Posts tagged thailand
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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Thailand: 4 pay 3 special promotion
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A great deal awaits trail runners who wish to compete in the Thailand events organised by teelakow of the 2019 Asia Trail Master Championship series. Get four entries when paying for three! This is a limited offer valid for just two weeks online and at the official press conference in Bangkok on 19 January.

Four Trails Thailand connects four ultra trail races together: The Moon 100 on Kho Phangan (June), Ultra Trail Chiang Mai (August), Ultra Trail Chiang Rai (October) and Ultra Trail Panoramic (December). The latter two are established events already, of which Chiang Rai also receives the Asia Trail Master SuperTrail label for Thailand. All four events have points races for the ATM Championship.

Check the poster and plan your Thai races!

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Great runs in Thailand's blockbuster weekend!
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Two amazing events on the same weekend is always a tough choice for runners and event contributors, but in Thailand it is a particularly hard nut to crack. Both Singha Ultra Trail Chiang Rai and Compressport Ultra Train Nan rank among the very best events in the Asia Trail Master Championship and together bring more than 3000 runners to the trails of northern Thailand. A sign of the great possibilities for the development of the trail scene in the country. All the known Thai protagonists took part in one of the two events. Sanya Khancai won the 122km race in Chiang Rai, Pharait Varesin was unchallenged in winning the 109 km in Nan and Jay Jantaraboon opted for a solid 38k training run in Chiang Rai as preparation for a main goal of his coming next month.

In Nan, a lot of attention went to the ladies’ race featuring Ruth Theresia from Indonesia, who could beat the all-time ATM victories record set by Tahira Najmunisaa. But Theresia will need to wait a bit longer for her 11th race win. As it happens, Ruth is a woman and Nan’s race day was on that one day a month. The Bandung Explorer runner who is about to be crowned ATM champion when it is a mathematical certainty end of November, still tried to compete with Thailand’s emerging Waroonluk Chuenjit at first. As she struggled with pains more and more, she let go and just focused on finishing the 109k distance - another Grandmaster point for her. And guess what: it’s her 15th Grandmaster point - more than anyone else in the ATM circuit - and that’s another level completed. Ruth Theresia is any case the first three-star Asia Trail Grandmaster!

One of Ruth’s contenders for the ATM Championship, Carole Fuchs, virtually admitted it will be very hard to still catch her on points this season. Fuchs has recently moved to Tokyo, which has had a serious impact on her training and as such she opted for the 50k in Nan. She won comfortably, but the 50k offers no championship points.

The men’s race in Nan was won by Pharait Varesin, after his DNF last year when Sanya Khancai proved to be a little too fast. As the latter ran Chiang Rai this season, Varesin had no match on the tough 109k race. It was his first ever ATM race win as a matter of fact. His winning time was:13:48:56. The podium was competed by his Thai compatriots Perawat Silapaariya and Karan Popaichayon. After Theresia let go, Thailand’s Waroonluk Chuenjit stormed to a by all means impressive victory in the women’s in 19:46:16. That was two hours faster than Duangruethai Pakdeevanissukho in second and Sukanya Tongma.

Over in Chiang Rai, Sanya Khancai actually returned to the ATM scene after a long period of forced inactivity due to managerial issues. However, he certainly had not lost his speed in the process as he put the hammer down from the flag-off. Spain’s Salva Rambla, coming off three podium finishes including a race win at Ijen 70k, was immediately put on the back foot in a race that suits his characteristics. The pace was fast initially and no fewer than 9 runners were staying close to each other for about 30 to 40k until gaps began to widen. Khancai wasn’t waiting for anyone and Rambla began to suffer from the heat on what was indeed turning out to be a smoking hot day in Chiang Rai’s huge nature park. Meanwhile, Singapore-based Britain Gordon Parkinson was keeping a consistent pace and gradually moved up the leaderboard as others, such as South Korea’s Sungsik Joh, were fading away. Also the 100k winner at Ijen last month struggled with the extreme temperatures. Late in the afternoon, Salva Rambla even decided to retire. He had just been passed by Parkinson and suffering not only from heat but also from a nasty blister. With Rambla out, Khancai had an hour advantage over Parkinson with 27k to go to the finish. The British runner, in his second Asian outing, did remarkably well to maintain more or less the same pace as the Thai leader. But coming closer seemed impossible. Khancai grabbed his third career ATM victory ahead of Parkinson and the Thai duo of Narin Kongsiri and Thongcai Wonsgaard. The women’s 122k race was won by Hong Kong’s Cheng Yinkwan, ahead of Singapore’s Janelle Seet and Thailand’s Pakanee Burutphakdee. The DNF rate on the 122km was very high with just 17 official finishers out of 110 starters. It is testimony to the underestimated nature of the course, which has 5500m of elevation gain. Not nothing, but not out-of-the-ordinary for Asian standards neither.

