Relive the exploits of a WWII British commando with this race

  • Travel
  • Tuesday, 28 Feb 2017

Malaysia national triathlete, Irene Chong, on a jungle trail in Pangkor Laut during The Chapman's Challenge in 2016.

Imagine reliving the exploits of a World War II commando in the jungle and the sea. That’s what the The Chapman’s Challenge 2017 – a unique running and swimming biathlon at Pangkor Laut Resort – promises to be.

The event is named after Colonel Freddy Spencer Chapman, who recorded his exploits in the book The Jungle Is Neutral.

During the war, Chapman had originally been sent to do attacks behind enemy Japanese lines. Later, when the British defeat at Singapore sent war plans into chaos, he spent three-and-a-half years in the Malayan jungles hiding from the Japanese, turning jungle trekking and nature observation into a memorable book.

On May 13, 1945, he escaped from Emerald Bay at Pangkor Laut with his compatriot, Major R. Broome. They swam 45m out to sea in the dark of night to be rescued by the Royal Navy submarine, HMS Statesman.

The Chapman’s Challenge 2017 will capture part of all that adventure with a 6.2km run through the two million year-old rainforest on the private island’s roadways. Then, there will be a 1km swim out at the lovely Emerald Bay before finishing up at Chapman’s Bar at the resort.

The event will be running for its second year and race day on May 13, 2017 is also a piece of history – it’s exactly 72 years after Chapman escaped. Another link to the past is Christopher Spencer Chapman, the guest-of-honour and youngest son of the late colonel, who will flag off the participants.

Participants crossing the finish line of their 6.2km run.

Pangkor Laut Resort, an exclusive luxury resort, welcomed international and local Malaysian participants last year for the inaugural race, including professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

Registration for The Chapman’s Challenge is now available online at through a full board package starting from RM943++ per room per night. A minimum stay of two nights inclusive of May 12 and 13 is required to participate in the race.

The package inclusions are return scheduled speedboat transfers, accommodation in preferred villa type, daily meals, two entries to the race day, post-race cocktails or mocktails, and a post-race barbecue dinner at Emerald Bay for two adults.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Across the site