The thought of running an ultramarathon of 1600km is not an easy race to compete, let
alone accomplishing it.
With the recent event of ‘TRANS BORNEO 1600’ solo charity run, we congratulate veteran endurance runner, Steven Ong who is 43 years old, who successfully conquered the charity
run of crossing Malaysia’s two largest states and the sovereign state of Brunei.
It is a story that is definitely worth sharing.
Ong started off at the north western tip of Sarawak Teluk Melano, known as ‘Mile Zero’ of
the Pan Borneo Highway, and finally to the tip of Borneo in Kudat, Sabah. A total of 1600km crossing took Steven 21 days to complete, which is not an easy task.
He has braved through the Malaysian weather of scorching sun, rain, painful blisters, and
even an ankle injury. Needlessly, Ong pushed on to fulfill his dream of running across the
world’s third-largest island.
Throughout his running journey of 1600km, Ong said “ It has been a wonderful experience,
running from one end of Sarawak to the other end of Sabah and seeing many places off the
beaten track while being able to meet friendly people. During my journey, I was sometimes welcomed by other runners who would join me for a distance or supporter who would cheer on for me, those are the highlights of my journey”, Ong who has been running for 30 years added, “ This achievement is made possible with brands like Himalaya Salt Sports Candy who have been actively supporting and believe in empowering people around the world like me to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
What is TRANS BORNEO 1600?
The TRANS BORNEO 1600 virtual encourages all endurance athletes from around Malaysia
to join Ong on this journey of completing 1600km throughout the month of September. Athletes can choose either to compete to run or cycle in teams. All athletes will do their
running or cycling whenever at their convenience, outdoor, treadmill, or on a trail in
adherence to the Government Standard Order Protocol (SOP) applied during the pandemic.
The team distance will be plotted onto a virtual map, starting from Teluk Melano, Sarawak to Kudat, Sabah. All teams are encouraged to do as much as possible to complete the race no later than 30 days from the start of the event.
Purpose of TRANS BORNEO 1600
The purpose of the TRANS BORNEO 1600, is to raise funds for charity, as the pandemic
has caused various disruption and chaos to the lives of millions worldwide. Ong was
personally affected by the pandemic causing him to lose his livelihood in the early stages of
the Movement Control Order (MCO), he then wanted to raise funds to channel towards
non-government organizations (NGOs), as they offer assistance to the people who are
impacted by the pandemic.
Successfully, the charity virtual run drew 914 participants and has managed to raise a fund
of around RM30,000 which will be donated to four NGOs- Persatuan Porter Gunung Kinabalu Sabah, Mabul Kids Education Society Sabah, Persatuan Kebajikan Harapan
Kuching (Hope Place), and Under One Roof / Mari Makan.
Moreover, Ong is not a stranger to pushing his body to the limits, and it has truly shown
throughout his achievement in running.
He has been running competitively all over the world for many years. Ong currently holds the titles for 2018 Malaysia Titi Ultra Marathon 250km Champion; 2017 Asia Trail Master Overall Champion; 2017 Thailand Panoramic Ultra Trail 160km Champion; 2017 Spain Al Andalus Ultimate Trail 230km Multi-Stage Ultra Champion; and 2017 France UTMB-TDS 120km Finisher.
The veteran runner advised, “By following a proper training schedule is the key to success,
as regular training will give you the confidence and mental strength to prepare for any
competitions or events. A key aspect of endurance running would be keeping the body hydrated and replenish any loss of minerals to avoid muscle cramps and other symptoms
leading to dehydration”.