Borneo International Marathon 2008

I did it in 2 hours 42 minutes!

No, that was not how long I have to queue up at the complaint desk at StreamyX.
That’s the time it took me to complete 21km at the Borneo International Marathon in Kota Kinabalu last Sunday. My body is sore all over and now I’m walking like a freshly sodomised pondan.

KK is as beautiful as I remember it last year.
I always say that those Sabahans up north from us have it good. Whatever we in Sarawak has, Sabah always seems to have the better version of it.

If you want beaches, we have beaches here. But Sabah’s beaches are CLEANER.
If you want mountains, we have mountains here. But Sabah’s mountains are TALLER.
The only thing we have in Sarawak that’s better than Sabah is our Mulu Cave. Then again, the last thing you wanna do is go around telling people, “Hey, come to Sarawak. Our hole is BIGGER!”

Well, Sabah can now add one more to their list of triumphs. The Borneo Marathon I did was not just a very good running event, it was without a doubt the best running competition I have ever took part in, bar none.
Yes, even the ones I did in KL and Penang cannot compare to how much I enjoyed this run. And that wasn’t just my opinion alone. Many seasoned runners who have completed in races all over the world raved about how well-organised this event was.

My weapon of choice: the adiZero CS shoes and thick cushion socks from Thorlos

Sunday morning, I woke up bleary-eyed at the un-Godly hour of 4am and made my way to the starting line at Likas Stadium.

My running essentials: Energy gels, muscle rub and Nike+ hooked up to my trusty first generation iPod nano. Yes I know my iPod is ancient history, but I plan to upgrade soon as soon as Moorey got them new 16GB ones in stock.
The half-marathon race was slated to begin at 6am, and I got a good one hour to mingle around and socialise with the other partipants.

This is Jenap Said from Singapore.
When everyone else was wearing singlets and shorts for maximum airflow, she instead chose to run in a full Catwoman costume! Halloween seems to have come early for her. To top it off, Jenap had to observe the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan and did not start proper training until ten days before the event.
But even with so many factors working against her, the 49-year-old lady still managed to kick my ass by at least 20 minutes!

This is a photo I took with the winners before the race.
Actually I don’t even know if they are the winners because the race hadn’t even started. But I assume they’re the winners because they’re Kenyans and the Kenyans ALWAYS win.

The race course in KK was a lot better than the ones I did in KL and Penang. It is a beautiful run.
The course is pleasantly flat all the way from Likas Stadium, along the waterfront to Sutera Harbour Resort, Tanjung Aru and then back. Along the way, we were treated to funky smells of the fishy central market and fascinating sights like sunrise at the water villages near Sutera Harbour.
The traffic police took care of us very well.

The organizers did a great job because there was never a shortage of liquid. 100 Plus and water stations are available almost every 20 minutes or so. The only thing they were short of were paper cups, but that’s ok. When they ran out of cups, we drank straight from the bottle.
When you’re thirsty, no one really cares anyway!

I told Shan that the only thing the organizers didn’t do well is that… IT’S TOO FREAKING HOT!
The organizers should’ve asked the sun to not be so hot!
We were well-shaded from the sun’s attack for the first 10km or so. But after 10Ks, it’s as if Kota Kinabalu was serving barbequed marathoners for lunch.

Photo credit:

The scorching sun was sucking up every remaining ounce of energy in us and it became harder and harder to push through to the end. At 18K I felt like dying. I’m just glad I didn’t do the 42km race.
Funniest thing I saw was this guy doing the marathon while holding onto an umbrella ella ella eh eh eh.

Photo credit:

Overall, I’m very happy with my run.
I maintained a decent pace of 7 mins/km for most part of the journey except towards the end when I slowed to 9 mins/km. I may be 82kg heavy, but still I managed to stay ahead of many other runners smaller in size and more athletic than me.
My diet of bananas and yoghurt must’ve worked – no cramps in my legs nor stitches on my sides.
21km in 2 hrs 42 mins is still my personal best thus far. I crossed the finishing line feeling like I could still go on further.

However, this 21km run is only just a warm-up.
The big race for me is still the 42km Singapore International Marathon that’s happening eight weeks time. Given my results, I’m reckon I could tackle it in 5 hrs 30 mins this 7th December. But we’ll see.

Bring on the Singapore Marathon, baby!

I find it funny that they wanna give Datukship to an actor from India just because he filmed a movie in A’Famosa Resort a few years ago and so-called “resulted in many tourists visiting that place”.
Hell, I’ve never watched Shah Rukh Khan’s movies and I knew where A’Famosa Resort is. I saw it on an ad inside a taxi. Maybe the taxi driver should receive a Datukship for promoting it.

100 Replies to “Borneo International Marathon 2008”

  1. holy crap, u looked like roasted pork after the race… btw the pic that u credited gombui looked like u cudnt lift ur legs up to jog.. it looked as if u were walking rather than jogging…

  2. hey kenny,
    angela here. i met you in 1Borneo last sunday.
    sorry to ‘jump’ on you when i saw u.. hehe
    didnt expect to bump into you after the marathon. small small kk..
    anyways, glad that u enjoy kk and the fren cramp at 18km during his 42km run.
    do feel free to drop by my site.
    cheers, angela

  3. Nice Kenny… glad that you’ve accomplished one of your goals, to prepare yourself for the upcoming Marathon~!!! Always keep going my friend~!!!

