TRAIL UPDATE: For safety and logistical considerations, some modifications have been made by the organiser.
Rolling start – riders will be led out by a marshall vehicle for approximately 1 km to the start of the mountain bike section.
The mountain bike stage will cover a variety of terrain over approximately 40 km. The first section is along a winding village road that connects the communities on the north side of Mt Gading. There is a variety of single track and orchard roads with steep descents and sharp climbs. The trail crests with views out to the South China Sea before heading into the forested trails of Gading.
After a technical single track descent the trail connects with a series of plantation trails that leading around the mountain. This terrain tests the legs on the climbs and the skills on the descents with plenty of small hills to negotiate through a variety of plantation, old secondary forest, rubber gardens and other farmland. The 3rd quarter of the ride follows old logging tracks and plantation roads that head back towards the coast. The condition of sandy terrain will depend on the weather so be prepared for anything from hard pack to shifting sand. The final stretch to the transition area is along the coastal road. There will be two water stations.
Much of the trail run will be on jungle paths where the terrain will be uneven with lots of roots, rocks and steep descents and climbs so caution is required during the run. The majority of the trail is forest covered and there will be small stream crossings where you might get wet. Some scrambling across rocky stretches and steep descents will be required. The run will follow the same trail used by the first quarter of the MTB so watch for signs. There will be a marked split for the trail run that takes the runners back towards and along the coast towards the finish area. 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.