Posts tagged mantra
Elias Tabac steals hearts at Mantra!
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It was a thrilling moment last Sunday when Philippines' Elias Tabac rushed into the finish at the Kaliandra Eco Resort in Malang, East Java, Indonesia. The super tough Mantra Summits Challenge is run on remote high mountain trails with little to no mobile connectivity, and the scarse announcements that came through to the event arena were indicating Pablo Diago Gonzales was about to grab his fifth career ATM race victory. 

But as it turned out, Davao’s Elias Tabac passed Pablo Diago Gonzales in the last kilometre of the 75k and 5500 hm race! He won in 14:36, his second ATM race victory of the season after Pilipinas Akyathlon. Tabac now has 1000 championship points and is 11th in the championship ranking, alongside his compatriot John Ray Onifa. With many more points races yet to come this season, can Elias Tabac be a contender for the ATM championship title? 

In the Mantra race, ran mainly at nighttime by the faster guys, Tabac struggled without headlight in the second half of the night. Ukraine's Mikhailo Pavliuk, Alessandro Sherpa, Arief Wismoyono had all climbed up Arjuno Welirang close to each other. A very trim-looking Pablo Diago Gonzales - third in this race last year and keen to win it this time around - then made an attack,and ran together an advantage of half an hour by km 42. Tabac was in second place at that point but started chasing the Spaniard down as it got dawn. That took a lot of effort, especially as his running shoes completely disintegrated on the very rough and technical trails. His heels became entirely exposed as the shoe soles broke off. Pablo Diago Gonzales was already in cruising mode approaching the Kaliandra resort, and couldn't believe it when Tabac rushed passed him with just over 1 km to go! The Filipino pace was too high to even try to fight back. Tabac ran his heart out and grabbed the victory. 

Pablo Diago Gonzales has one consolation: he regains the points lead from Japan’s Tomohiro Mizukoshi in the ATM Championship with his fifth result of the season. He now totals 2100 points in five races, of which four were podiums but as of yet no wins this season. In any case, his tally, which will be boosted by another 50 for the abroad bonus, is the first real benchmark for anyone who wants to become ATM champion this year. It was a very strong and aggressive run by the Singapore-based Spaniard, who prepared well for Mantra and even lost approx 4 kg to be able to climb faster. 

Alessandro Sherpa, winner of Penang Eco 100k last May, came into the finish at the Kaliandra Eco Resort as third, but one hour behind the front runners. Sherpa had an eventful night and also had to cope with belly cramps. Ukraine's Mykhailo Pavliuk was a - relative - new face in fourth place. Pavliuk is known for his fast climbing speed and had prepared himself in Malang for a week to do well in this race, his first ever race beyond 50 km. Pavliuk was right up there with Sherpa and Wismoyono, but lost terrain towards the end as he also got lost late in the night. Bandung’s Arief Wismoyono arrived in fifth place in just over 17 hours. He will strengthen his top 5 rank in the ATM Championship with this fourth result of the season, but probably had hoped for more. Australia's Andy Bourke took 7th, ahead of India's Shashwat Rao and the 2 Malaysians Shahrin and Grandmaster Yim Heng Fatt, who completed his first ATM race of the season after a longish competitive break. Shashwat Rao has made it into the top 10 of the ATM Championship with his fine effort. He is in 8th place with 1080 points from three races. 

Ruth Theresia has given the Indonesian home crowd something to celebrate also, as she won the women's 75k race, coming in as 10th overall. The hard-fought victory puts her back on top of the ATM Championship standings as well, at the expense of Philippines' Aggy Sabanal, who reportedly returns to ATM action in September. Ruth Theresia 's compatriot Sri Wahyuni from Surabaya took another podium place in an ATM points race: second. Kuala Lumpur’s Erin Puteri Aziz from team ULTRON was a great third. All three women feature at the top of the ATM championship thanks to today’s performances. Ruth Theresia leads of course, today was her third victory of the season already! 

Interestingly, and perhaps something to think about, only 2 Indonesian runners (1 man, 1 woman and both Team Bandung Explorer ) made it into the top 10 of this Indonesian race...

The next points races are the Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset and the Magnificent Merapoh Trail in Malaysia.

