The Asia Trail Master series venture beyond the politically established boundaries of the continent for the first time for the Nerang 200 in Queensland, Australia, scheduled for 27-30 September. A very special type of trail event for ATM, also because it will be run on 25k loops and has 200 miles as the longest race distance! The popular Nerang 200 is credited as a 2019 Asia Trail Master Candidate Race.
Ian Cornelius, CEO of Gold Coast Ultras, is a big fan of our Asia Trail Master Championship series and is himself based most of the time in Philippines. After a long period of reflection and open discussion, we have accepted the application of Nerang 200 and have provided it with Candidate Race status this year. This means the event is set to appear on our official championship calendar in 2019, pending a positive evaluation of the upcoming edition. The official press release of Nerang 200 features a paragraph that sums it up nicely:
"Although not strictly part of the Asian continent, Australia is in much the same time zone as Asia and, of course forms part of Asia for the world cup (soccer) and various other sports. Both Asia and Australia are integral parts of the Asia Pacific region and the term Asia Pacific or Apac has been used for the past three decades when discussing trade, finance, politics and sport. Although Australia traditionally has a strong bond with Europe, the migrant intake from Asia for the past decade now exceeds that from Europe."
Australian trail runners have been quite successful since the beginning of Asia Trail Master in 2015. Just two examples, Joanna Kruk from Adelaide has scored four race victories throughout the years in Thailand and Malaysia, and Melbourne-born Kim Matthews is our current Asia Trail Master women's champion - unfortunately out of action for the rest of this season with a complicated hip injury. By having Nerang 200 inside the ATM framework, we are excited and looking forward to seeing even more interaction between Australian and Asian running communities.
While the 200 miles race attracts attention due to its massive length, several shorter distances are of course also on the programme. Runners can choose to do 100 miles, 100k, 50 miles, 50k and 25k as well. There's even a 4x25k relay for teams. The 25k basic loop has 885m of elevation gain in it, so this is by no means a walk in the park. By going round in loops, race logistics are of course easy and participants can carefully plan their nutrition and race strategy while spectators cheer them on all day and night. Indeed, Nerang 200 is known also as a great party event with camping options, bbq and music.
International access is quite straightforward with Brisbane and Gold Coast airports just an hour's drive away. Airfares have recently been cheap compared to what they used to be.
More details available on the event website and facebook page: