TRAIL UPDATE: For safety and logistical considerations, some modifications have been made by the organiser.
Stage 1 – 46 km MTB
Rolling start – riders will be led out by a marshall vehicle for approximately 2 km to the start of the mountain bike section.
The first mountain bike stage will cover a variety of terrain over 46 km. The first section is along old mining trails that cut through the limestone mountains that surround the town of Bau. These are forest-covered trails that wind through this impressive landscape. The terrain is undulating with loose rock so it will be necessary to choose the correct lines going up as well as descending. On-road sections link the various components of this track that includes: single track passing through local farmlands; oil palm access roads and trails; an old mining rail bed passing through impressive limestone formations; karst landscape; local villages and farms. A new section of single track is a recently opened forest trail that will require some hike-a-bike sections, some stream crossings and negotiating some tricky technical descents. The final climb is along an old road before the run into the transition area next to the start/ finish line. There will be two water stations; the first at approximately 18 km and the second at approximately 30 km.
Stage 2 – Cave Run
The end of the MTB section is the start of the cave section run and the transition area will be at the start / finish line where it will be possible to change over equipment.
The second stage is the cave run that will be a 15 minutes run through Fairy Cave passages. As these are natural caves, the terrain will be muddy, wet and slippery. Competitors are to keep their helmets and gloves on as well as use a torch during the cave section.
The run out from the cave to Stage 3 (Trail Run) will pass the transition area again for the opportunity to leave behind the helmet and torch; although gloves are recommended for the trail running section.
Stage 3 – 13 km Trail Run
The third stage trail run follows old mining trails that were used for gold mining in the area. The start is along the main road and passes quickly to a jungle path. The terrain will be uneven with lots of roots, rocks and steep descents and climbs so caution is required during the run. This is a forest covered trail and there will be a number of stream crossings so expect to get wet. Some scrambling over limestone outcrops and across rocky stretches in the streams will be required. The trail passes through some spectacular limestone formations before leading out to a trunk road. After a short road stretch a final forested climb past some fortified pepper gardens and then a descent alongside a stream following some local water supply lines. The final stretch passes through a local village and then follows the same trail as the mountain bike stage back to the start / finish line. There will also be two water stations; the first at approximately 5 km and the second at approximately 9 km.
Sections of both the MTB and Trail Running stages pass through areas of mature rainforest. As the name implies, these areas can be wet with lots of leaf litter and a closed canopy overhead. Leeches are not unheard of and testimony to the wildlife that can still be found in these areas.