Ruth to surpass Tahira in Nan?
Bandung’s Ruth Theresia just keeps on running these weeks. In Nan, Thailand, she will start her fourth ATM ultra in five weeks tomorrow and it is again a special one. The likely new female Asia Trail Master Champion can surpass Malaysia’s trail icon Tahira Najmunisaa in total career ATM race victories! Winning in Nan would be Ruth Theresia’s 11th and would be the cherry on the pie of what has been a fantastic and mature season of the Indonesian number one.
“Normally, Nan will be my last big race of the season, though,” she says a day before the start. Understandably so, as her biggest rival for the Championship, Frenchwoman Carole Fuchs, has opted to downgrade to 50km in Nan citing lack of training following her recent move from Thailand to Japan. Fuchs needs at least three more race victories, including the Izu Trail Journey as Japan SuperTrail with its 50 bonus points, to still have a shot at Ruth Theresia’s points lead in the ranking. “Only if necessary, I will do HK 168 early December,” Ruth adds. Mathematically speaking, she will be guaranteed of having won the ATM championship at the end of November following the Trail Blazer race in Singapore and the CM 50 Ultra in Philippines. Other runners who could in theory still spit in her soup are Corinne Williams (winner 9 Dragons Ultra Hong Kong and Borneo TMBT Ultra) and Evelyn Lek (winner Magnificent Merapoh Trail Malaysia and Vietnam Mountain Marathon). Ruth does not need to win in Nan, as it would not increase her total points tally under the five-best-count system.
There are many local runners, currently little known, who may or may not make life difficult for Ruth in trying to win her 11th ATM race. Let’s find out how it all unfolds as of tomorrow. A video interview with Ruth Theresia will also be uploaded on our facebook page later today.
In the men’s 100km, which is actually 107km, Thailand arguably has the fastest runner on the start list with Pharait Varesin. However, as always to finish first you first need to finish. Varesin ran Nan last season as well, but retired half way leaving Sanya Khancai to run solo to the victory. Among all known people on the start list, Varesin is the top favourite, perhaps with France’s Emmanuel Abadie close behind. Abadie has scored good results in Malaysia and Thailand before. To note is also the 7th ATM race of the season of Malaysia’s Grandmaster Muhammad Shahrin Faiz Bin Roslan. The busy runner has made it into the top 10 of the ATM championship as 9th thanks to his string of finishes in tough races including two SuperTrails.
Stay tuned all weekend for updates from Ultra Trail Nan in Thailand via our social media pages.