Ijen Trailrunning: Wismoyono & Hiairei sprint after 70km!
The 2nd edition of Ijen Trailrunning in Bondowoso, East Java, Indonesia, had an awesome conclusion of the main 70km race as 2015 Asia Trail Master champion Arief Wismoyono and his compatriot Yohanis Hiarei sprinted to the finish line after 70 magnificent kilometers of running. It was Wismoyono who had the fastest dash to the line, and in so doing the Bandung Explorer ace took his third career victory in an Asia Trail Master race after Mount Rinjani Ultra 52k and MesaStila Peaks Challenge last season. An important victory for the 31-year-old Wismoyono also, as other Asian top runners such as Manolito Divina, Yuen Wan Ho and Xu Xiutao have in the past weeks emerged as serious contenders for this year's overall title.
Before the race, Wismoyono had already expressed confidence in his ability, despite a tough winter in which his two Hong Kong objectives did not bring what perhaps he also had hoped. Cold conditions are clearly not his thing. Back in Indonesia, Wismoyono felt like a fish in the water. His finish time of 9:21 was above his goal of under 9 hours, yet more than 1 hour faster than he achieved last year on this Ijen course. The defending champion had to dig deep, though, as Hiairei - in his debut on the Asia Trail Master circuit - pushed him to a rarely seen sprint in a long distance trail race.
Central point of the event is the climb of the famous Ijen volcano, where runners can witness the so-called ' blue fire '. Because this natural phenomenon is best seen around dawn, the race starts at nighttime and the front runners therefore have their headlamps switched on for most of the race. An advantage of climbing at night is of course cooler temperatures. Participants enjoyed a fantastic day in fine weather during a well-organised event by the local Surabayan company Egon Trails. Ijen Trailrunning offers four race distances, and with 2450m of elevation gain on 70km has the most runnable course of all Indonesian races in the ATMs. The ascent of the volcano is the only significant, but tough, climb of the race.
The women's winner at Ijen stunned everybody with her performance. Arriving only 36 minutes behind the leading duo and in fourth overall was Singapore-based Norwegian Ann-Mari Lillijord. She was nearly two hours ahead of Boonthanit Suksodkeaw, after local favourite Ina Budiyarni first missed a marking, then got attacked by a male monkey at dawn and ultimately also suffered from stomach cramps. A series of events that dropped Budiyarni down the order from second to fifth at the finish. "I haven't done so many trail races yet, " said winner Lillejord. "I am very happy with my race, and this race was beautiful! I did not expect the volcano climb to be that steep, though, but it went well" . In fact, last year she also competed in the Vietnam Mountain Marathon - another points race in the Asia Trail Master series at the end of September - and came fourth, indicating she has upped her performance level since then.
The 42k B-race of the event was won by Matt Phillips Long and Laure Geroud.
Top 5 Men in 70 km:
1. Arief Wismoyono (INA) 9.21.09.
2. Yohanis Hiarei (INA) 9.21.10.
3. Carlos Paz (INA) 9.47.49
4. Elivas Paai (INA) 10:26:18
5. Vincent Chalias (FRA) 10:31:42
Top 5 Women 70km:
1. Ann Mari Lillejord (NOR) 9:58:03
2. Boonthanit Suksodkeaw (THA) 11:49:27
3. Wu Xiabingqing (CHN) 13:11:18
4. Patricia Shindy (INA) 13:20:39
5. Ina Budiyarni (INA) 13:54:41
Winner 42k Men:
1. Matt Phillips Long 5:00:08
Winner 42k Women:
1. Laure Genoud 5:39:02