It was in any case interesting given that there was also an extreme trail race on the UTCR programme with a higher finisher rate percentage-wise. The Ultimate 230 km made a huge loop around the Singha Nature Park with a large section along the Myanmar border in the north of it. A unique challenge that was taken up by 40 registered runners, of whom 34 effectively started. It was perhaps no coincidence that two 2-star Grandmasters were among them: Aleksis Capili and Lily Suryani. Capili hadn’t been seen on the ATM tour since last year’s UT Panoramic (which won’t take place in 2018 but returns re-designed in 2019) as the Thailand-based Filipino shifted his focus to better and targeted training rather than more racing. Capili’s race positions have indeed been improving since he adopted this approach, and in Chiang Rai he was taking the bull by the horns in the early part of the double ultra race. Capili was joined at the front by his compatriot Jag Lanante, Brunei-based Canadian Michael McLean and a local black dog, who accompanied the front runners for 86 kilometres! The dog became a star during the event, as the day after he also ran the 38 km race (as Jag Lanante would do as well…).At around km 55, Capili began to feel pain in his knee, and had to slow down the pace. McLean also had his issues. Severe stomach and belly cramps forced him to even retire in the evening of the first day. All that meant Jag Lanante was able to take over and control the race from then on. Also from Philippines originally, Lanante is known as an ultra runner for whom no distance is too long. He actually kept on moving all the way and finished back in Singha Park in just over 37 hours! Capili walked and struggled his way to the finish twelve hours later. In third and fourth were Thailand’s Supeeraphan Sreeduangjan and Korea’s Kwanghoo Lee.

Two fantastic events.

The big question trail runners have: will they again be on the same weekend in 2019?

Jag Lanante measured his effort perfectly. The Ultimate 230K is of course something made for him

Jag Lanante measured his effort perfectly. The Ultimate 230K is of course something made for him

2-star Grandmaster Lily Suryani completed the Ultimate 230k, but unfortunately outside the COT.

2-star Grandmaster Lily Suryani completed the Ultimate 230k, but unfortunately outside the COT.

Ruth Theresia is a woman and UT Nan was on that one day of the month.. Still, she completed the course and became the first 3-star Grandmaster!

Ruth Theresia is a woman and UT Nan was on that one day of the month.. Still, she completed the course and became the first 3-star Grandmaster!

New name from Thailand to watch out for: Waroonluk Chuenjit!

New name from Thailand to watch out for: Waroonluk Chuenjit!

Jag Lanante was unstoppable on the 230km and even did the 38K the day after as well

Jag Lanante was unstoppable on the 230km and even did the 38K the day after as well

Ruth to surpass Tahira in Nan?
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Bandung’s Ruth Theresia just keeps on running these weeks. In Nan, Thailand, she will start her fourth ATM ultra in five weeks tomorrow and it is again a special one. The likely new female Asia Trail Master Champion can surpass Malaysia’s trail icon Tahira Najmunisaa in total career ATM race victories! Winning in Nan would be Ruth Theresia’s 11th and would be the cherry on the pie of what has been a fantastic and mature season of the Indonesian number one.

“Normally, Nan will be my last big race of the season, though,” she says a day before the start. Understandably so, as her biggest rival for the Championship, Frenchwoman Carole Fuchs, has opted to downgrade to 50km in Nan citing lack of training following her recent move from Thailand to Japan. Fuchs needs at least three more race victories, including the Izu Trail Journey as Japan SuperTrail with its 50 bonus points, to still have a shot at Ruth Theresia’s points lead in the ranking. “Only if necessary, I will do HK 168 early December,” Ruth adds. Mathematically speaking, she will be guaranteed of having won the ATM championship at the end of November following the Trail Blazer race in Singapore and the CM 50 Ultra in Philippines. Other runners who could in theory still spit in her soup are Corinne Williams (winner 9 Dragons Ultra Hong Kong and Borneo TMBT Ultra) and Evelyn Lek (winner Magnificent Merapoh Trail Malaysia and Vietnam Mountain Marathon). Ruth does not need to win in Nan, as it would not increase her total points tally under the five-best-count system.

There are many local runners, currently little known, who may or may not make life difficult for Ruth in trying to win her 11th ATM race. Let’s find out how it all unfolds as of tomorrow. A video interview with Ruth Theresia will also be uploaded on our facebook page later today.

