A new year, a new race calendar

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Finally it is here: the first release of the 2019 Asia Trail Master event calendar. On top of that, we have changed outfit for the upcoming year: hope you all like our new website design and features.

Having said that, please note that the event calendar is of course not yet 100% complete. A number of events are still under discussion, especially those in the second semester of the year. In addition, December 2019 has not been included yet in the current presentation. Three events are scheduled with the championship final planned for the weekend of 14/15 December. These events will be revealed mid-January. What we present today are the events that are confirmed, and we are thrilled to see those events on our list, indeed!

The 2019 season begins with Tahura Trail in Bandung, Indonesia, home base of our 2018 female champion Ruth Theresia. The event on Saturday, 19 January is the ideal season opener with a moderately difficult 42k trail marathon to open the accounts. In total, our objective is to limit the 2019 calendar to maximum 30 events. That’s at least six events less than the past two seasons. Too much of a good thing does not necessarily create extra value and both runners and ATM management need to stay fresh throughout the year to perform. Incidentally, this was also one of the takeaways of our end-of-year poll last week. Many thanks to everyone who took part in the poll.

Events that are interested to join the 2019 Asia Trail Master Championship series therefore need to hurry up. We accept application for Q1 and Q2 until 31 December 2018, and until 31 March for Q3 and Q4. Organisers are kindly invited to contact us via email and attach this application form. Before you apply, please check the current race calendar here on the website. If your event is planned for the same weekend as an event on our calendar, you know what our first question will be.

On the new website, we have created PDF versions of the ATM race calendar, divided by quarter to maintain a decent download speed. Each event also has a cover page containing the ‘Tale of the Trail’, the basic details of the event and tips on how to get there. At all times, we recommend runners to link through the event’s official website as well to read the fine print, especially regarding mandatory gear that can be extensive for some of the longer and more technical races.

Facebook has become increasingly used as a main source of event information. We at ATM make use of our Facebook page a lot and will continue to do so. However, we kindly request everybody not to forget our website. It has all the background on ATM and ATM-promoted events, and most of the questions we receive can be easily answered if you just click to our website page for a minute. In 2019, as you can see, we aim to have several key pages translated into a series of Asian languages.

As every year, some events have left ATM either because they have different priorities or simply because they cease to exist. We feel that the new entries, though, more than make up for those who have left and we welcome them with open arms. Asia Trail Master keeps on maturing and so do the events and their management. Trail running remains a niche in the running industry, but it’s an exciting niche with so many enthusiastic people doing their best to develop the sport here in Asia. Runners might sometimes forget how hard it is to set up a trail running event. Runners deserve all the applause they get, but we kindly appeal to everyone to always keep that in mind when something is not going to your liking in a race. We’ll be having a little break over the new year’s period first, yet we are already looking forward to the fifth season of the Asia Trail Master Championship series beginning with Tahura Trail in Indonesia on 19 January. It’s going to be more exciting and bigger than ever with several new innovations in the pipeline, just waiting to be announced in January. Stay tuned!

As it’s only the best five points races that count for the championship, I’ll try to do as many as possible in the first part of the year and see my name on top of the ranking for a long time. Great for my sponsors!
— Top Asian runner @ Izu Trail Journey
I am very grateful to ATM for giving the average trail runner something to aim for as well. The Grandmaster Quest is a great objective and incentive for me to train for those ultra races!
— Middle-aged ultra runner in Philippines

2019 - The First Quarter (Q1)