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AN ULTRA JOURNEY TO THE SUMMIT OF SOUTH EAST ASIA'S MOST MYTHICAL MOUNTAIN

Our adventure ultramarathon to the summit of the highest mountain in Malaysia is a journey that will blow your mind. This route has been crafted to take in some of the world's most utterly spectacular and unspoilt rainforest. An exciting traverse into the beating heart of Asia, surrounded by nature and teaming with the sounds of jungle life all around. This epic sea to summit adventure also features an adrenaline filled circuit of the world's highest Via Ferrata; Mountain Torq. 

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$407.67

Price per month, depending on departure date. Split the cost with our interest free payment plan, click here for more info on pricing

EVENT DATES:

22 - 28 MARCH 2025
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DIFFICULTY RATING: CAN I DO THIS?

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This adventure is for anyone with a with a moderate level of running/hiking fitness.

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SLEEP STYLE: 

HOTEL, HOMESTAY, MOUNTAIN HUT
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LOCATION: 

KOTA KINABALU, MALAYSIA
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DURATION: 

7 DAYS /
6 NIGHTS
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120KM ON FOOT

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

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ACCOMMODATION

6 nights accommodation on a twin shared basis. Dorm style rooms in mountain huts.

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GUIDES AND SUPPORT

Professional support vehicles, safety staff, medical and welfare.

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SAFETY

Professional local and UK safety  staff and medics. Rat Race experts on hand throughout. Audited and accredited to BS8848 expedition safety standard.

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TRANSFER POLICY

Flexible transfer policy up to 12 weeks before your departure date.

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EQUIPMENT

All equipment provided for the Via Ferrata traverse.

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ALL MEALS

All meals included in the itinerary.

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TRANSFERS

Transfers to and from Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA). Check flight prices.

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EXTRAS

High quality medal, rat rag and premium t-shirt for all participants.

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YOUR TRIP LEADER:
JAMES

Our head honcho of all things running is your expert leader on this adventure. James has tread every single step of this route and is excited to take the next round of #ratracers to this epic summit.

RAISE £5000 AND GET UP TO £2500 REFUNDED

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Borneo Sea to Summit is a dramatic 120km ultramarathon which sees you traverse some of the most biodiverse rainforests in the world as you wind your way to Malaysia's highest mountain: Mount Kinabalu.

 

We will greet you in arrivals at Kota Kinabalu airport before transferring you to our comfortable hotel accommodation in the city centre. Once you've had a chance to rest and unpack we will meet on the waterfront for a sunset dinner as you get to know your fellow #ratracers! 

The next day will give you the chance to start acclimatising to the heat and humidity. This is our registration day where we will give our full adventure briefing, answer any questions you might have and run through kit. We also have an optional excursion to Manuken Island for those who are itching to do a bit of exploring, this beautiful island is a great place to do a spot of snorkelling and to grab your first glimpses of the wildlife this area is famous for.

After a good night’s sleep our adventure begins! Over the next 4 days we will run/trek our way towards Mount Kinabalu, this magical journey will showcase the many beautiful rare species of flora and fauna that only exist in this rainforest. Keep your eyes peeled for orangutans and the native Thomas’Pygmy-squirrels and Black Shrews as we go from sea level to 4095m (with over 5800m elevation gained in total). After we’ve tapped the summit our descent includes a traverse of the world’s highest Via Ferrata which is an exhilarating way to wrap up our time on this stunning mountain before we continue the climb back down through the national park before jumping on our transfer to our beach resort hotel for our celebration meal and maybe a spot of karaoke!

DAY ONE: ARRIVE KOTA KINABALU AIRPORT (KKIA)

We will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to our accommodation before coming together for a sunset, waterfront dinner.

ACCOMMODATION: Twin Bedrooms, 
MEALS: Dinner

DAY TWO: REGISTRATION, OPTIONAL ISLAND TOUR

After breakfast we'll go straight into our adventure briefing and Registration process, this day is a good chance to get used to the heat and humidity you'll be running or trekking in over the next 4 days. In the afternoon there's an opportunity to go to Manuken Island for spot of snorkelling and wildlife spotting for those who are up for a bit of exploring.

