Photographer's Note

And...there was, that didn't run home.

The weather on October 2nd 2004 was really very bad. Among the mountain fraternity, they even have a name for it.They called it 3-in-1. Howling wind, drizzling rain and rolling mist, working in tandem to make the mountain as hypothermically cold as the equitorial can get. Standing still or moving about above Sayat Sayat, you'd start to shiver between the 4 to 7 degree celsius coldness. At times, it could go much less.

The only way to keep warm on this cold mountain plateau, is to keep running or walking. But the longer you move, the more tiring you would get. Until finally, you would be just too tired to move. So you stop, to give your body the rest it needs. You'd probably look for a place to sit on this rocky plateau. Behind a boulder or under an overhanging rock, away from the bone chilling freezing wind. For a little rest, to silent for a little while, the tormenting fatigue. But it gets colder...shiveringly colder as your maddening heartbeats started to relax.

At 51,he was in the Veteran Category. He made it to the summit but on the way down near KM8 Checkpoint, he staggered and sat down, shivering. Paramedics and rangers standing by at KM8, rushed to his aid. They brought him into the tent, removed his wet thin clothings, put on dry ones and wrapped him up in blanket. A ranger even gave up his Sabah Park issued mountain jacket,to wrap the victim with it. But the victim was already gone. They then brought him down to Laban Rata, and the doctor there confirmed and pronounced the victim is dead.

Sudin Yussin, a local from Tenghilan, became the first casualty in the 18th Mt Kinabalu International Climbathon. The World Toughest Mountain 21KM Run has claimed its first victim.

A mountain runner, not only must be fit to run through the mountain race, but fit enough to live through its elements, when he's not running or too tired, even to walk. And for those race officials stationed at the various checkpoints, they must be fit too, and clothed enough to live through the cold elements, waiting. Until the last runner, runs home.

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Additional Photos by Rabani HMA (rabani) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1133 W: 1 N: 3217] (9645)
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