2018 Asia Trail Master Championship: the first quartet
ANNOUNCEMENT - While we are all anxiously awaiting the conclusion of the 2017 Asia Trail Master Championship in the fortcoming three months, we are also already planning ahead for next year. In the next days we will be making several announcements related to the 2018 championship, including some points regulation changes and of course the race calendar for the first semester of 2018.
The calendar promises to be even more filled and as varied as this year with a number of exciting newcomers, a big returnee, and of course our young classics. Beginning on the weekend of 20/21 January, trail runners can look forward to Asia Trail Master action nearly every weekend till the end of June. Points will be collected throughout the season, and at the end of the year still the best five results per runner, in terms of points, will be taken into account for the final championship classification. The foundation of the championship therefore will remain the same as this year. A few details will be amended and these will be announced in a separate announcement later this week.
The 2018 Asia Trail Master Championship series will again take off in Indonesia and Philippines, two countries that have witnessed a large growth of their domestic trail running scenes over the past years, which naturally also has resulted in a number of runners gaining fame and prestige throughout the Asian continent. Just think of Manolito Divina and Ruth Theresia, to name two only.
The Tahura Trail in Bandung, West Java, is the ideal race to get into gear on 21 January. It's not too long at 42 km, it's not too hard neither, but it does have technical sections that will separate the trail runner from the road runner, especially when it's wet and muddy like in 2017. For those who have not been in Bandung, it's a city surrounded by green mountains where Jakartians flock to on weekends. The tourism and hotel industry is therefore well-developed and you can easily spend a brilliant weekend with the family in the area.
As in 2017, the next event has a similar set-up in that the Rizal mountains are close to Manila, capital city of the Philippines. Participants for the Rizal Mountain Run on 28 January can stay in Manila and grab transport to the event site on Saturday night and return to the city after the race. The Rizal Mountain Run will be the first of two back-to-back pinoy points races because the following weekend we have the Pilipinas Akyathlon, as introduced last week. The Akyathlon takes place around Mount Ugo in the Cordillera mountains, and a full week travel package including the two ATM points races is currently being designed for runners who like to spend a whole week in the Philippines! Stay tuned for more details on this special travel option in due course.
With three races of 42 km, 50 km and 46 km in the bag, runners will be warmed up for the first genuine ultra race of the 2018 season: the Coast To Coast Night Trail Ultra in Central Java's Yogyakarta. If you thought the 70 km was tough this year, be prepared then for 10 February as the local organisers have announced a 100 km course as main race distance in 2018. Final confirmation of that is still pending, though. The 70 km also remains on the programme, which means CTC offers the first 2 Grandmaster point collection options of next year's season. Coast To Coast Night Trail takes place mostly at night - obviously - and can safely be considered a race suited for in-shape trail technicians. However, there's quite long runable sections, too, which makes for a well-balanced course appreciated by experienced runners.
With these four great events we are confident the 2018 Asia Trail Master Championship series will start with a bang. And wait for tomorrow... when we announce the next quartet of races and the first SuperTrails for next year!