In the men’s 100km, which is actually 107km, Thailand arguably has the fastest runner on the start list with Pharait Varesin. However, as always to finish first you first need to finish. Varesin ran Nan last season as well, but retired half way leaving Sanya Khancai to run solo to the victory. Among all known people on the start list, Varesin is the top favourite, perhaps with France’s Emmanuel Abadie close behind. Abadie has scored good results in Malaysia and Thailand before. To note is also the 7th ATM race of the season of Malaysia’s Grandmaster Muhammad Shahrin Faiz Bin Roslan. The busy runner has made it into the top 10 of the ATM championship as 9th thanks to his string of finishes in tough races including two SuperTrails.

Stay tuned all weekend for updates from Ultra Trail Nan in Thailand via our social media pages.

Ruth Theresia can score her 11th ATM race victory in Nan, Thailand, this weekend

Ruth Theresia can score her 11th ATM race victory in Nan, Thailand, this weekend

Beautiful scenery all along the 107 km long course of UTN 100

Beautiful scenery all along the 107 km long course of UTN 100

Ultra Trail Chiang Rai opens with 230 km double ultra!
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The 2nd edition of Ultra Trail Chiang Rai in Thailand already begins on Friday early morning. Reason is a novelty, and also a one-off, according to race organisers Teelakow. The Ultimate 230 km features a giant loop around the big Singha Nature Reserve in the north of the country. Perhaps surprisingly enough, 40 runners of whom more than 1/3 foreigners feel attracted to this double ultra. Several are well-known in Asia Trail Master circles, such as 2-star Grandmasters Aleksis Capili and Lily Suryani, who both live up to their reputations as being the champions of ultra trail finishes. Both the Filipino and the Indonesian also have a realistic chance to score a podium result in the race. Capili has reduced his racing regime significantly this season, but after his European excursion has prepared himself for this colossal 230 km undertaking in the dry heat of Chiang Rai. Suryani returned from injury over summer to score a third place on the Ijen 100k a month ago.

Aleksis Capili will face another strong Filipino runner, Jag Lanante, who is no stranger to these distances. Among the known other starters we find Canada’s in-form Michael McLean, who scored great results at Borneo TMBT and Bandung Ultra 100 recently, as well as Robert Butcher from Great Britain, who was 2nd on the 122 km race distance of UT Chiang Rai last year. Malaysia’s Lau Say Niong is here, as well as many runners we still need to get to know, among which six Japanese. At present, it is still unclear if ATM Champion Steven Ong will run this weekend or not. He is on the start list, but indicated in Bali two weeks ago it is time for his injuries to heal first. Rumours have it that Steven is nevertheless on his way to Thailand.

As the Ultimate 230 km is of course an odd-one out, the 122 km race of this event has also been labelled an A-race for the Asia Trail Master Championship. Concretely, this means both the 230 km and 122 km score 500 points. The 230 km victor gets 50 bonus points, however, as 230 is more than 100 miles (the so-called 100 miles bonus for all finishers).

Therefore, the 122 km also has a competitive field even when current ATM Championship leader Alessandro Sherpa has pulled out. The Italian also has to allow his body, particularly his ankle, to rest for a while before resuming the ATM championship chase at the V Trail in Laos in two weeks. Sherpa leads the championship, but several others are still well within striking range. The men’s championship is more open than ever, and even Spain’s Salva Rambla can still join the title debate. A newcomer on the scene since a month, Salva finished on the podium of each of his three Indonesian races. Now running the 122k in Chiang Rai, the Catalan is certainly a man to watch. His main rival for the win is likely to be Thai: Sanya Khancai returns to the ATM scene eight months after his fantastic dual and second place in UTKC. Khancai has had to cope with management issues in the past months, and is keen to put all that behind him in Chiang Rai. His main challenger in Thailand, and winner of UTCR last year, Jay Jantaraboon will be running a shorter distance this season.

Another remarkable name on the start list since his victory at Ijen 100 is South Korea’s Sungsik Joh. For many it was an upset victory, but look at the course characteristics and his previous good result in Sungai Menyala, and one realised that Sungsik Joh had been flying under the radar for many months. In Chiang Rai, he also finds a course that should be to his advantage. Based on Ijen, the sympathetic South Korean could run to the podium this weekend as well.

It will be interesting to see if there’s any Thai runners making the jump to the top of the leaderboard this weekend, besides Sanya Khancai.

We will be reporting live from Chiang Rai throughout the weekend.

The race preview of the second Thai race this weekend, Ultra Train Nan, follows tomorrow.

