Race Preview - Quality line-up for Malaysia Eco 100
Already the third SuperTrail race of the season is on the Asia Trail Master menu this weekend, as runners from all over the continent gather in Penang for the Eranzi Malaysia Eco 100. It will be an important event for the 2016 points ranking, but also for Aleksis Capili. The Thailand-based Pinoy runner is set to complete his Grandmaster Quest of six races of over 70k in two calendar years!
While Penang is the gateway to the event, organised by Endurance Nature, the start and finish of the three race distances is in Bukit Mertajam opposite Penang Island. The 100 miles and 100k races will soak up most attention, but the 50k is definitely not without merit neither in the hot and humid climate of Malaysia. Challenging conditions for many runners, who are perhaps fortunate that the elevation gain is considerable yet not excessive. Race Director Seow Kong Ng, an icon in Malaysia's endurance runnjng scene, of course knows where the acceptable limits are.
The rankings will look very different after this race. Both Jan Nilsen and Manolito Divina are going for the win, and for the lead in the men's Asia Trail Master championship ranking at the expense of current leader Isaac Yuen Wan Ho. Nilsen is in top shape, having just beaten Divina in a big race in the Philippines a fortnight ago. The 100 miles in Malaysia are more runnable, though, and more humid. They will be challenged by several other top runners from Malaysia itself.
Also in the women's we are bound to see a change of leadership in the points standings.Upcoming local hero Tahira Najmunisaa is doing the long distance race this weekend, and if she finishes will move ahead of Ma Yanxing and Yuen Kit Shan. The impressive winner of the Beach Bunch Trail Challenge in Brunei is only 50 points behind and will be the first of the top runners to compete in two races this year. However, also on the start list is the number 2 of last year's Asia Trail Master series: Mila Marlina from Indonesia. Marlina had a tough run at UTHK earlier this year, but if she is back to her best level - which brought her wins at e.g. MesaStila Peaks Challenge last year - she will certainly give Tahira a run for her money. At the end of December, the best three race results per runner count.
Aleksis Capili is the real ultrarunner: perhaps not the fastest of all, but he just keeps on going weekend after weekend... Malaysia Eco 100 miles will be his sixth Asia Trail Master race of more than 70km in less than a year! Capili has not left at that, as he also regularly runs other races outside our calendar as well. Capili is orginally from the Philippines, but based for work in Thailand. If he successfully completes this weekend's 100 miles, Capili will enter the inaugural Hall of Fame as an Asia Trail Grandmaster.
Watch our social media pages for news and updates of the Malaysia Eco 100 this weekend!