Sally Yap fears no ultra trail, but leeches and snakes are another story

Yap meeting the press at HSL Tower here today (Dec 29, 2022).

By Ling Hui

KOTA SAMARAHAN, Dec 29: The only things that scare Sally Yap, the Chinese-Bidayuh runner who recently conquered the highest peak in the Phillippines at Mount Apo in a 77km ultra trail marathon, are actually leeches and snakes.

The ultra-distance, the insane altitude, sprained ankles, acute mountain sickness, getting lost during a race and the torturing feeling of being out of breath for long hours do not frighten her, but leeches and snakes do.


Having encountered these creatures in one of her runs through the jungles in Taiping, Perak, she described it as a terrifying experience.

But nothing else seemed to be able to stop her in her tracks, not even a short moment to capture the stunning views and scenery she said that were just breathtaking.

“I really don’t know which trail was better because most of the views were beautiful. I just love the view. I don’t have time to take pictures because other runners would be catching up from behind,” she told DayakDaily.

When asked about the one thing that kept her going in the hundred-metre races, Yap said: “I just want to finish the race.”

She said she had never once thought of giving up, no matter what condition her body was in or how bad the weather was.

In the 109km ‘The Most Beautiful Thing’ in Sabah, Yap sprained both her ankles and she chose to go for her next trail while suffering those injuries.

“It’s not really advisable for other runners. The best way is to rest for one or two months, but for me, I wanted to challenge myself. I did consider pulling out from the race but in the end I went anyway,” she said.

Running, be it on the road or on trails, remains Yap’s hobby and greatest passion. While she strives to improve herself, she is determined to also motivate other Sarawakian runners out there.

“I know people in Sarawak are very talented. They can go far.” — DayakDaily