The Asia Trail Master series begin with Ultra Trail Hong Kong
The 1st edition of Ultra Trail Hong Kong starts this Friday in the New Territories and also marks the true launch of the equally inaugural Asia Trail Master series (ATMs). Throughout the year, trail runners will score points for the Asia Trail Master ranking and championship when they finish a race on the ATMs calendar.
Ultra Trail Hong Kong was set up in the spirit of the unofficial trail running world championship in France, UTMB, and the equally popular Japanese equivalent UT Mount Fuji. Race organiser Augustine Wong wants to build the race up towards a genuine benchmark on the Asian and world calendar. There's of course plenty of races in Hong Kong already, but UTHK is certainly one of the very toughest. Runners who finish the long distance this weekend will score no fewer than 175 distance points for the Asia Trail Master ranking, which by coincidence is also the maximum number of points runners will score when doing a stage race like the Wild Elephant Trail in Sri Lanka next week. The second race at UTHK is also qualified for the series with a length of 92km. The performance points for the shorter distance are of course fewer than for the long one. If you are not sure about the points system yet, just visit the ranking section of this website.
At the end of the year, before Christmas, the best performing runners in the series will be rewarded. The winner of the 2015 Asia Trail Master series, and therefore the 2015 champion, will score USD 1000, men and women. Cash prizes will be handed out to the top 3, with valuable sponsor and partner prizes for the entire top 10 of the ranking to boot. It will be a hot final month in December with points-scoring races scheduled in Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar!
And let us not forget the honourary title of Grandmaster, which is obtainable not only for the fastest amongst runners, but for everyone. To become an Asia Trail Grandmaster, you need to finish six long distance races within two calendar years. Important here is that the minimum distance must be 70km, but if one event offers two different race distances, only the longest one counts. So, the 175km participants this weekend in Hong Kong get 1 finish point, but the 92km participants do not.
You can stay up-to-date on all the latest ATMS news via social media, check out facebook, twitter, instagram, weibo and weixin, for starters. This weekend you can also follow the action in Hong Kong live via our website, courtesy of Race Timing Solutions. If you like taking photos, post them on instagram with the hashtag #Asiatrail , who knows you will win something!
Finally, we wish all runners good luck for UTHK and all the races that follow. Let's make this a great first Asia Trail Master year!