(File pix) Mercy Malaysia's Sabah Chapter is organising the Salt Trail Challenge fundraising event from Aug 12-13 at the Crocker Range Park. Pix by Recqueal Raimi

KOTA KINABALU: Mercy Malaysia's Sabah Chapter is organising the Salt Trail Challenge fundraising event as part of its plans to provide better healthcare to local communities in remote villages.

The run will be held from Aug 12-13 at the Crocker Range Park, where many species of flora and fauna endemic to Borneo can be found.

With this year’s theme ‘Trail of Hope’, Mercy’s event coordinator Jerry Ong said the non-governmental organisation aims to raise RM80,000 to support Mercy’s activities.

“This challenge is unlike any other running event. We encourage nature and running enthusiasts to join in our Salt Trail Challenge for a good cause,” he told a press conference here today.

“Since 20013, we have provided primary health care services for the communities in Sabah. We have conducted more than 100 mobile outreach clinics throughout the state and conducted disaster relief responses.

“The (Salt) trail symbolised hope for the people in the olden days as they used this route to exchange their produce for salt. Today, it is a trail of hope to the communities to seek better healthcare facilities and education,” added Jerry.

He said Sabah Mercy has more than 700 volunteers who are mostly from the medical field, adding that the team will annually trek to isolated villages in far-flung areas to provide basic healthcare and awareness.

The run is being organised for the fourth time this year in collaboration with the state government conservation-based statutory body Sabah Parks and two other local NGOs, Sabah Amateur Radio Society and Partners of Community Organisations in Sabah (Pacos) Trust.

Meanwhile, Sabah Parks chairman of the Board of Trustees Datuk Seri Tengku Zainal Adlin Tengku Mohamood hoped outdoor lovers would take the opportunity to experience the wonders of the Crocker Range.

“This is an educational tour where, apart from helping the people, participants are able to learn about what Sabah has to offer.

“Crocker Ranger Park is home to the world’s giant orchid (Grammatophyllum kinabalunesis) and we can view them along the trail,” he said.

The Salt Trail Challenge has two categories - the Men’s Open and Women’s Open. The race is divided into 12km and 25.5km, where both distances will start at the Inobong substation and finish at Kampung Terian.

For the 25.5km challenge, the trek proceeds from Kampung Terian to Kampung Buayan before doubling back to Terian.

To participate in the event, participants can raise funds using Donation Cards which are available in Mercy Malaysia Sabah Chapter’s office. Participants may seek sponsors to raise RM500, and all donations are 100 per cent tax deductible.

For registration and further enquiries, Mercy Malaysia Sabah Chapter can be contacted at 088-272667, 019-2682789, and 019-3116182.