Trail and ultra racing is a growing sport worldwide and the recent turn out for The North Face 100® Thailand race underlines the sport’s growth in Asia.
3,200 athletes from 21 countries started on 4th February in Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima. This is an extraordinary number given that the race only launched in 2012 and before that ultra racing was a little known sport in Thailand.
Part of the annual Asia Pacific Series, there were the five distances – 15km, 25km, 50km, 75km and 100km with temperatures exceeding 36 degrees centigrade during the day. That is hot!
The Thais were hoping to claim the title for a local runner, with two very strong competitors: Sanya Khanchai (2013, 2014 winner) and Jantaraboon Kiangchaipaiphana in the 100km ultra distance category.
But the glory actually went to a Brit. Chiang Mai-based Harry Jones (GBR) who won the 100km title in a time of 09h 26m 24s. Jantaraboon finished second.
For the women, it was a close race for first between Phitchanan Mahachot (THA) and Kylie Ayson (NZL). The Thai athlete crossed the line first in a time of 12h 34mins 26secs, with speedy Kylie less than 10 minutes behind.