BDG 100: home races for Wismoyono & Theresia
It has been a while since the last one in Malaysia, but this weekend is SuperTrail weekend in the Asia Trail Master Championship. Bandung Ultra 100 is the Indonesia SuperTrail, which means all finishers on the 100k distance score 50 bonus points for the points championship. Important also for home runners Arief Wismoyono and Ruth Theresia, who will be giving it their all on familiar terrain.
Bandung Ultra 100 entered the scene with a bang last year. Along with Mantra Summits Challenge in East Java, the event captured the imagination of hardcore technical trail runners especially. The 100k has well over 6500 metres of elevation gain and a tight cut-off time of 32 hours. Twelve months ago, Fandhi Ahmad won both new races. He is back at the starting line tomorrow and will certainly act. as the benchmark for Arief Wismoyono and others with victory ambitions. One of those is Spaniard Salva Rambla. Having arrived in Asia just a week ago, Salva Rambla will be competing in at least six ATM races in the second part of this season with a mission to increase understanding and spread awareness of our events in his home country Spain, which is of course one of the top nations in global trail running. Salva and his partner will also be working on a TV documentary, and he will of course also run the races for what he is worth. Spain is not Asia, and Bandung Ultra 100 is definitely not the easiest race to start an Asian campaign, but he is no rookie neither.
It will be interesting to see where Abdul Aziz Dermawan ends up this weekend. A talented young runner who scored great results even on the steps of Hong Kong a few years ago, but it has been a while he has competed at top level in Indonesia. Aris Sopiandi Muklis is a podium candidate, having done well in this race last season as well.
There’s a few Japanese runners who could cause an upset, and there’s also Rexell Aguirre from Davao in Philippines who always does well on technical terrain, having placed second on Mt Apo last year as an example. Brunei-based Canadian Michael McLean was a very impressive finisher at Borneo TMBT Ultra 100 only two weeks ago. McLean passed six runners in the final 10 km to end up 6th in the race result. In Sabah, McLean looked surprisingly fresh at the finish compared to all others and can certainly be regarded as the dark horse for this weekend’s race in Bandung. Amazingly, there’s another top performer of Borneo TMBT Ultra on the start list: Malaysia’s Milton Amat! The sympathetic Sabahan was running in front together with Daved Simpat for most of the race, until he got. a knock of the hammer and slided down the order to arrive in fourth place at the finish. Earlier this season, Amat scored 4th in the 9 Dragons Ultra in Hong Kong and 4th in Penang Eco 100 miles. He is indeed the highest-ranked Malaysian in the current Asia Trail Master points standings in 8th place with 1400 points. Let’s hope for him he can do one rank better in BDG 100 and finally get a podium. He would be knocking on the door of the ATM Fab Five as well then.
In the women’s race, championship leader Ruth Theresia is the clear favourite on paper. Competiting smart and much less than in 2017, Ruth is eyeing a championship win, indeed. Surabaya’s Sri Wahyuni has come closest to pushing Ruth in ultra races this season, yet overtaking her has not been on the cards so far. Wahyuni is on the start list again for Bandung, however reports indicate she is injured and won’t be competing for a few weeks - denting her chances in the championship. Ruth may therefore receive most pressure from another East Javan, Shindy Patricia. Riding the wave of her success in Chamonix, Shindy is a highly skilled technical runner who will find herself at ease on the trails in Bandung. If Ruth doesn’t find her fastest legs, Shindy won’t be far away. And neither will Eni Rosita be. Rosita might not have the sheer trail speed as the likes of Ruth and Shindy, but her stamina counts for two. When the going gets tough, Rosita could be competing for more than just the podium. Hong Kong’s Jocelyn Cheung will be another podium candidate, as she showed again last month with a third place in the Magnificent Merapoh Trail in Malaysia.