Roland and I were participating in the Sabah
Adventure Challenge, a 150 km race. This was the
final leg of the challenge - hill trekking. The past
two days had been hectic and physically challenging
and we had covered mountain-biking, orienteering,
paddling and tubing. We had come through the other
activities in either the first place or second place. On
this last leg we had to do jungle trekking, followed by
The race had attracted us the minute we saw
the advertisement. It would be like going into the
unknown where we would not know what lay ahead.
We knew we would be challenged mentally and
physically. After signing up, we launched into a
training program to be well-prepared. Of course
we hope to win. There was no let up in our training
for the two months prior to the challenge. Every day
we start our training with a hike up and down Gasing
Hill, cycling in the park and swimming. We have even
attempted paddling and tubing in Kota Tinggi river
and waterfalls. We have a good relationship and
understand each other well.
On the last day, we were going uphill and as
we went higher we could hear the sounds of falling
rocks and earth. We had outpaced the other pairs
of competitors and were feeling a bit high. As we
climbed higher, we saw a lone climber standing
precariously on a ledge. We signaled to him to be
careful as we feared for his safety. He waved back
and continued on his climb. Roland muttered under
his breath about some people not knowing their limit.
I understood what he was trying to say as I had been
foolhardy at times before this too.
We pushed on but I felt a bit uneasy about the
lone climber. Then, we heard a rumble, a thundering
cacophony of the sound of rocks, earth and trees.
I looked back and the scene that greeted my eyes
stopped me in my tracks. We were just a few meters
from the peak and I did not want us to lose that
advantage. Even if I was willing to stop, I had to think
of Roland. We had to reach the end as a pair or we
would be disqualified. As I hesitated, Roland urged
me to move on. In that second, we heard a voice
calling for help. Should we or shouldn't we? Roland also hesitated. I could see questions and doubts in
his eyes. The picture of victory played in front of us.
But, conscience overcame us and both of us, as
one, turned back. We could not leave a fellow man
knowing he was hurt and that we might be the only
people who could help him.
When we reached the spot, we saw the man was
badly hurt. His ankle was turning blue-black and his
hands were bleeding from a nasty gash. His forehead
had a nasty cut and he was almost unconscious.
Together Roland and I pulled him clear from the rock
fall and as he could not walk on his own, Roland
being the bigger of us two, said that he would carry
the man. We made our way downhill slowly to the
finishing point. The crowd cheered us as we touch
the finishing line. We were still the first pair in, in spite
of our delay! Roland and I exchanged grins and I told
myself 'I'm glad we did not turn our back on a fellow
man. One day he might do the same for us.'