Wismoyono and Marlina put Indonesia firmly on Asia's trail running map
The 5th edition of the MesaStila Challenge Ultra in Central Java's Magelang region took place under a bright blue sky last weekend and was an eye-opening trail experience for many participants. The event, which offers five race distances in total, is not as well known as Mount Rinjani Ultra or Bromo Tengger Semeru, but this could soon change. Runners were treated with a fantastic and varied race course and with great hospitality from the MesaStila Hotel & Spa.
The stars of the weekend were locals: Arief Wismoyono (men) and Mila Marlina (women) both won the 100k race and in so doing they grabbed the lead in their respective 2015 Asia Trail Master ranking with four races still to go.
Photos credit MesaStila
Central Java, is a region known mainly for the UNESCO Buddhist temple site of Borubudur, and maybe also for its delicious coffee. From the race location there are various touristic sightseeing options. Many a participant spoke of a "hidden gem" on the trail race calendar. The courses are characterised by volcano and mountain climbs, bamboo forests, ethnic villages and jungle trails.
Pretty but tough. The 100km has 7700 metres of elevation gain, and even for experienced local climbers such as Alan Maulana this can sometimes be too much. Maulana led the race at the 65km point, but began to feel unwell and retired from the race. It left the door open for Wismoyono to assume control, even though he had to cope with the final charge forward of new name Dzaki Wardana. Wismoyono, first Indonesian champion of Mount Rinjani Ultra last August, finished at midnight in 19 hours. The podium was completed by Pramonosidi Wijanarko, who came second in the gruelling Gede Pangrango Marathon in May.
Looking ahead, Wismoyono holds an advantage of 90 points over China's Xie Zhangrong, with India's Ullas Narayana, Wijanarko, Phairat Varasin, and Yan Longfei, amongst others, within striking range. Points-scoring races are still coming up in China, Philippines, Indonesia and Cambodia.
Mila Marlina has no real competition on the longest distances in her native country, but to become the 2015 Asia Trail Master champion she still awaits a stern challenge by Malaysia's Tan Seow Ping. The points difference between the two is only 42.
Top 3 Result - 100k - Men
1. Arief Wismoyono (Indonesia) 19:03:16
2. Dzaki Wardana (Indonesia) 19:37:30
3. Pramonosidi Wijanarko (Indonesia) 21:34:47
1. Mila Marlina (Indonesia)
50k - Men
1. Celian Baup (France) 10:28:16
2. Muhammad Fauzi Difinubun (Indonesia) 10:38:09
3. Vincent Chalias (France) 11:17:56