UTHK opens the 2nd Asia Trail Master series
The 2nd Asia Trail Master series are set to begin just after lunch in Hong Kong this Friday with a proper ultra trail race: UTHK. Participants from across Asia will either have 156km (7400 hm), 103km (4300 hm) or 54km (2800 hm) on their menus this weekend, and finishing will give them a handsome reward for the 2016 Asia Trail Master championship straightaway: UTHK is one of five SuperTrails in the series, which means 50 bonus points!
Although the 156km longest race has a different starting venue, the centre of UTHK is the Duke of Edinburgh Training Camp site near Sha Tin in the New Territories, where the finish line of all races is drawn. There is a 48-hour cut off time for the 156k runners, and 32 hours for the 103km. Due to new regulations for trail running by the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, race organiser Augustine Wong has had to change his course significantly compared to last year. The result is good news for fast runners as the so-called 'runnable' sections have increased and the total elevation gain is less, although still very respectable.
Quite a number of prominent runners from last year's Asia Trail Master series will be competing at UTHK this year, including Philippines' running star Manolito Devina (double winner of CM 50 Ultra), Thailand-based Norwegian Jan Nilsen (3rd in Borneo TMBT in Malaysia and 2nd in CM 50 Ultra), Thailand's Phairat Varesin (4th in Vietnam Mountain Marathon, and 7th in Borneo TMBT) and Indonesia's Mila Marlina (winner of MesaStila Peaks Challenge and Gede Pangrango Marathon). The latter will be a strong challenger for the women's victory on the longest distance, and we can expect a fantastic race with defending UTHK champion Yuen Kit Shan, who will also be at the starting line. From China, the recent winner of the Ultra Trail Gobi Race is taking part and another favourite for the men's 156km race.
The current weather forecast indicates that it will be significantly milder than a few weeks ago during the HK 100 event, which surely is pleasant news for all participants.
The UTHK event is the first of many already scheduled races on the 2016 Asia Trail Master calendar. Runners can score points for the championship ranking in at least 14 Asian countries, and this year we will also see the first runners who complete the Grandmaster Quest (6 races of 70+ km within 2 years) and enter the Asia Trail Master's Hall of Fame! Among the elite runners, the defending Asia Trail Master champions are Arief Wismoyono (Indonesia) and Ma Yanxing (China).
After UTHK, the series continue one week later in Brunei (Beach Bunch Trail Challenge), and there is also a 2017 Candidate Race in the Philippines, the Rizal Mountain Run. (Candidate Races are races set to join the Asia Trail Master series in 2017).
For more information:
Our event cover page:
UTHK event website