2016 Asia Trail Master Series Returns with Ultra Trail Hong Kong First
The 2nd edition of the Asia Trail Master series will first flag off in Hong Kong on Friday, 19 February with an exciting ultra trail race: Ultra Trail Hong Kong. The race has lured many top Asian runners to compete for the race trophy and generous points for the 2016 Asia Trail Master Championship.
The Ultra Trail Hong Kong (UTHK) is one of five SuperTrails in the ATM series. This means a participant will be rewarded with 50 bonus points when he/she takes part in the race.
About the UTHK
The UTHK have three distance challenges for the racers, 156km (7400 hm), 103km (4300 hm) or 54km (2800 hm). All the categories for the race will finish at the Duke of Edinburgh Training Camp site near Sha Tin in the New Territories. Cut off time has been set at 48-hours for the 156k runners, and 32-hours for the 103km.
Famous for its mountainous and hilly landscape, Hong Kong has many interesting trails. This year's race route has seen some significant changes by the race organiser due to new regulations imposed by the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. However, the participants will not be disappointed with new run-able section. Though the total elevation gain is less that of the previous edition, the race course still remains challenging.
A Highly Anticipated UTHK Race
A number of famous runners from last year's Asia Trail Master series will compete at UTHK this year in a fiercely anticipated race. Familiar names include Philippines' running star Manolito Devina (double winner of CM 50 Ultra), Thailand-based Norwegian Jan Nilsen (3rd in Borneo TMBT in Malaysia and 2nd in CM 50 Ultra), Thailand's Phairat Varesin (4th in Vietnam Mountain Marathon, and 7th in Borneo TMBT) and Indonesia's Mila Marlina (winner of MesaStila Peaks Challenge and Gede Pangrango Marathon).
The latter has been tipped as a strong challenger for the women's victory on the longest distance, and we can expect a fantastic race with defending UTHK champion Yuen Kit Shan, at the starting line.
The current weather forecast indicates that it will be significantly milder than a few weeks ago during the HK 100 event, which surely is good news for all participants.
The UTHK event is the first of many already scheduled races on the 2016 Asia Trail Master calendar. Runners can score points for the championship ranking in at least 14 Asian countries. The second edition of the ATMs will see the first runners who will complete the Grandmaster Quest (6 races of 70+ km within 2 years) which places them under the Asia Trail Master's Hall of Fame!
The 2015 edition Asia Trail Master champions are Arief Wismoyono (Indonesia) and Ma Yanxing (China).