Narayana takes a great victory as Wismoyono limits the damage
The Bromo Tengger Semeru Ultra race in East Java, Indonesia, saw quite a number of upsets during the long first weekend of November. To begin with, not local hero and Asia Trail Master ranking leader Arief Wismoyono claimed victory in the difficult 100 miles race, but India's Ullas Narayana! What's more, women's leader Mila Marlina was forced to abandon her 100 mile race with an injury, so that she still trails China's Ma Yanxin the women's ranking by just 63 points.
The event offers some of the most other-worldly scenery one can find on the trail running scene. But to enjoy it, you need to endure a lot. The 100 mile race therefore sees only the fittest and most experienced runners at the starting line. The event also offers an equally tough 100 kilometer distance, a 70km and a 30km. On all courses, navigation skills also came in quite handy.
Arief Wismoyono and his teammate Alan Maulana started as the runners-to-beat, with Norway's Jan Nilsen and Ullas Narayana as main challengers not only for the race victory, but also for the Asia Trail Master points ranking. Initially, Belgium's Luc Hapers and France's Celian Baup looked in top shape until the pair unfortunately missed a marker. Narayana and Nilsen took over and ran together for a while, until the Norwegian began to suffer from heavy blisters, which would eventually force him to retire! Meanwhile, Maulana was already out of the race, and Wismoyono had to stick to damage control due to a knee injury. The Indonesian star would reach the finish in sixth place, behind his compatriots Agus Sukaryat and William William, which is just enough to keep his lead in the Asia Trail Master ranking. The gap to Narayana is down to just 60 points! Wismoyono is fortunate, therefore, that some of the strong runners DNF'd. Then again, it proves his determination not to quit and his suffering may be rewarded with the Asia Trail Master 2015 championship title next month.
Ullas Narayana thus wins BTS in 30:45:10, over 10 hours (!) faster than second-placed William McGrath from Great Britain, Yee Chuan Teh (Malaysia) and Anthony Mark Alindada (Phillipines).
While international runners claimed the podium spots on the longest distance race of the BTS event, Pramonosidi Wijanarko gave the local crowd something to cheer about on the 102km distance. Wijanarko clearly won the race and becomes third in the Asia Trail Master ranking, after he had already finished 2nd in Gede Pangrango Marathon and 3rd in MesaStila Challenge this year. Singapore-based Yoshio Seto came second at BTS, and Philippines' Aleksis Capili - an ultra runner pur sang - scored a superb third podium place. The women's 102k race went to Malaysia's Tahira Muhammad Zain, ahead of Cristina Vasilache (SIngapore) and local runner Lily Suriani. Ina Budiyarni, who already competed in her fifth Asia Trail Master race, had a tough day but still finished 4th and in so doing retained her 4th place in the ranking.