Race round-up: Nilsen & Budiyarni new Grandmasters; Yuen Wan Ho scores first ATM race win
While BTS Ultra 100 in Indonesia lived up to its reputation as one of the hardest trail runs in Asia, HK 168 raised its profile once again as one of Hong Kong's traditional events. Both races saw fantastic winners: Jan Nilsen was dominant on the volcanoes, as expected, and Isaac Yuen Wan Ho relied on his amazing stamina to collect a first proper race victory after several podium finishes in the Asia Trail Master series. As such, both Nilsen and Yuen Wan Ho increase the pressure on Philippines' Manolito Divina to win this year's ATM points championship. It will be a great man-to-man battle soon in Clark, location of CM 50 Ultra and the last SuperTrail race of the year with bonus points on offer!
The women's races in Indonesia and Hong Kong had it in them as well. BTS 100k had a superb line-up at the start, including Ina Budiyarni, who aimed to complete her Grandmaster Quest and become the first female Grandmaster ever. After a fall in the early part of the race that injured her hip, it cost Ina blood, sweat and tears but she crossed the finish line just inside the official cut off time. While she won the Grandmaster honorary title, a podium finish was not possible given her injury. Therefore, the battle for the race victory was between Shindy Patricia, Ruth Theresia and Mila Mirlani. It was tight at the end, but Ruth Theresia nicked it by less than ten minutes ahead of Shindy Patricia.
At HK 168, pre-race favourite Yuen Kit Shan, double winner of UTHK, surprisingly did not feature at the top of the leader board at any time during the race. It was Yi Hua Wu who was the outstanding athlete on the weekend, finishing over 3 hours ahead of Habiba Benahmed and Xiao Jing. Yuen Kit Shan did finish the race in fourth place.