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The Most Beautiful Thing TMBT

29-Aug-2020 Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia


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Trail Race Race Terrain
100KM / 62Miles
1 Day

Alternate Distances: 50KM/31M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Advanced  

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Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Type: An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for: Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Global - Virtual

Type: A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for: For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Review The Most Beautiful Thing TMBT

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05:59 01-09-18


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03:07 12-12-17

TMBT 100k Finisher

I have been to TMBT (The Most Beautiful Trail) or also called the The Most Brutal Trail otherwise for 3 years now. First year was a DNF in the 50k race in 2015, then finishing the 50k race in 2016 and here I am at race day for 100k with a bunch of friends.

The race itself has an elevation of over 5255m++ and have few tecnicality trail. The trail is not helped by the rain/thunderstorm that it will experience every year during the afternoon session, making the already slippery trail muddier and more slippery.

We flag off at 7am in the morning and started from lingkubang to W1, where it is fair amount of tarmac road with the backdrop of mt kinabalu. It is relatively humid and there is quite a steep ascent going up to W1, at an elevation gain of 350m in just 5km. From W1 to W2, going to the town of Tambutuan through the forest with few tehnical descent of almost 500m drop in the space of 7.4km. This is also the finishing line for the 12k runners. The trail is narrow and there were times i have to give ways to faster runners to simply burst around the trail like a maniac. In this section, you will be required to do a river crossing , cross a few wooden or even bamboo bridges along the way.

At W2 to W3(lobong lobong), the trail is only 10km , but it is all through dense forest and reasonably technical, as this trail get super slippery and you can see water literally fall down the slope if you run through it during the shower period. After the dense forest section, you will reach the riverbank where you cross another bridge and go up the final section of 1km at 45degree elevation.

From W3 to W4(Kiau Nulu), the trail become less tehnical however, at an elevation gain of 610m elevation in just 7.5km. It is a pure uphill challenge as we keep going up the never ending trail and reach some pineapple range where the view is spectacular. Going pass the pineapple range will lead you out to the main road and some village where i get to finally have some hot noodles before heading back out to W5.

W4 to W5 is half tarmac and half off road, this is where i gain some momentum to race down the clock. However the elevation is as unforgiving as usual with a 700m elevation in 8.4km. This is when the annual shower fest started and i was drenched in my not so effective raincoat coming up the hill. Due to the recent flood before the race, the race director has altered the course and arrange for bus transfer from W5a to W5 (5km) for safety reasons on the main road. We were greeted with very cold weather as we step out from the bus as we are already 1510m above sea level and the 5 minutes ride in the bus and the rain has cool down our muscle and body temperature, leading us to shiver vigoroulsy when we reach w5.

Desperate attempt to heat up the body temperature lead us back to running more than half of the trail from w5 to w6(perkasa), as hot water wasnt available at the station. It was relatively easy off road session until the end where we need to pass through the muddy section of some vegetable farm and also the ascent to the top of the hill of Perkasa hotel. Reaching the first part of the race in (53k ish) in 14 hours.

We refuel, down some hot meal, relax, change our gear, prepare our jacket and rest for 30 mins before resuming the second part of the race. It is already 9pm by then and the second part of the race looming large at night, we duly switch on our headlamp and dragged ourself to finish the second half of the race.

From W6 to W7 (Kouluan), we need to first descent into a muddy yet steep downhill back to the main road and head off road. One of my headlamp went out after 2 hours into the race and i was freaking out, (no wonder they ask us to have 2 mandatory headlamp), flickering on and off the trail to try to save energy. The trail is mainly offroad where we pass by more villages.

From w7 to w8 (mesilau), the temperature drop lower as we are way past midnight now. Again this road is pure uphill of 430m gain in just 5km or so. We would reach the station at around 1-2am in the morning my mates doze off to get some rest while i have some hot food to try to fight the cold. We will need to do a loop and reaching a CP1 at the highest point of the race, 1760m above sea level at veggie farm. We literally pass through a cabbage farm will all the water segregation and mud along the way. Navigating it at night across the seemingly empty farm at night with slippery condition at 2am in the morning is no mean feat. We will do a loop and head back to W9/W8 also mesilau where we rested before this.

When you go up so much, you need to get down. This is where W9 to W10(liposu lama) is heading, where a drop of 815m is done over 8km. It look relatively simple for the first part of the 8km with off road and some tarmac, i know this wont be right and i wasnt surprised when i need to navigate through another dense forest out of nowhere to head to w10. The trail is narrow , slippery as usual and steep and after 24 hrs of running, u start to feel fatigued and wonder when will this ends.

Reaching w10 come as a relief for me as my leg is on the verge on giving up and yet there is only at 85km mark. Slip some hot mushroom soup and gel and i m off again to W11(Kibbas), the final checkpoint before the finising line. Relatively straightforward 5km across villages and the main road.

In TMBT, there is always a twist at the end, the final 10km has an astonishing 850m elevation gain and after 90km, this is not something we look forward to. I start to have blister and the sun has risen, it is not really the perfect way. Every step i take is painful and i feel so dehydrated under the hot sun, going uphil is my strong point and yet it feel like forever when i do this. My GPS watch has lost power by this time, i have no way of knowing how much distance i have covered and how long i have left before COT. i try to ask villagers nearby and all they tell me is "Jauh lagi to perkasa" (which means it is very far away to perkasa hotel, the finishing point). I start to ignore the blister at my leg and move faster as i do not want to dnf.

After struggling through the last few hill, finally seeing the finihsing line. I never feel so thrilled in my life! I have finish my first 100k trail race well within COT of 32 hours, (Finish in 29.5hrs) Ecstatic!

Overall this is the oldest ultra in malaysia, and one of the most technically challenging course in malaysia (if not the hardest). The race itself have water tank where you can refuel your water, fruits and food are abundant, coffee are given and the 50km checkpoint food servings is sufficient. Overally it is a good race with good view of mt kinabalu and definitely not for the faint hearted.

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