Posts tagged moon
MOON 100: Dramas unfold on Koh Phangan!
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The first edition of The Moon 100 on Koh Phangan, the small island close to Koh Samui that is famous for its full moon beach parties, will be remembered for a long time. This was a very tough course! Of the approx 240 starters on the longest distance of 103km and 5200 hm, 94 made it to the line within the cut-off time of 36 hours. The winner’s time was 18 hours and 31 minutes, and the guys at the top of the board are no snails. Combined with the heat of day, the Koh Phangan hilly jungle trails proved to be even more technical than those on Koh Chang (UTKC). Plenty of protagonists called it a day at some point, and both the men’s and women’s race had some dramatic turnabouts towards the very end.

Finally, we saw an almost miraculous comeback from Chiang Mai’s Job Tanapong on the beaches of Koh Phangan, after a gruelling day of trail running. The coming-man from Chiang Mai was still over 50 minutes behind the Sabahan duo of Milton Amat and Wilsen Singgin at km 70. But the youngster had juice left in the tank, dropped his Thai running mates (they were in a group of five, six most of the day) and began to chase the Malaysians. Milton Amat had looked like the strongest runner of all, but he decided to wait and run together with his teammate Wilsen Singgin. That proved to be a good tactic as together they developed a big gap on the rest, even when Thailand’s Supachuk Papetthong kept on lurking in the shadows. However, what nobody realised at the time - not even at the last checkpoint with 10 flat km left to the finish - was that Wilsen Singgin got increasingly dehydrated. This slowed the duo down so much that all of a sudden Job Tanapong and Supachok Pappethong were back within under 10 minutes of the leaders.

What happened then was sheer drama. With just 1,5 km left to go on the beach to the finish, Job Tanapong caught the leaders and Wilsen Singgin sank down to the ground. Heatstroke, dehydrated, hyponatremia. Milton Amat stopped himself to assist his suffering friend while asking for medical assistance. By the time the medical staff arrived at the spot, Supachok was there as well and Milton went with him together to the finish line. Wilsen never made it. His race ended at km 101,5. He was hospitalised and following a spell of heavy hallucinations was transfered even to a bigger hospital in Koh Samui, where he stayed the night. The runner from Sabah recovered to his full senses later at night but remained under observation on Sunday. If anyone still thought a heatstroke is nothing serious, think again.

Milton Amat showed genuine friendship and sportsmanship after the race by publicly congratulating Job Tanapong on his race victory without “ifs” or “buts”. Amat is gunning for the ATM Championship this year, and second place means he lost 50 points compared to if he had won. The price for fair-play can not escape him anymore. Video interviews with Job Tanapong and Milton Amat are available on our ATM facebook page.

Thailand’s other emerging trail star Sukrit Kaewyoun was fourth more than an hour later, and moves up to 3rd place in the Asia Trail Master Championship points standings. Thongsai Wongsaard and Suvatana were five and six. 

Also the women’s race had its fair share of drama today. Sri Wahyuni decided to DNF after she and her six male companions at the time unwillingly missed a hillclimb between checkpoints 2 and 3. As nobody else made that mistake, race direction had no other choice but to tell them to return to the section. The Indonesian from Surabaya, third in last year’s ATM Championship, was running very strongly - as even indicated by Fredelyn Alberto. Had she done what was asked, she could have still ended up on the podium. Meanwhile, the inspiring Phitchanan Mahachot lost her way during the night, too, and never came back to the front. Then, mid-race leader Wipawee Cartoon also turned into a shocking DNF at CP 8 with major stomach issues. Hong Kong based Filipino Fredelyn Alberto had already caught Cartoon very quickly all of a sudden and looked set for her first ATM race victory. Alberto managed it in style, and in so doing also climbs to 2nd place in the Asia Trail Master Championship points ranking. Video of her race finish is below this post.

Been Lee from South Korea had a great late pace and scored a second place she probably had not expected herself when she started and said smilingly “there’s too many women in this race” . The podium was completed by Thailand’s experienced ultra favourite Montha Suntornwit . Malaysian Siokhar Lim arrived in fourth place, only four minutes behind Suntornwit. Both the Thai and the Malaysian proved once again that nothing seems to hurt them in trail. Jassica Lintanga dropped to sixth place but finished, after she had looked like a potential winner at halfway distance. This Moon 100 shocked many runners, indeed.

Job Tanapong: new trail star from Chiang Mai

Job Tanapong: new trail star from Chiang Mai

Milton, Jess and Wilsen: the three Sabahans from Team Uglow Malaysia were omnipresent last weekend

Milton, Jess and Wilsen: the three Sabahans from Team Uglow Malaysia were omnipresent last weekend

The two big winners of the weekend: Job Tanapong and Fredelyn Alberto

The two big winners of the weekend: Job Tanapong and Fredelyn Alberto

Sri Wahyuni had a great pace, but a judgemental error cost her a place on the podium

Sri Wahyuni had a great pace, but a judgemental error cost her a place on the podium

One could not drink enough during the very hot race, but salt tables were just as necessary!

One could not drink enough during the very hot race, but salt tables were just as necessary!


