The 2019 Asia Trail Master Championship continues this weekend in Mongolia. The North Asian country has summer season and the grasslands are green. The Bogd Khan Mountain Trail was a Candidate Race a year ago and is now an official points race for our championship, the second in the country after the classic Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset that takes place in 10 days. BMT has a lot of Japanese and French input, the latter illustrated by having Carole Fuchs as Race Director. The main race is 64 km and obviously runable, but the heat and exposure to the sun can never be underestimated in these parts of the world.
Mongolia remains a magic place for many people, and unfortunately also remains a place that is not so convenient to get to due to its rather strict visa policies. The event takes place just outside the capital city of Ulanbaataar and as such does make for a great weekend trip, or longer, to Mongolia.
One runner who has jumped on the opportunity is Carrie-Jane Stander. The Canadian has recently moved from South Korea to Qingdao in Shandong province in China, which is not that far away from UB. Stander, of course accompanied by her husband and equally tough runner Kent, can do a brilliant job for her Asia Trail Master Championship ambitions. She is still ranked third with already five results in the bank, and BMT may boost her total even more to jump ahead of Fredelyn Alberto back to second place behind Veronika Vadovicova. Given that the Slovakian leader is planning to move out of Shanghai, and potentially Asia, only to return for TNF Malaysia Mountain Trail Festival in December, the other leading ladies are still in with a shot at the ATM title for sure.
In the men’s 64km race, we will be looking at South Koreans Sungsik Joh, winner of Ijen 100 and top 10 in the ATM Championship last year, and Gi-Woong Min. From Japan we have Mitusji Konoshita and there is also a large group from Singapore along with several Mongolian runners who may or may not cause the upset.