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Ultra Trail Panoramic postponed to 2019
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A rather unfortunate service message: this year's ULTRON Ultra Trail Panoramic in Thailand cannot take place on the envisaged date of 7-9 December. The event, which was also being entirely redesigned and centred around Pai only, will return in 2019 on the same second weekend of December. Recent elections in the area have reportedly caused a change in governance and in this context it has proven to be too difficult to guarantee a quality event for the many runners who come to this one. 

Organiser Teelakow apologises for any inconvenience this cancellation may cause, and emphasizes Ultra Trail Panoramic is not dead and will return next year. 

In the context of Asia Trail Master, it means the final race weekend is now entirely focused on Izu Trail Journey in Japan, where the new champions will be crowned. For the lovers of 100 miles races, it means that HK 168 in Hong Kong on 1/2 December is now the final ultra trail on our calendar this season. Registrations for that event are open.

100 miles finishers score 50 bonus points for the championship, which puts winning HK 168 on the same level as winning the Japanese SuperTrail, Izu Trail Journey, on 9 December. 

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New points regulations for ATM Championship final weekend
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The final weekend of the 2018 Asia Trail Master Championship will again consist of two events where the final points for this season can be gathered: Ultra Trail Panoramic in Pai, Thailand on 7/8 December, followed by Izu Trail Journey on the Izu Peninsula in Japan on Sunday, 9 December. Upon conclusion of these two events, we know who succeed Steven Ong and Kim Matthews as the male and female champion in the Asia Trail Master Championship. 

Different from last year, we are introducing an added rule to the points distribution at these two events to allow for a fair conclusion to the championship and to offer runners a fair choice between the two events. The new rule is:

“Only runners who have scored points in minimum two ATM races during the 2018 season will receive ATM Championship points for their respective result in UT Panoramic 100 miles or 100k,  or Izu Trail Journey 72k.” 

In other words, the total race results of both Thai and Japanese events will be filtered, and only runners for whom UT Panoramic or Izu Trail Journey is the third ATM points race of the season will be retained and given championship points. 

Practical example: runner A finishes 9th in Izu Trail Journey. However, the runners in 2nd and 4th place have not done any other race in ATM this year, and the runner in 5th place has only done one before Izu Trail Journey. They are taken out of the list, and runner A gets points equivalent to 5th place. 

By introducing this added rule, runners in contention for the  ATM championship title can freely choose their final race without worrying about the competitive level of the potential local participants. 

Please note that Izu Trail Journey is of course the Japan SuperTrail, meaning 50 bonus points for the relevant finishers. Relevant finishers on the 100 miles of UT Panoramic likewise score the 100-miles bonus, i.e. also 50 points. 

To be clear, this concerns the ATM Championship only and not the Grandmaster Quest. All finishers of the UT Panoramic 100 miles and 100k races, as well as Izu Trail Journey 72k will score a point for their individual Grandmaster challenge. 

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UT Nan 100 open for registration
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The 2nd edition of Compressport Ultra Trail Nan in Thailand has opened registration. Runners keen on the tough 100k race - actually 109 km this year - need to be quick as entries are flying out the door. The shorter 50k distance is reportedly already sold out. 

UT Nan 100 was a popular new entry in last year's Asia Trail Master championship, and the event on 20/21 October is expected to grow significantly. The 109k course goes in and around the Doi Phu Kha Park and is quite tough with approx. 6000 metres of elevation gain! The event is sponsored by our partner COMPRESSPORT as well. COMPRESSPORT has designed fantastic-looking event shirts, which can be yours if you sign up  for the event soon here

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UTKC - Jantaraboon and Khancai deliver outstanding dual
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Thailand's best two trail runners delivered a high-paced and fascinating dual on Koh Chang last weekend during UTKC, the first SuperTrail race of the 2018 Asia Trail Master Championship. Jay Jantaraboon and Sanya Khancia both beat the course record set by Steven Ong and Wataru Iino last season, despite the extra hill that was added to the course for this year. Finishing barely 17 minutes apart, Jantaraboon and Khancai sent also a strong warning to all other potential contenders for this year's ATM Championship. In the women's Ruth Theresia led a very strong Indonesian group performance. 

UTKC had the reputation already of being one of the toughest races on the ATM calendar, and last weekend confirmed that status even more. Whereas the approx 4400 metres of elevation gain on the 100 course is not necessarily earth-shattering, the steepness of the hills, the density of the rainforest and the long road section halfway in scorching hot temperatures force all runners to dig deep into their reserves. Organiser Teelakow is well-aware UTKC is very challenging and spares no expense to stock all aid stations abundantly, and set a CUT that is manageable for all participants as long as they keep moving. As such, 67 runners succeeded in finishing the 100K distance and they were all delighted, indeed. 

