Arief Wismoyono hero of Mount Rinjani
Arief Wismoyono gave the Indonesian trail running community something to cheer about as he became the first local winner of the country’s most renowned trail race, Mount Rinjani Ultra (MRU) on Lombok Island. Hailing from Bandung in Java, the 31-year-old Wismoyono held off a late charge by Hong Kong’s Kwok Lun Ng to cross the finish line in 13 hours and 9 minutes and 39 seconds (gun time). Switzerland’s Caroline Roehrl claimed the women’s title in just over 17 hours, making the difference on the climb up Mount Rinjani.
450 participants from 38 countries travelled to Senaru, the traditional gateway town for multi day trekking trips on Gunung Rinjani, the active volcano that towers high above the small island at 3726m. MRU may only be 52km in distance, but it has a massive 5800 metres of elevation gain. As if that were not enough by itself, the organiser - Indonesian outdoor hero Hendra Wiyaya - also imposes a strict cut-off time of 22 hours. The DNF quota was very high in the first two editions of the event, and it was no different this year with only 34 out of 183 effective starters beating the challenge. All finishers of course score points for the 2015 Asia Trail Master ranking, and by exception - given the event's high degree of difficulty - also get 1 point for their quest to be come an Asia Trail Grandmaster (6 points required within 2 years).
Participants were greatly rewarded for their efforts by fantastic views at the peak of the crater lake and even of Gunung Agung on Bali. In addition, there was the enthusiasm and appreciation of the local community. The start of MRU was at 10 p.m., which means that most runners had just reached or were on the way to the peak of Rinjani come sunrise. Those who competed in the 21km shorter Rinjani Altitude Run (RAR) could still look forward to the gorgeous sight of the volcano crater lake at 2600m as well.
Arief Wismoyono is on a roll this year, as he also won the Tambora 200 ultra race on Sumbawa last April. With two more big Indonesian races coming up in the Asia Trail Master series this year, Wismoyono has a good chance to finish high in the championship at the end of the year. His winning time at MRU is not a course record, though,as American Thomas Zachary achieved 12:44 in 2014. Similarly, Caroline Roehrl was half an hour short of the female best mark set by Nora Senn from Hong Kong, i.e. 16:30.
“This is one of the toughest races out there, and very technical. People usually trek for three days on this volcano” said Pablo Diago, based in Singapore and third on the podium. “It is a bit crazy, but that is why we are here!” Women’s champion Caroline Roehrl was happy but totally empty at the finish. “I ran out of gas in the final part of the summit climb. It was so painful afterwards...” She kept an advantage of 49 minutes over the duo Woon Ping Leung and Lam Lai Po.
The short distance race was won by Hong Kong-based Spaniard Daniel Perez and by local star Ina Budiyarni from Java in the women’s.
Top results 52 km MRU:
1. Arief Wismoyono 13:09
2. Kwok Lun Ng 13:17
3. Pablo Diago 14:44
4. Regis Cabaret 15:17
5. Alan Maulana 15:57
6. Emmanuel Abade 16:25
7. Anthony Leung Kin Yang 16:33
8. Ullas Narayana 16:52
9. Fandi Ahmad 17:00
10. Caroline Roehrl 17:01
14. Woon Ping Leung 17:51
15. Lam Lai Po 17:51