ACCOMMODATION: Twin Bedrooms, 

MEALS: Breakfast, dinner

DAY THREE: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS (58KM)

Here we go! Our journey to Mount Kinabalu begins, to reach the National Park from sea level we have to hoover up 58km on road. With over 900m of elevation it's a bit of a beast as we march towards the jungle.

ACCOMMODATION: Twin Bedrooms, 

MEALS: Breakfast, pit stop lunch, dinner

DAY FOUR: INTO THE JUNGLE (17KM)

If you know the jungle you know not to be fooled by the 'short' distance. Today is just 17km but the terrain is entirely off-road, tricky, technical and slippery underfoot. Today we'll rack up another 1200m of elevation and in the Test Pilot event this took our #ratracers nearly 7 hours to get through!

ACCOMMODATION: Twin Bedrooms, 

MEALS: Breakfast, pit stop lunch, dinner

DAY FIVE: THE ASCENT CONTINUES (32KM)

An early start today (but not as early as tomorrow!) as we set off on our punchy 32km mountain trail route with a whopping 2800m as go from 1000m above sea level to over 3000m! The summit is now firmly in our sights and tomorrow we'll set off in the dark to reach the summit at sunrise.

ACCOMMODATION: Mountain hut (dorm style)

MEALS: Breakfast, pit stop lunch, dinner

DAY SIX: SUMMIT AT SUNRISE AND VIA FERRATA (14KM)

After a 2am wake up call and with our headtorches strapped on we will begin our final push to the summit just in time for sunrise. After the obligatory photos on the top of the highest mountain in Malaysia we will descend to the world's highest Via Ferrata for an adrenaline filled activity and a once in a lifetime opportunity to tick this off your list. All equipment is provided and with local guides on hand no previous experience of this is needed, just a keen sense of adventure! We will then continue our descent back to the edge of the park and our glorious finishline. After we've kicked off the celebrations here we'll jump aboard our transfer coaches to continue the party back at our beach resort hotel.

ACCOMMODATION: Twin bedrooms, beach resort

MEALS: Basic breakfast, pit stop lunch, celebration dinner

DAY SEVEN: HOME TIME 

After a final breakfast  together we will arrange early morning transfers to Kota Kinabalu airport for those who are heading home. If you are looking to relax and catch up on some sleep ahead of your journey home we would recommend booking another night at our resort to recharge those batteries after this epic adventure(extra nights can be booked by contacting us on office@ratrace.com

ACCOMMODATION: NA
MEALS: Breakfast provided

ACCOMMODATION

All accommodation is always offered on a shared basis. If you are taking part on your own, you will be paired with another participant of the same sex in a twin room. If you have preferences for who you share with, you are able to specify that prior to departure. For mountain accommodation this is more dorm style.

Single supplements may be available subject to availability.

MEALS

BREAKFAST

Breakfast at the accommodation is a fresh and varied local buffet. Breakfast on the mountain trails will be a more basic offering.

DINNER

Each evening we will provide a meal which consists of good quality cooked, local food with dietary requirements catered for. 

PIT STOPS

During the challenge you will have access to our Pit Stops. 

Pit stops will typically have a minimum of the following available:

Water – Ensure you leave with water bottles and bladders filled so you have enough to get you to the next Pit Stop.
Salty snacks – such as crisps, dried fruit and peanuts, pretzels
Sweets – including local speciality sweet treats ,chocolate etc

Fruit - as you will see we will pass mango, coconut and pineapple farms on this route. We will be bringing as much fresh fruit as we can to you to keep you refreshed and energised.

Our Pit Stops are there to help supplement any personal sports nutrition plan you may have – if you use gels and other such products – you should plan to bring these with you. If you have any special dietary requirements, then please also plan for this and pack your kit accordingly. Rat Race aim to offer Pit Stop snacks that are tasty and functional, catering to as broad a mix of needs and diets as possible. We have options available that are suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets and availability of this will depend on demand. Rat Race cannot guarantee that the food does not contain contamination from allergens such as nuts or gluten in its preparation or serving.

Please make sure you sanitise your hands prior to eating any food. Please, please, please take care with your trash and help us in our aim of leaving these incredible islands tidier than we find them. This is even more critical in this environment, with any lost trash instantly becoming a choking hazard for the marine life we are here to admire. 