The main race was set alight quickly after the 4 am start when Jay Jantaraboon and Sanya Khancai opened the gas. Italy's Alessandro Sherpa was alert and followed, but after twisting his ankle badly he faded and was eventually forced to stop. Sherpa was in a position to grab the points lead in the ATM Championship in this race, but given his injury he will also need to sit out the 9 Dragons Ultra next weekend. Not following the Thai duo was Indonesia's Arief Wismoyono. Perhaps untypical, Wismoyono opted for a quiet start of his 100k. The first runner-up of the 2017 ATM championship would never play a role for the victory, and instead was battling with France's Clement Dumont for the third spot. At km 64, it looked like Arief had the potential to catch up with Dumont, but the latter kept a solid pace himself and was able to extend the gap substantially come finish. His second fourth place of the 2018 ATM season does put Arief Wismoyono in the lead of the championship ranking with 850 points, though. Dean Perez was not running in Thailand, and will be back on the your in two weeks for Cordillera Mountain Ultra. 

Jay and Sanya ran together for half of the race, until the Champion System runner accelerated and was able to put some distance between them on the way to CP 5 at km 64. The gap there was 12 minutes. It is quite impressive therefore that the gap at the finish was just 5 minutes more. It proves the resilience and fantastic form of 46-year-old Sanya Khancai, who also explained afterwards to be disappointed with his result. Certainly it is no shame to lose to Jay Jantaraboon, who scored his second ATM race victory after dominating Ultra-Trail Chiang Rai last October. The winner's time was 14:27, compared to 15:06 last season by Ong and Iino. It is still early season, but if Jantaraboon and Khancai manage to get five ATM race results they will both be hot contenders for the 2018 ATM title! 

Jay and Sanya: both Thailanders were outstanding

Jay and Sanya: both Thailanders were outstanding

Jay Jantaraboon still looked cool and fresh at CP5

Jay Jantaraboon still looked cool and fresh at CP5

Arief Wismoyono: not the easiest race for him, but 4 th place was enough to claim points lead

Arief Wismoyono: not the easiest race for him, but 4 th place was enough to claim points lead

Legros pulls out, Theresia wins and takes ATM points lead

The women's 100K enjoyed the presence of an international elite runner from France, Elisabeth Legros, who is spending holiday time in Thailand this month. Pre-race favourite Ruth Theresia had a great start of her race as she was able to keep the gap between her and Legros to around 15 minutes. Unfortunately, the Bandung runner then chose a wrong trail that sent her up another hill. When back on the right trail, Theresia of course had lost contact with Legros entirely and instead had to watch out for her compatriot Shindy Patricia, Philippines' Ann Jilian Pulanco and Thailand's Kanlaya Srinantawong. Montha Suntornwit was a DNS, unfortunately. Theresia was clearly in great form and also had luck on her side later on the day. Shindy Patricia missed a marker and got lost for a long time herself, and Pulanco had to stop the race being unable to still take in any water or food. Then, Elisabeth Legros began to suffer from serious foot blisters, too. And that was not her only problem: an insect flew deep into the French runner's ear and was stuck inside. Legros pulled out of the race at around km 75 and had to be taken to hospital to have the bug removed from her ear. As such, Ruth Theresia claimed the race lead and would hang onto it without rushing at nighttime to finish in 23:23. Shindy Patricia arrived two hours later to grab second. Thailand's Kanlaya Srinantawong was a further three hours back in third place. Srinantawong was engaged in a dual with another Indonesian Grandmaster runner, Lily Suryani, who reached the finish seven minutes later. Suryani is of course the only female two-star Grandmaster so far. Back from a hamstring injury that still bothers her, the runner from Bali remains an incredibly consistent finisher of ultra races! 

The 70K race of UTKC saw a tight battle between Fabien Bencler from New Caledonia and Britain's Paul Dunn, decided in favour of the former. The gap at the finish was just four minutes. In third place fourteen minutes down was Filippino Joeffery Camara. The women's 70K saw a Thai winner and podium: Patcharee Chuaythaisong, was faster than Parinda Sothonboon and Anisa Suebwongsan. 

France's Elisabeth Legros led the women's race until km 75 when blisters and an insect forced her to DNF

France's Elisabeth Legros led the women's race until km 75 when blisters and an insect forced her to DNF

Indonesian women dominated the podium with Ruth Theresia as winner

Indonesian women dominated the podium with Ruth Theresia as winner

Fabien Bencler from New Caledonia won the 70K race

Fabien Bencler from New Caledonia won the 70K race

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