Posts tagged utcm
UTCM: Christine Loh wins, but Fredelyn Alberto takes points lead
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Japan’s Yuta Matsuyama Matsuyama has won the inaugural edition of Ultra Trail Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. He reached the finish line after a very wet race with a few section shortcuts due to flooding between CP6 and CP9 ahead of Sabah’s Milton Amat, for whom the course was probably a tick too runable, despite the foul conditions. Matsuyama this season already scored a 7th place in Echigo Country Trail in Niigata last June. Japanese runners are doing very well in Asia Trail Master races this season, and we are looking forward to seeing more from Matsuyama as well! For Sabahan Milton Amat, that’s another 450 points for his championship ambitions, but he will be looking to win his next few races to stay within range of Kitamura and Ellis. His Uglow teammate Wilsen Singgin started the rain race very well, but then missed a marking and lost terrain to the front runners.

Sukrit Kaewyoun ran a superb race and stayed ahead of his teammate and race favourite Job Tanapong. Sukrit Kaewyoun is third in the finish and boosts his ATM Championship total points tally. Job Tanapong had to be content with a fourth place today and probably had hoped for more. Much to his credit, he was not looking for excuses and just stated “it was not my day today, I will be back stronger”. His Thai compatriot Yotchai Chaipromma came in closely behind him in fifth. 

As stated above, just like last week in Merapoh in Malaysia, pouring rain caused havoc on the trails around Chiang Mai. Just like then, the organiser in Thailand did very well in quickly setting up a re-route halfway through the 100k race when running conditions became too risky. However, yesterday in Chiang Mai a lot more runners had already passed CP 6, where the shortcut got implemented, and including the first six women of the race...

It is unfortunate that no immediate action was undertaken to correct or at least clearly establish the ranking order of the women’s race at that point in time. This caused a lot of unnecessary confusion and even anger at the finish.

What we know from the checkpoint e-data is that six women passed CP 6 and all six also arrived in the finish in Chiang Mai later on. Christine Loh was first and logically therefore the real winner of the women’s race. Early leader Fredelyn Alberto was second and acknowledged that Christine passed her in the late stage of the race. Alberto, who has previously said to run ‘only’ the 62 km race category, is the new Asia Trail Master Championship leader as a result of this second place in her fifth points result of the season. She takes over from Asuka Nakajima, who has four results so far. Hong Kong-based French woman Habiba Benahmed completed the podium ahead of Siokhar Lim and Natthanan Matthanang. Jassica Lintanga was running third halfway through the race, but eventually came into the finish as number six.

A group with lots of Thai runners actually were the first women to reach the finish, among whom Montha Suntornwit. But these all ran the shorter course after the re-route.

Let’s emphasise that no woman made any error or mistake. It is just an unfortunate circumstance.

The same applies for some men such as Nikom Tongjai. A very solid runner himself, he ran the original non-shortcut course but for some reason finds himself down in 26th place in the race result. Guillaume Degoulet is another one suffering the same fait. Please note that while the top six for women was quite easily for us to assess, ATM is not responsible for the race result. Runners who feel they deserve or should have a better race result should get in touch with the local organiser. We thank you for your understanding.

Yuta Matsuyama is yet another Japanese runner scoring headlines in ATM this season

Yuta Matsuyama is yet another Japanese runner scoring headlines in ATM this season

Sukrit Kaewyoun felt like a fish in the water in Chiang Mai; third place and ahead of Job Tanapong!

Sukrit Kaewyoun felt like a fish in the water in Chiang Mai; third place and ahead of Job Tanapong!

Local hero Cartoon Wipawee is struggling with an injury, yet comfortably won the 62k category

Local hero Cartoon Wipawee is struggling with an injury, yet comfortably won the 62k category

UT Chiang Mai: Amat & Singgin vs Tanapong, part 2
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Ultra Trail Chiang Mai is the second of the 4 Trails Thailand this year and promises a continuation of the battle between the Thai Siangpure Team and Team Uglow Malaysia from Sabah. Over two months ago, Milton Amat and Wilsen Singgin controlled The Moon 100 seemingly easily, until the lights went out for SInggin with less than 3km to go before the finish on the beach of Koh Phangan. Milton showed his sportsmanship in that race to protect and take care of his struggling buddy, but had to accept that Job Tanapong still managed to catch and pass them to take the win. In the context of the Asia Trail Master Championship, we will still need to see how that may or may not affect the eventual outcome in December, yet there is no doubt that Milton Amat did the right thing that day. In any case, Amat already rebounded by dominating Mantra Summits Challenge 116 in Indonesia last month. Moreover, Milton Amat has never looked stronger than this year and some already call him the ‘real’ ATM Championship favourite. He still has some catching up to do on points compared to Hisashi Kitamura or John Ellis, but remember in the end only the best five results count anyway. For the young and upcoming talent Job Tanapong the unexpected victory at Moon 100 seemed to have also provided a boost of confidence. Whereas he was happy to stick with his Siangpure teammates for almost 80km during Moon, Tanapong did not wait for anybody during the Ijen 100 race four weeks ago. It was an impressive and interesting win because Moon 100 and Ijen 100 are completely different kinds of trail races: the former is extremely technical, the other almost entirely runable. This weekend, Sukrit Kaewyoun is also at the start in Chiang Mai. Best-placed Thai in the ATM Championship so far -4th- he will for sure his experience to try and score another podium. More contenders for that are Wasin Monghkolmalee, Mads Louring, and Guillaume Degoulet. There’s also several Japanese runners as yet unfamiliar to ATM - so let’s wait and see!

Wipawee ‘Cartoon’ is the woman to beat this weekend. Also for her it’s a real home race and unless there is someone we don’t know it is hard to see who can keep her away from victory. But of course, to finish first you first need to finish and that is something she failed to do in Moon 100, despite being in the lead after 80 km. Fredelyn Alberto went home with the honours that day and the Filipino is also competing in Chiang Mai, albeit on the 60 km distance. Remember Alberto suffered an ankle injury at Ijen 100 a month ago and she does not want to jeopardise the rest of her season. Uglow’s Jassica Lintanga is a podium candidate wherever she starts, but the Sabahan has always been more competitive on the medium than on the long distances. Montha Suntornwit is exactly the opposite: it cannot be long enough for her - winner of UTCR 230 last year and already two third places in ATM races this season. Two more Malaysians certainly also will be in the mix for the podium: Christine Loh, who should find Chiang Mai better suited to her running characteristics than Koh Phangan, and Siokhar ‘Steel’ Lim - currently fifth in the ATM Championship. Last but not least, we shoudld certainly mention Habiba Benahmed. Originally from France and now residing in Hong Kong, Benahmed has been getting back to her best form throughout the past months and it will be interesting to see what she can do in Chiang Mai. Another Hong Kong ace, Jcy Ho, will stick to the 60km as well this weekend.

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Cartoon Wipawee won the 70km at Ijen Trail last month

Cartoon Wipawee won the 70km at Ijen Trail last month

Team Uglow Malaysia with Milton, Jess and Wilsen

Team Uglow Malaysia with Milton, Jess and Wilsen

Jcy Ho from Hong Kong will be one of the favourites on the 62km this weekend

Jcy Ho from Hong Kong will be one of the favourites on the 62km this weekend