The date-range is set and the routes are tried and tested. However, our challenges unfold in some of the most spectacular places on Earth. Sometimes we do have to change plans on account of weather, injury or other unforeseen factors. If we do have to do so, you will be informed and usually, these unforeseen changes simply add to the flavour of proceedings and provide for a good story to tell at day’s end! That having been said, our route is likely to remain largely intact, regardless of any on-the-ground changes.

Our pick-up location for this event is Kota Kinabalu International Airport. For anyone already here we can meet in town at the hotel, details will be provided closer to the event.

We have designed this challenge so that you may travel at your own pace. See below for our notes on route-finding and guidance. There will also be some cut-offs, but in the true Rat Race tradition these will be generous and we will always look to help you to achieve your goals in finishing this challenge, vs having to pull out. Of course, we will give you some early starts to allow the very best possible window for route completion. But, if you need us and if you need to abandon the route for whatever reason, we are there for you and can pick you up.

You will need to navigate on a GPX device, ideally a watch with a smartphone as a backup. We have devices available to rent if you need one. There are times in the jungle and on the mountain summit trails where you will be accompanied by Rat Race staff and local guides who will help navigate the route.

We will use a mixture of UK safety staff in cars, foot sweeps and local crew. You will be able to interact with medics and the Rat Race crew at Pit Stops..

RR has a lot of experience supporting people at altitude. Together with our medical provider, we will share information with you in advance about how you can prepare yourself for this ascent profile; and what you can expect when you are undertaking it. During our attempt, you will be under the supervision of our experienced trip leader, local guides and a professional medic. We will not take any chances at all with your safety and if anyone presents as unwell and altitude is suspected, we have a plan to get you down the mountain.

 

Whilst everyone is different physiologically when it comes to their disposition to altitude illness, it is worth noting that we have tested this route and this ascent profile. Of the test pilot group who took part in this trip in 2023, all individuals successfully summitted and no altitude illness presented.

We have built a format here that has a sensible and achievable altitude ascent profile and as stated above, we will take no chances ith anyone’s health and welfare when it comes to such an ascent

Click Buy Event Voucher Now and go through the sign up process, you’ll then be issued with an event voucher which will automatically reserve you a place in the event you have chosen.

Yes. You need a decent travel policy covering you for general travel and which covers participation in outdoor sports. You will also need what is called an Evacuation Insurance Policy, which is for if we need to send you back to the closest city for urgent medical attention via a helicopter or similar. We also recommend you have this in place as soon as you enter this event and that if you book flights, we highly recommend booking a flexible option for any last-minute changes you might need to make or to ensure you have maximum flexibility if you cannot attend for any reason.

Travel insurance is compulsory for our events, so please make sure your insurance policy covers the activities you will be participating in. There are a number of specialist providers available  including Mann Broadbent.

No problem. Where we use hotels, rooms are offered on a twin / shared basis. If you wish to share with a fellow participant, you will be asked to add this information to your event participation form which we will issue you with approximately 3 months ahead of the event.

The short answer is no. The price for this event is for everything outlined on the website and it is very difficult for us to split this out. Our accommodation is based on group rates and is on a shared basis. All of our event logistics, support and organisation has been designed to have all the participants in the same locations to allow transfers, briefings etc to run smoothly and to let you bond with your fellow #ratracers! 

Yes you can trek this, in the jungle and on the mountain trails everyone will end up trekking.

We take our medical care very seriously and we commence our commitment to you in this respect with a pre-depatture medical screening exercise, plus the dissemination of information on preparation and on the effects of altitude.

We will have a professional medic with us at all times, supporting you on every step of your journey including the mountain ascent phase. If you are feeling unwell, you can speak to our medic in confidence and we can decide the next appropriate steps. If altitude is suspected as a cause of your feeling unwell, the first port of call is usually to descend and such an eventuality is all planned for as part of our comprehensive Evacuation Planning activity. Rest assured, you are in the very good hands and there is a plan for your safety at every stage of the trip.

In typical Rat Race style we want to give you as long as possible to complete each day of this adventure. Our main cut off is sunset and we will support you as much as is practical to allow you to finish each day at your own speed. 