Amazing: look at his shoes! 

Amazing: look at his shoes! 

Pablo Diago Gonzales could not quite believe it at first

Pablo Diago Gonzales could not quite believe it at first

What a podium!

What a podium!

Shashwat Rao from India finished again in the top 10 and is now 8th in the ATM Championship

Shashwat Rao from India finished again in the top 10 and is now 8th in the ATM Championship

Mikhailo Pavliuk from Ukraine finished his first race of over 50 km in 4th place

Mikhailo Pavliuk from Ukraine finished his first race of over 50 km in 4th place

There was also a 50km race at Mantra, won by Bandung's Yusoff Aprian

There was also a 50km race at Mantra, won by Bandung's Yusoff Aprian

Big battles expected at Mantra Summits!
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After a four-week break the 2018 Asia Trail Master championship series continues this weekend in Indonesia and the feared Mantra Summits Challenge. The very technical mountain race in Malang, East Java, was much talked-about in the trail scene following the inaugural event that saw the race winner come into the finish after 10 hours and 43 minutes. And it was not a snail, but Fandhi Achmad, who had taken the measure of even more established mountain runners as Jan Nilsen and Pablo Diago Gonzales! 

Organised by the Malang Trail Runners, the team of female Indonesian star Shindy Patricia, Mantra Summits Challenge has even been beefed up more this year with a 73 km distance and 5500 metres of elevation gain. That's also the distance that matters for the ATM Championship. The great Kaliandra Eco Resort again plays host for the event, which also offers last year's courses of 50km, 30km and 15km.

The A-race has attracted some very strong mountain runners from across the Asian region, including some serious contenders for the ATM championship. West Java's Fandi Achmad will certainly not get a repeat victory on a silver platter on Sunday. Staying on home soil, Arief Wismoyono is scheduled to take part. The Bandung Explorer ace is always at his best in the mountains of his home country. Having started his 2018 ATM campaign relatively modestly with two fourth places in UTKC and Tahura Trail and a fifth in Sungai Menyala Forest Trail, Wismoyono ranks 6th in the ATM championship so far. The 2015 champion can jump into the top three this weekend. One runner on the start list, however, can regain the points lead: Pablo Diago Gonzales will be starting his 6th race of the season, and needs just 210 points to overtake Japan's Tomohiro Mizukoshi. That means a top 10 result at Mantra. Pablo loved this race last year and was indeed close to both Achmad and Nilsen, and actually had been.ahead early on until he missed a marker... and therefore lost time. Can he take revenge and put a fifth ATM mountain race on his record of wins? 

Alessandro Sherpa may prevent that from happening. After some strong podium places, the Malaysia-based Italian finally scored his big premier ATM race victory at Penang Eco 100k last May, beating Hong Kong superstar John Ellis in truly impressive fashion. Mantra Summits is a different animal than Penang Eco, but Sherpa is no stranger to the Indonesian high mountains neither. 

And yet, who will be able to follow Elias Tabac? Elias who? Many people probably still don't know the Mindanao mountain goat, but the Filipino was the fantastic race winner of the Pilipinas Akyathlon last February. Tabac earned a sponsored weekend by Singapore's Rolling Hills Project with that victory, and here he is at Mantra Summits for his second ATM race of the season. Being in a foreign country for the first time might be a bit intimidating for the young runner, but once on the trails we can expect him to be right at the front. 

Six women will undertake the Mantra Summits Challenge 75k, which means that a mere finish - within the CUT of 24 hours - will result in.a large points haul. Ruth Theresia starts as the obvious race favourite. She won the 50k here last year, and after a short break recently should be fresh and strong to take the 75k on Sunday... and regain the points lead in the ATM Championship! Still, she won't have a walk in the mountain park as Surabaya's Sri Wahyuni is also on the start list and keen to take her first victory after a number of podium places in ATM races. Wahyuni was pushing Theresia in Brunei this season, and this type of gruelling mountaint terrain does not scare her. Other female podium candidates are Lily Suryani, Erin Puteri Aziz, Lye Chui Peng and Fadila Yusoff. 

We will be reporting live from the event at the Kaliandra Eco Resort starting tomorrow - subject to connectivity. 