Moon 100: Thai runners start the chase
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The 2019 Asia Trail Master Championship series has been underway for almost half a year now, but this weekend is only the first of four points races in Thailand. A big country with a massive running population of which several elites will be opening their ATM accounts at Moon 100 on Koh Phangan island. The new event, organised by the reputed teelakow team of UT Koh Chang and UT Chiang Rai, features a 100k and 60k as main races on the southern island famous for its monthly full moon beach parties…. hence The Moon 100. As it happens, the moon will only be full on Monday night and not on race weekend, but there’ll be plenty of stars shining nevertheless, in all meanings of the word.

One Thai trail runner has been very active already this season as well. Sukrit Kaewyoun has already done three races abroad with fine results. Sukrit, as he is commonly referred to, can leap to third place in the Asia Trail Master Championship ranking this weekend. He is for sure a podium candidate for the 103 km long race that goes almost entirely around Koh Phangan island. If Sukrit wants to win, he will need to get passed a long list of fellow-contenders. Let’s begin with Sabahan Milton Amat. The young Malaysian was. surprise force last year in the championship, which ended a bit on a sour note as severe viral illness prevented him from challenging Sherpa, Rambla, Mizukoshi and co for the championship in December. However, Milton has already bounced back this season with another 4th place in the 9 Dragons 50/50. Now under Team Uglow Malaysia, Amat is a technical ultra runner who is definitely going to be prominent again in the championship later this season. The same applies for Thai runner Job Tanapong and Brunei-based Canadian Michael McLean. Also from Sabah, Malaysia, comes Wilsen Singgin - 3rd in the classic Borneo TMBT Ultra last year. And from Philippines, Jared Teves is never to be underestimated.

The women’s Moon 100k race is likewise quite open with many very good runners who match each other in terms of overall performance level. A lot will depend on the shape of the day. Hong Kong-based Filipino Fredelyn Alberto continues her busy ATM schedule just three weeks after scoring third in the Vietnam Jungle Marathon 70. How well has she recovered from that very hot race? If the always smiling Alberto delivers another strong result, the T8 ambassador will be moving up to second place in the ATM Championship ranking behind Veronika Vadovicova. Her main competitors this weekend are likely to be coming from the home nation Thailand, but possibly even more so from Malaysia. Uglow runner Jassica Lintanga, 4th in last year’s ATM Championship, will be competing in her first points race of 2019. Athough the Sabahan Grandmaster is known to be faster on the 50 to 70km distance range, she has proved many times 100k is not a big issue for her neither when in form. Usually, “pocket rocket” Christine Loh moves up the leaderboard the longer a race lasts. Loh has started the ATM season very well with podium performances in two SuperTrails: the 9 Dragons 50/50 and the Dalat Ultra Trail. Loh has reportedly set her eyes on winning the 4 Trails Thailand series (Moon 100, Ultra Trail Chiang Mai, Ultra Trail Chiang Rai and Ultra Trail Panoramic —> all points races in ATM as well). The Malaysian who now lives in Singapore will therefore one to watch very closely. Also from Malaysia and never to be underestimated is V Trail Laos winner Siokhar Lim. 

From Surabaya in Indonesia comes Sri Wahyuni. Number 3 in last year’s Asia Trail Master Championship and a Grandmaster as well, Wahyuni has become more selective in her races this season and that should boost her speed even more. Wahyuni is a typical female Indonesian trail runner, renowned for their toughness over the ultra distance. But Sri Wahyuni also has a fast pace, which she showed again in Tahura Trail 42 at the start of the ATM season, where she finished second behind Asuka Nakajima. With fellow Indonesian runners Ruth Theresia and Shindy Patricia currently pursuing other goals, Sri Wahyuni is currently a bit carrying the flag. It will be interesting to see what she can do in her first race in Thailand. 

The home runners will obviously aim not to disappoint on Koh Phangan. Montha Suntornwit has become known in ATM over the years, and not in the least by winning the Ultimate 230 of UTCR last October. Her compatriot Wipawee “Cartoon” Pratumsuwan delivered an outstanding second place in Ultimate Tsaigu 80 last April, behind the almighty Vadovicova but ahead of Paulina Svoboda and some top Chinese runners. Coming from Chiang Mai, Cartoon is very determined to imrpove as a runner and will be close to victory this weekend. Another Thai runner will be as well: Phitchanan Mahachot. Impressive winner of UTN 100 in 2017, Mahachot has not run in ATM points races since and as such has been flying a bit under the radar, but if she can copy that performance of Nan here in Koh Phangan she could arguably be the best bet for victory. 

Moon 100 is of course the A-race for the Championship, but runners will also score points on the 62km B-race according to our usual points distribution table. 

Asia Trail Master will be reporting live from Moon 100 on Koh Phangan all weekend via our usual social media channels, facebook and instagram. Stay tuned for updates on the 103km and 62km races. 

Wipawee Cartoon is one of the local women to watch this weekend in Moon 100

Wipawee Cartoon is one of the local women to watch this weekend in Moon 100

Michael McLean: dangerman on the 100km

Michael McLean: dangerman on the 100km

Sukrit Kaewyoun: 7th in the current ATM standings after 3 races abroad: what can he do at home?

Sukrit Kaewyoun: 7th in the current ATM standings after 3 races abroad: what can he do at home?

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