We have firm emergency protocols and response systems in place whilst out on our adventures. Our main priority above all else is to keep you and our staff safe. Before we leave for each trip a comprehensive in-country risk and threat assessment has been conducted by the Head of Expeditions. All protocols are put in place relating to those assessments. We make sure that the staff involved have the highest level of first aid training; a higher level of medical cover is also put in place if needed; all instructors have qualifications and/ or competencies to match the adventure we will undertake. In the event of an emergency, Rat Race staff and appointed contractors have comprehensive knowledge of procedures which will rapidly be put in place. If needed, our staff will provide first aid and then further medical assistance and evacuation if needed in line with a published Medical Procedures Plan. We have medical back-up and Clinical Directorship provided by a specialist events medical company and we have further emergency response support services provided by competent contracted partner. All our cover is available 24/7 while operations are underway. We use our knowledge and emergency procedures to provide the best possible care in our often remote and austere environments. Before leaving on a trip, we will advise on the insurance cover you are required to have in place for the trip; we will ask for a copy of these insurance details before the departure date.

Once you’ve signed up, you will receive a confirmation email. After that, you will be kept in the loop closer to the event when we will send out our Essential Event Information approximately three months ahead of the event, detailing the full itinerary, what you need to bring and other important information relating to the specific event you have signed up for. We will also host webinars which you will be invited to (again, closer to the event), where you will have the opportunity to ask questions and go through your kit. There will be a final email one month ahead of the event, just to check you’ve completed all the important forms and are ready for the event ahead.

 

If you have chosen to pay in instalments, we will also contact you if any of your payments have been missed. Please ensure you regularly check your spam folders and have events@ratrace.com and noreply@ratraceentries.com added to your ‘approved / safe’ email senders.

Getting to the start line is important and we are there to help you as best we can. However, if you feel on reflection that it is just not your time yet, we do have a transfer system that you can use to transfer out, receive Rat Race credit and come back again next year or do something else. Credit is typically valid for 12 months and there is a fee to be paid for transferring out in this way. We want to be really clear that this option is there for you if you need it, but it does have a deadline. View our full terms and conditions here.

Race entry includes a brilliant finishers medal and bespoke event Rat Race tee. We will request your t-shirt size in  the event details form 3 months ahead of the event and this will be the size you will be given at Registration.

See the 'Kit List' section. We provide all Via Ferrata equipment.

If you need to bail we will collect you via the Sweeper vehicles and move you forwards on the course (subject to medical advice if it is a medical issue that has forced you to pull out).  If you need to pull out where we cannot access the route with vehicles as easily, in all cases we will ask you to move (or assist you to move) to a location where we can access by vehicle, or we will evacuate with medical and/ or safety personnel if required.

It is a mix of road and jungle/mountain trails.

This kit list is an example one from similar events, it may be subject to small changes which will be communicated in the EEI 3 months before the event date: 

THE KIT LIST

Running or trekking

  • Trail running footwear

  • Shorts 

  • T-shirt 

  • Ultra vest or small daypack

  • CAT 3 sunglasses

  • Bladder or bottles/ soft flasks (aim to be able to carry a MINIMUM of 1.5l)

  • Hat – cap or wide brimmed are fine

  • Socks 

  • Buff or similar neck gaiter

  • Blister care kit

  • Scooby snacks of choice*

  • Either a GPS watch or Smartphone capable of following a GPX file (phone with Outdoor Active App is recommended – see section on ‘route finding’ below) OR a GPS watch for following the route

  • In all cases, participants must carry a Smartphone (so if using a watch for following the route, you must also have a Smartphone in your kit)

  • Power pack and cable for recharging phone, in waterproof bag (ziplock or dry bag)

  • Headtorch, waterproof to IPX5 standard, minimum 150 lumens + spare batteries or second headtorch

  • Salt tablets and dissolvable electrolytes for water. Please bring salt tablets and some electrolyte mix for drinks. You will 100% need these on this trip and they are MANDATORY

  • First Aid kit (small personal kit with a triangular bandage, steri strips and an adhesive dressing as a minimum). Also include any personal medication

  • Trekking poles – optional but recommended.