Arief Wismoyono: always strong in Indonesia

Arief Wismoyono: always strong in Indonesia

Alessandro Sherpa: a second ATM win?

Alessandro Sherpa: a second ATM win?

Fandi Ahmad: can he repeat last year's great victory? 

Fandi Ahmad: can he repeat last year's great victory? 

Sri Wahyuni gave race favourite Ruth Theresia a tough challenge in Brunei. Can she do the same on. the much more technical Mantra trail?

Sri Wahyuni gave race favourite Ruth Theresia a tough challenge in Brunei. Can she do the same on. the much more technical Mantra trail?

Elias Tabac:the rising star from Davao could score his second ATM win of the year

Elias Tabac:the rising star from Davao could score his second ATM win of the year

Mantra Summits Challenge: 75K and 5675 hm!
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Indonesia is known for its hardcore technical trail events, where all the efforts are nonetheless superbly compensated by the most astonishing scenic views. Mantra Summits Challenge in East Java is a relative newbie following that trend. Last year's successful Candidate Race is now an official Asia Trail Master points race scheduled for 14/15 July and the new updated 75K A-race has just been revealed: A tough mountain race with Gunung Welirang and Gunung Arjuna as highlights towering 3300m above sea level. The 75K now also includes more runable sections after the technical descent, and two more smaller climbs of Mount Mahapena and Puthuk Lesung. All in all, runners face an elevation gain of 5675 hm! This is a race for the pure technical mountain runner. Perhaps it was no coincidence that last year the men's podium was filled with three of this specimen: Fandhi Achmad, Jan Nilsen and Pablo Diago Gonzales. 

Last year's 51K course is still on the programme as well, but serves now as the B-course. 

Host of the event is again the beautifully authentic Kaliandra Eco Resort in Malang. Organisers are of course the people of the Malang Trail Runners, which includes one of Asia's best technical trail women Shindy Patricia.

Registrations are open. 

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Mantra Summits Challenge moves event date forward
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Important news coming from Indonesia this week: the Mantra Summits Challenge in Malang, East Java, has moved forward its event date by two weeks. The tough mountain race is now scheduled for 14/15 July 2018.

This implies that MSC, as it is called in brief, now takes place one week before Ijen Trailrunning further east in Java. The Wolf the Trail combo of both events remains therefore, only that the order of events is switched around. One significant consequence is that international runners better arrive in Surabaya and exit Indonesia via Bali. 

The Wolf the Trail package currently in design will feature training and sightseeing runs/hikes on Bromo and other nearby volcanic sites between Malang and Bondowoso. 

More info on Mantra Summits Challenge here:

Mantra Summits Challenge enters the 2018 ATM Championship
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We are happy to announce the formal entry in the 2018 Asia Trail Master Championship series of Mantra Summits Challenge in East Java, Indonesia, on 28/29 July. The mountainous and technical race will feature a redesigned 75K race as longest distance, an upgrade of this year's main race. Mantra Summits Challenge was a successful ATM Candidate Race last July, won by Fandhi Achmad who overtook Jan Nilsen in the last sector with Pablo Diago Gonzales finishing in third place. In 2018 we can expect even more international running stars as the event joins the championship, and will be held one week after Ijen Trailrunning, held further to the east in the same region. Both races will be offered also as a Wolf The Trail package for international runners who like to spend a week in East Java. 

The beautiful Kaliandra Eco Resort will again play host to the event in the outskirts of Malang town, approximately 1,5 hours from the airport in Surabaya. While 75K is the distance that matters for the ATM Championship points, less ambitious runners can also opt for a 50K, 30K and 15K option. This year the 50K race got renowned for its technical nature, whereby the descents almost took as much time as the climbing up. The new route for 75 K and also 50 K still has a quite steep downhill from Mount Arjuna (above 3000m!) but it will be more runable as the track is less rocky and more compact soil. The course will pass through a new local tourist area called Budug Asu Hill, which has a beautiful view from there as well .

The 50 K will continue running into a tea plantation and follow the existing route. The 75K instead will continue to a runable section more towards Gunung Mujur and will connect with the 50K section again approaching the finish line at the Kaliandra Eco Resort. 

Stay tuned for all details of the 2018 Mantra Summits Challenge in due course. 

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