  4. dude.. u shud see her husband. Runs in full Spiderman costume.. and he’s like 60+ 70yrs old.. you’ll probably see them at StanChart Singapore Marathon.
    One Catwoman, one Spiderman. U can probably do a batman or better yet, Incredible Hulk πŸ™‚

  5. Congratulations! That’s very impressive!
    On the other hand, I was watching Run Fatboy Run last night when Anna-Rina (now my housemate) rezched home from the Borneo Run.
    I’m gonna ask you what I asked her, “So, at which km did The Wall hit you?” (*from Run Fatboy Run)

  6. Hi Kenny. You put in a great effort. How funny about the weather when a few short hours before the start of the marathon it was thunderstorming like hell πŸ™‚
    On behalf of the race directors I would like to say that it was a true joy interacting with so many runners who made the effort. Here’s to a bigger and better marathon next year!
    Up for the challenge next year?

  7. good on you! try to aim for 4 hours on the 42 km marathon, thats the average for the male gender.
    21×2=42km 2hrsx2=4hours.
    ;heard of Dean Karnazes?-

  8. Hey, well done! I have been reading your blogs but this is the first time I’be left my comments… I am also training currently to take part in the Singapore Stan Chart Run in Dec… and for a beginner like me… I will be over the moon if I can clock under 1hr for 10km! Cheers and run baby RUNNNNNN!!!!

  9. Wow .. Kenny you are strong in mental + Physical .. guys With body size like yours probably break down without finishing the race..

  10. Dude, that is some awesome timing for a 21km run man…
    Could you post up your daily training routine?
    With all the food, timing and exercise…
    Really interested to know how to train for a marathon.
    Thanks bro!!!

  11. hmm, surely you must qualify for datukship too
    for promoting Kolo Mee in pussy town?
    Imagine……Datuk Kenny SIAo!
    or perhaps a knighthood for promoting London?
    Yes Sirrrrrrrrr!

  12. Dude, you were great. I was chasing you from behind. Haha.. Looks like I have to follow your banana and yogurt tips. Nearly got cramp and have to start walking. :p

  13. well done kenny! you did it again!=DDD you make me feel like running for a marathon also. hahahas!=D
    all the best to you and everyone else who is going for the upcoming marathon in singapore!=DDD

  14. wow kenny u look like u haven’t shave for ages in ur last picture
    i dun think i can keep up with ur pace at the singapore mara, but i do hope to get ur signature! πŸ˜€

  15. If 2h40min is your best for a 21km, then i predict that the timing for your full 42km would be at least a 6h30min.
    All the best.

  16. Hi KENNY XD LOL! Well done! Thanks for the short interview, it was great to see you again and…. I saw myself video recording you at the finishing line! XD LOLX. Good Luck on your next race! Will buzz you when the video editing finished πŸ˜‰

  17. Congrats on your run! I am 84 kg when I ran 21 km last dec. It took me 2 hours 30 mins. My timing for the Sun Down Marathon this year is 6 hours 30 mins. I hit the wall at about 26~7 km mark.
    Good luck your marathon! And good to know a fellow runner who is 82 kg πŸ™‚

  18. Hahaha first I’ll congratulate you in completing the course! Wow – 21km @_@
    The last pic of you in this post, i don’t know if its the camera or the run, but you look like you just lost 20 kgs of sweat from that run! Lol. Ur face looks chiseled. hehe…

  19. OK, I got some question:
    what is the gadget u tied to your shoes?
    when u said stitches at the side, what exactly is it coz after my run I felt the same!!! and I dunno why!
    I must register for next year Borneo run man, it is so fun. Miss it this year … damn

  20. You did great!!! Must have been very tiring huh? One thing though… the earlier pic you took of yourself, you were fair…..the last pic you took….different colour dee… heheh

  21. Hey Kenny,
    Good to see you working on those abs (if any) :). Love reading your blog with so many personal photos. Must have taken you ages to process them and the tenacity to continue updating it on a constant basis. Do visit my blog also.
    Diana @

  22. unbelievable and impressive result!!
    by the way, u look slightly thinner(the face only) after the race.. =)
    anyway, good luck in your S’pore Marathon!!
    all the best

  23. Dude, you’re an inspiring individual for not only Malaysians but for everyone around the world! I only wish that I can have an interesting life as you! Here’s wishing you an even better timing for your Singapore Marathon!

  24. 21km in 2 hrs 42 mins !!!! Wow ! Even the Goddess Naeboo was almost dead from running 3.2km in 30mins. XD
    I can’t imagine the amount of willpower and training it took to achieve that…. Goddamnit, first it was a trip to Paris with Dawn Yang, now this.
    You amaze me more and more everyday, Kenny.

