Ex-beauty queen takes on 32km Borneo Ultra Trail Marathon in hometown Kiulu

TUARAN: Former beauty queen Jo-anna Sue Henley Rampas has described her participation in the Borneo Ultra Trail Marathon 2024 (BUTM) in Kiulu as a trip down memory lane.

The 34-year-old, who contested as an election candidate for the constituency twice, said she was a native of Kiulu, and saw this as an opportunity to promote her community and celebrate its traditions on a deeply personal level.

"My husband and I have been looking forward to this event for years, and our schedules have finally aligned to make it a reality - our first 32km BUTM race.

"For us, BUTM transcends being just a race; it's a tribute to Kiulu, showcasing its natural and cultural riches while reinforcing our bond to the community that has shaped us.

"It was enjoyable to see the people of Kiulu cheering for us as we passed by their houses, and I am glad to have met some participants who made the journey considerably more enjoyable," she told the New Straits Times after completing the run at 2.55pm yesterday after running for 7 hours and 55 minutes.

The mother of one said that the trail - Kiulu River, Mongkonihad, and Namadan - was what she expected because it was close to her Kiulu house, where she used to play as a child, and the routes she typically hikes in Kiulu.

It was only the third Kitapol terrain that was new, but manageable for her.

"Our fitness journey, which includes regular cardio such as hiking, cycling, long-distance running, and weight training over many years, naturally led us to accept this challenge.

"Our involvement in BUTM goes beyond personal achievement; it's about inspiring and empowering women and youth.

"Through our participation, I hope to demonstrate the empowering truth that 'the body achieves what the mind believes'.

"This event serves as a platform to showcase resilience and promote an active lifestyle in our community."

The two-day event, which ends today, saw 205 participants for the 100km category; 290 for the 50km category; 205 for the 30km category; and 256 for the 9km category.

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