Sports and eco-tourism in Sabah: the Ruhiang-Kiulu Adventure Challenge

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Photo credit: RUKIAC Sabah Facebook page

Back for its fifth year, the Ruhiang-Kiulu Adventure Challenge will begin at 5am this Sunday, 24th January at the Tamparuli Tama Ground in Sabah.

The challenge, also known as RUKIAC, is jointly organised by Casero Events and the Tamparuli Sub-district office of Sabah in order to boost the sports tourism industry in the area which is something that Casero has aimed to do with other events as well such as the Orang Kuat Sabah (Sabah’s Strongest Man) and Burnout360: Sabah Drift Challenge in the past.

RUKIAC not only hopes to boost sports tourism in Sabah, but also promote eco-tourism as the routes laid out in the challenge offer the participants a chance to experience the beauty of the Tamparuli region.

The Tamparuli Bridge, which features heavily in this event, is quite popular among locals and has been immortalised in a song written by local artist Justin Lusah in 1977.

The Adventure Challenge is not for the faint of heart or unfit as the the shortest route offered is a 10km long scenic route of the Tamparuli Tama Ground. The first 10 participants in each category to finish the race will receive a medal and a cash prize, and all participants will receive a finisher t-shirt.

Ruhiang-Kiulu challenges: 10km, 21km, and 25km

10km Adventure Run

Photo credit: RUKIAC Sabah

The 10km Adventure Run will start and end at by the Tamparuli Bridge, and involves hiking up a steep incline on Bukit Ruhiang. The organisers have prepared a video capturing the route so runner can prepare themselves:

Elite 21km Adventure Run

The route for the Elite 21km Adventure Run will share the same trail as the 10km runner for the first 8.7km of their journey. After that, the route will lead the runners through five villages in the region. Runners in this category will get a bonus as they end their race by crossing the Tamparuli Bridge, which is suspended over the Tuaran River.

Photo credit: RUKIAC Sabah

25km Ride for Nature Cycling Challenge

Cyclists in the Ride for Nature Challenge will see a different part of Tamparuli as the route for this event is north of the running routes, but it is by no means an easier. The cyclists will also have to endure rough terrain and a steep hill.

Photo credit: RUKIAC Sabah

The online registration for the event is now closed, but you can still attend to cheer on the participants and join in the fun as there will be games organised for spectators.


You can find more details on the event at the RUKIAC website.

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