  • Dry bag or small zip lock bags: Very useful for general gear storage/ organisation/ protection

* Whilst the Pit Stop vehicles will be stocked up with yummy things, including drinks and sweet/ savoury snacks, sports nutrition can be a very personal thing so we would advise that, regardless of our Pit Stop service, you pack items that you know work for you out on the trail. 

Pricing
PAY IN INSTALMENTS

$407.67

/ PER MONTH. DEPENDING ON DEPARTURE

INTEREST FREE!
PAY IN FULL

$4750

USD

All prices are in USD. An admin fee of 2.99% will be added to all payments. 

PAY MONTHLY INTEREST FREE!
ENTER NOW AND SPREAD THE COST INTEREST FREE WITH OUR INSTALMENT PLAN

We’ve put together a fantastic new instalment plan that allows you to choose how many months you want to spread the cost of this brilliant adventure over. You can pay it off all in one go or spread it over as many months as you like, totally interest free*. The payments will be split equally allowing you to budget and plan for this stunning journey. All payments to be made before December the year before the event.

*When you sign up to the instalment plan Rat Race will then set up a reoccurring payment and your card will be debited on the same date each month. If there is an error with your payment you will receive reminders from Stripe, our payment provider, and also the Rat Race customer service team. After 3 attempts to contact you if the outstanding balance remains unpaid we will assume you wish to cancel your entry and will withdraw you from the event and you will not be eligible to enter our transfer process and no monies will be refunded.

Please see here for full terms and conditions and our cancellation policy.

PROTECT YOUR NON-REFUNDABLE BOOKING WITH REFUND PROTECT

 

Add Refund Protect to your booking during purchase and receive a full refund of your entry fee if you are unable to attend the event due to a qualifying unforeseen circumstance. PLEASE NOTE this protection is with our 3rd party partner Refund Protect and NOT Rat Race. In the event you make a refund application this is administered by the Refund Protect customer service team, Rat Race are not privy to the application and cannot intervene on your behalf to influence the outcome determined by their team.

To check the full list of qualifying unforeseen circumstances that are protected please click here to view Refund Protect terms and conditions.

To add Refund Protect (administered by a 3rd party) to your Rat Race booking simply select this option when presented during the entry process. Refund Protect cannot be added retrospectively. Rat Race will then send you name and booking details to Refund Protect in order to protect your transaction with them. If you opt to pay in instalments and transfer your entry before the entry cost is full paid you will be liable to ensure the cost of Refund Protect has been fully covered. This total amount will be deducted from any Rat Race credit due through the transfer process or you will be invoiced by Rat Race for the outstanding amount as Rat Race have paid this on your behalf to Refund Protect at point of entry. 

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Charity
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RAISE AT LEAST £5000 (EXCLUDING GIFT AID) FOR CHILDREN WITH CANCER UK AND GET £2500 OF YOUR ENTRY FEE REFUNDED!

Our longstanding partnership with Children with Cancer UK gives #ratracers the opportunity to raise much needed funds for this great cause in exchange for a refund of their entry fee. So far our #ratracers have raised over £2million for Children with Cancer UK and we would love for you to join the team to help us chase down that £3million target!

The funds you raise will be invested into vital specialist research to improve survival rates in children and young people and help more of them ring the end of treatment bell.
 

All you need to do is set up a Just Giving page here and start your fundraising! You will have until 1 month after the event date to hit your target and then send us the link to your page which will allow us to process your refund. Refunds will be made 2 – 3 months after the event completion date.

Refunds are not mandatory you are welcome to opt-out of receiving a refund. Should participants opt-out their refund will instead be used by Children with Cancer UK to help fund their research.

If you choose to support Children with Cancer UK and raise £5000, you will also receive:

  • A Children with Cancer UK fundraising and training pack

  • Regular Children with Cancer UK updates

  • A dedicated point of contact at the charity

  • A technical Children with Cancer UK t-shirt to wear with pride

 

For more information on Children with Cancer UK please visit www.childrenwithcancer.org.uk

 

Alternatively please contact the Sports Team on 020 7430 7788 or email sports@childrenwithcancer.org.uk.

Children with Cancer UK is a registered national charity (no. 298405)

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