I’ve come a long way to get to where I am now.
Like many of us I have gone through long hours of pounding and tearing through dirt, most of the times soaked in mud, day in and day out. The hottest tropical sun is no threat to me and my kind. This is how we were built. We endure and never complain.
In my early years I trained in village trails. City folks have never heard of me, nor did they know how good I was and what I was capable of. But deep down inside I knew I could be the underdog that was ready to challenge. Just. About. Anyone.
Okay, so those were the dark days. I am different now. I have a status, because if it wasn’t for me, Guianus, Kona and Danny* wouldn’t have gone through Eco Challenge, Mild Seven Outdoor Quest, and even the world’s toughest mountain race, the Mt Kinabalu Climbathon and won. I’m proud to say that I have raced side-by-side with the great Kilian, Matsumoto and Frost. The discovery of me in trail racing was truly rewarding. I have earned my space in Wikipedia.
Don’t compare me with the rest, I’m comfortable in only one colour and I am a minimalist on my own. I don’t give much for zero drop or gel cushioning. I am solid and wherever I go I am in one piece. I will take you through 1000km without falling apart. My studs will grip any slippery surface and rip apart tough trails. Give me mud and I will eat it.
Don’t you know who I am? I am the champion’s shoe.
Editor’s note: Adidas Kampung is a product famously made in Sabah, Malaysia. The name ‘Adidas Kampung’ literally means ‘town Adidas’, is no way related to the popular German brand but an easy reference by village folks who wear these shoes a lot. It is 100% made of rubber and is available in sundry markets around Kota Kinabalu (KK) for around S$3. In the outskirts of KK they are available for as low as S$2. Their traditional colour is black although fashionable white ones are now taking over the trails of Mt Kinabalu that will not hide traces of mud. This new trend is not favoured by the older generation. Adidas Kampung could not be reached for comments.
*Guianus Salagan, wife Kona Liau were part of the 4-person unforgettable ‘Team Sabah’ for Eco-Challenge 2000. Guianus was crowned Mountain King in the 90s and early 2000s. Both are 3-hour range runners for marathon distance. Danny Kuilin Gongot is a 47-year old grandmother and a rubber tapper from Kundasang, Sabah. She is a podium runner in Mt Kinabalu Climbathon and Pilipinas Akyathlon who wears a size 4.5 (UK) pair of Adidas Kampung.
This story is sponsored by Sabah Tourism Board.