2018 ATM Preview - Precious little gems & the Malaysia SuperTrail
In part 4 of our 2018 calendar preview we highlight three perhaps lesser known races, but little gems they are for sure: the Mount Apo Sky Race on Mindanao in the Philippines, the Ultra Trail Nepal in Kathmandu and Batase, and the Tengri Ultra Trail in Tamgaly Tas, Kazakhstan. All three take place back-to-back from 22 April to 6 May, and are followed by the big Malaysia SuperTrail, Penang Eco 100!
The 3rd edition of the Mount Apo Sky Race is organised by the Vertical 2 Sky Team, which has set up several nice races in Davao and on Mindanao island. In 2018 the main points race will be upgraded from 70K to 100K, yet remains an out-and-back route to the summit of the highest mountain of the Philippines. The registration is open earlier than ever soon, and with Air Asia now flying directly from Kuala Lumpur to Davao, the event has become more accessible than ever as well!
One week later we travel to Nepal for the Ultra Trail Nepal event, which commemorates the devastating earthquake of 2015. Running from Kathmandu to the Batase Valley, also this course has been extended from 86K to a full 100K for the next edition of 28 April. Although this is Nepal, this event actually has quite some runable sections as well.
Meanwhile a classic on the ATM calendar is the Kazakhstan pioneering race in UNESCO World Heritage Site Tamgaly Tas, 100K from Almaty. The 4th Tengri Ultra Trail is scheduled to retain its 70K main course, which is characterised by grasslands with snowcapped peaks on the horizon, and a rocky canyon to be traversed. Registrations for non-Kazakhs will be open in due course.
Finally, Penang Eco remains the Malaysia SuperTrail on 12/14 May 2018. This is a big event with the first 100 miler of the season, along with a 100K as main race as well. Less ambitious runners can also do the 50K or 35K, but those do not offer any ATM Championship points. The courses are expected to stay as they are more or less. As everyone who has done Penang Eco knows, this one is not about the elevation, but about the humidity and mental resilience as the techical sections come at the end and after a very runable first part.