Consider Sarawak’s interior for next Spartan race, Abdul Karim tells organisers

Abdul Karim (left) with the winners of the Spartan Race Sarawak 2022.

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.

By Nancy Nais

Kuching, June 11: The organisers of the Spartan Race and Spartan Asia Pacific have been asked to consider other areas in Sarawak for future events.

Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah in suggesting this said he had discussed the ideas with its organiser.

“Apart from Kuching, I hope that they will look into other areas, especially in the interior. Sarawak’s beautiful rainforests offers all manner of challenges and terrains to both body and mind.

“By doing so, they can help us promote more destinations in Sarawak, not only to athletes worldwide but also leisure visitors,” Abdul Karim said at the Spartan Race Sarawak launching ceremony today.

Spartan Race Sarawak is a part of a global brand of Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) that has a footprint in over 40 countries while the Spartan brand has attracted over one million racers and participants with over 200 events.

Abdul Karim (second right) at the launch of Spartan Race Sarawak 2022. With him are (from left) Kuching Fitness Association chairman Carter Wei, Head of Spartan Global Michael Goodwin and Spartan Race Inc vice president David Watson.

It is also a leader in the sport of obstacle racing, offering open heats for all fitness levels, as well as competitive and elite heats for beginner and professional obstacle racers looking to test themselves in new ways across the world.

Abdul Karim said the two day event held at Agriculture Institute, Sarawak and Leadership Institute of Civil Service attracted over 1,100 racers from foreign countries namely Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, Japan, Korea, Maldives, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Spartan, which is the world’s largest course race and endurance brand successfully made its second return to Sarawak after two years of deferment due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hailed as the toughest Spartan race in Southeast Asia by Spartan racers after the inaugural Spartan Race Sarawak in 2019, this year’s race was no different as it featured the two most popular categories, the 5km Sprint (20 obstacles) and 10km Super (25 obstacles).

Firefighters from the emergency medical rescue services team giving aid to a Spartan racer who fell to the ground just after he crossed the finishing line.

“Although our border has just been opened on April 1, this year, I am happy to note that with all the foreign participation, it has indeed proven that Sarawak with our lush forests, natural habitat and friendly people is a great international destination for sport tourism products such as the Spartan race.

“I am very excited about this race which promotes Sarawak as a sport tourist destination. Having this kind of event is really something everyone looks  forward to,” the Minister of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development said, adding that the race is not limited to only seasoned racers but also those who do it for leisure.

Meanwhile, the ministry has agreed to support another two events under the Spartan brand to be held in Sarawak this year.

The Borneo Trail Classic is a part of the Spartan Trail World Championship Series, which is the seventh stop out of the nine stops worldwide.

This will be held on Oct 14 to 16 at the Redeems Center, Kampung Apar in Bau.

This trail race will host two of the world championship race categories, the 50km Trail and 100km Trail Ultra, with a total price purse of over US$18,000.

Abdul Karim also confirmed that in November, Sarawak will host the first ever DEKA Fit event in South East Asia.

“The DEKA Fit is the decathlon of functional fitness, debuting from Spartan in 2020 with the ultimate goal of creating a fitness benchmark that could be tested in a controlled environment not influenced by ability, location or terrain,” he announced.

In order to attract international sports participants, Abdul Karim acknowledged that the ministry must and has been working hard to get more direct flights to fly into Sarawak.

“Apart from Scoot, AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines coming from Singapore, there will also be more direct flights from Brunei and Penang. We are also waiting for the outcome of the Kuching – Pontianak sector.

“With the opening of Sarawak’s borders and more inbound flights, I believe Sarawak can achieve its target of 1.2 million tourists this year.

“Together with partners like Spartan, I look forward to bring in more high quality, race day experience events to Sarawak,” he added. — DayakDaily