and RM4,000 for the third place.

In the 23-km adventure race, Kenyan runners won the top spots in both open men's and women's categories.

Enock Kipchirchir Kigen took the top prize of RM5,000 by winning the race in 2:28:57s while second place went to Stephen Daniel Karithi Kuria 2:30:45s who won RM3,000. Nelson Kiptoo, who clocked 2:33:21, took home RM2,000.

Kigen said the race was interesting and it would appeal to many because of its unique and scenic route.

Carolyne Jepkosgei and Viola Jepchirchir Kimeli won the first and second prizes in the women's race with a time of 3:13:21s and 3:26:10s respectively.

Third place went to Nigerian, Genevive Uchechi Nooku, who finished the race in 3:36:44s to bag the RM2,000 cash prize.

In the veteran's category, reigning champion Guainus, 45, retained his number one spot by finishing the race in 2:37:14, beating his last year's record of 2:40:19.

His wife Kona @Lydia Binti Liau A Ken won the second place in the women's veteran category with 3:40:47, while Deborah Chin, who was last year's winner, defended her title in 3:36:5.

*Taken from NST Online

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