  25. There is one thing you win in Sarawak compare to Sabah…If you want fat people in Sabah you got fat people but in Sarawak you got kennysia..hahahaha

  26. Kennysia: My running essentials: Energy gels, muscle rub and Nike+ hooked up to my trusty first generation iPod nano.
    Hmmmm is that just a plain white T-shirt ? Might wanna add moisture-wicking T-shirts, and a cap, sunscreen and sunglasses.
    Recently there was a Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and the 26.2-mile course starts and finishes in Grant Park on Columbus Dr.,
    near Buckingham Fountain. I saw a lot of people about to collapse during the event, walking slowly, completely burned out. Some people injured their
    legs but still continued on !! A lot of people “hit the wall” ! DX
    Seeing with my own eyes how hard it is, I can’t possibly imagine the willpower it will take to complete a 42-KM marathon in a hotter climate like Singapore/Malaysia. D:
    (42 km = 26.0975 mi.)
    The Wall
    Glycogen burns quickly to provide quick energy. Runners can store about 8 MJ or 2,000 kcal worth of glycogen in their bodies,
    enough for about 30 km/18-20 miles of running. The problem is that most people will “hit the wall” after the middle-mark, and start to
    go down the slippery slope of burning out.
    When their storage of glycogen generated by carbohydrates depletes, fat is used as an alternative
    fuel but it’s not as efficient. That’s where the runner will experience dramatic fatigue and is said to “hit the wall”.
    Solution ?
    Power gels with water will help with it’s easy digestion of energy, some even has sodium to prevent dehydration, and potassium/caffeine.
    Most importantly is knowing how to pace yourself. Fat burns more readily when it involves low intensity exercises, so you should start slow during the race
    and increase the pace during the half or last third of the marathon.
    This saves you more glycogen and energy to fully complete the race without
    crashing and burning out. Do consider purchasing a performance-quality wristwatch with a stopwatch function to track your splits at each mile.
    This will help you regulate your pace.
    If any readers have any ideas to help Kenny, please feel free to contribute ! πŸ˜€

  27. Saw you this morning while driving to work. You are really one crazy guy training in the morning rain. But anyway hope you are well prepare for the coming Singapore International Marathon. Some people really go crazy to achieve something.

  28. Hey Angela, nice to bump into you too!
    Joanne, really!? I have to wake up real early for the race though!
    Edgar, I saw them. Thanks!
    Pixeldoll, the blue thing on my left shoe is the timing chip, the black thing on my right shoe is my Nike+ iPod sensor thingy that tells me how far I’ve ran and how fast I’m going.
    The Yoga Instructor, haha. The Wall didn’t hit me luckily. I’m only doing the 21km, but I’m sure it’s gonna hit me in Singapore.
    Shan, you did a great job too!
    zay, *blush*
    Porcupine, I go to and follow the training programme from there. πŸ™‚
    loh wai wah, I’m sure you can keep up with my pace. I’m considered quite a slow runner.
    ahlost, both!
    Deric, when you get stitches it’s either overexertion or your pants / waistpack got a bit too tight. Adjust it slightly and it should be ok. πŸ™‚
    Mario, hehe. The rain sucks. I’m feeling slightly feverish now.

  29. hi kenny, nice run! congrats! I was wondering if i can copy your first photo so can put that in my facebook / blog account as I am the dude in red shirt and red cap. haha. πŸ™‚

  30. Kenny…power sia. Haven’t read your blog for ages and suddenly you have slimmed down heaps. RESPECT for completing the race. xx

  31. I am happy that you promote Sabah in this entry πŸ™‚ Being a Sabahan myself and recently moved to US it makes me mis my hometown alot!

  32. wow wow wow great effort though.
    Kenny actually managed to roll through the 21 KMs XD XD
    Rounded objects can roll faster and thats why he made it faster than the other smaller size ones XD XD
    I am so mean.
    anyway being able to finish 21KM in around 2 hours time is already a dream to me. It will never happen.
    Kennysia does wonders though!
    believe it LOL.
    by the way, speaking bout holes,
    my hometown, Malacca tops the other states.
    Malacca has the most holes!
    holes on the road i mean.

  33. Kenny u replied! lol, and its LOW not LOH, well u r not the 1st to make the mistake anyway
    Nah i can’t go fast cos of my niggering ligament injury (told u in my email but i guess u forgot le) Haha
    Do sign for me if i do meet you at the singapore standard charted mara ok? πŸ™‚

  34. Dang! I waited around Sutera Harbour for about an hour to take a pic of you running but luck was not on my side. I had to go home because it was freaking HOT! I did see the Cat Woman though… she was pretty cool running with that kind of outfit.

  35. Thanks for the link back. You looked familiar..then it dawned on me..hey it’s Kenny Sia. Got some more photos of you…do email me if you want all of them. FOC. No problem.

  36. Kenny Sia finished 107th in a field of 160. The slowest finisher in your category was Emennial Fung in 3:46
    The Kenyans you took photos with are (from left to right):
    [unseen number]: must be Micah Kiprotich who finished 3rd in 1:18
    586 is Wilson Kibogo who won the event in 1:11.
    861 is Doris Chuchumba who the women’s open in 1:24 – OMG meaning this woman ran almost TWICE as fast as you.
    But Malaysian M. Ramadass beat Kiprotich, finishing 2nd in 1:13
    Well done all.

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