Hot stuff in Korea and Davao this weekend!
This weekend the 2018 Asia Trail Master Championship series continues with another doubleheader. Korea 50K in Northern Asia and the Mount Apo Sky Race in Southeast Asia. Both events meanwhile have established a tradition and will see the participation of a strong set of runners.
Mount Apo is the highest mountain of the Philippines at an altitude of nearly 3000m, located near Davao on Mindanao Island. Race director Doi Calbes has further upgraded his A-race from last year’s 70K to a full 100K this weekend. This is a technical and challenging trail that appeals to experienced trail runners. It should be noted that last year’s winner and 2nd placer Pablo Diago Gonzales and Rexell Aguirre are both coming back. They will face the challenge of some other good runners such as David Gianelli, the Italian who impressively won the Indonesia SuperTrail last season. For Pablo Diago Gonzales, a top 2 result would place him in 2nd place of the ATM ranking behind leader Harry Jones. Also on the start list but a question mark is the other Singapore-based Italian Alessandro Sherpa. Still struggling with a foot injury, it is not sure he will be tackling Mount Apo. Thailand-based pinoy runners Joeffrey Camara and Jorge Lanante should be considered for a podium finish, as well as a number of local runners who can always create a surprise.
Manilyn Mamugay was the women's race winner last year and she also will defend her title. Shindy Patricia from Indonesia was scheduled to be a main competitor, but a passport visa application took a longer time than envisaged and Shindy is unfortunately unable to travel this weekend. Hong Kong's Tanya Bennet and Grandmaster Cheryl Bihag are podium candidates.
In Dongducheon, near Seoul, in South Korea the country’s biggest trail race is entering its 4th edition on Saturday. Forest hills characterise this tough 58K that will see Takashi Doi from Japan face local top runners such as Sim Jaeduk.
We will be reporting live from both events on Saturday, as usual subject to connectivity.