Sabah’s Wilsen Singgin has finally got it all nicely together in an ATM-promoted race as he grabbed a very convincing victory in the Labuan Bird Park Ultra, a 2020 Candidate Race. As temperatures reached scorching digits, Singgin from Team Uglow Malaysia, ran away from his experienced fellow Sabahan Safrey Sumping and reached the finish in 7:47. Singgin ran UT Chiang Mai barely a week ago (but got lost, preventing a strong result). and was the runner who collapsed with a heatstroke in Moon 100 just before the end when a 1-2 with Milton Amat was nearly a given. He is known to be a raw diamond who will only get more consistent as he gains experience in trail running. In any case, the pace is already there. Sumping crossed the line 35 minutes (!) later. Guianus Salagan was a solid third in 8:37.
Kona Liau took the victory in the women’s 70k race, finishing ahead of Mailungin Salungin in 10:21:58.
On the 50k, Malaysian Vilbon Madilan finished ahead of Bruneian Muhammad Nor Ali Fullah Haji I. Early race leader Sapirin Sumping missed a marking halfway and lost a lot of time. Zulkarnain Masuyuk and Grandmaster Amirul Tuah from Brunei were next.
First woman was local hero Jessica Binti Suip. She passed early leader Ina Budiyarni from Indonesia, the first ever female Grandmaster in ATM back in 2016. Just passed halfway Budiyarni missed a marking (as several others did) and fell back in the ranking order. Nevertheless, Binti Suip just had too much speed left for anyone to take a well-deserved victory with a big margin at the finish. Budiyarni was second 53 minutes, just ahead of Ti Tijuan Tan.
Labuan is a new destination in the world of ultra and trail running. As this weekend’s event showed, the length of available trails is still on the limited side, but will be extended in the near future. Victoria Sports, as technical organiser of most events on the island, is keen on turning Labuan into a prime venue for distance runners.