The March races are marked by the intense efforts the runners had to overcome because of the harsh weather conditions. From Ireland with the Gaelforce Mountain Run to Malaysia with the Borneo Ultra Marathon, the rain, the wind, the humidity for one, the strong heat for the other left unforgettable memories to the participants.
Gaelforce Mountain Run: Ireland
The Gaelforce Mountain Run took place on the 10th of March 2018. This was the 4th year for this stunning route. The event is just newly assessed by ITRA. It offers quite a challenge.
The course is 24 km in distance through the famous Maamturk range, with overall climbs of 1,700m on challenging terrain. There are different routes to challenge everyone from beginners to experts. When running in the wilds of Connemara there are no trails, so it is a challenging route. However, it is marked by a fence line making it easy to navigate.
Crédit photo : Gaelforce Mountain Run
The conditions on the day were tough – after a hard winter the underfoot conditions were very wet and the day gave up strong winds and rain. Also visibility was only 20 meters in places making it challenging for competitors and organizers alike. Only 25 competitors to complete the entire course as we had to impose a very strict cut-off to limit the exposure of the slower racers.
This race is worth watching out for-
Altra Borneo Ultra-Trail® Marathon, 2018 : Malaysia
For the third year running, the Borneo Ultra-Trail® Marathon (BUTM) was held in Kiulu Valley, considered by many to be the center of adventure in Malaysian state of Sabah, located in North Borneo. 1,400 competitors representing 39 countries took part in one of 4 races ranging from the 12 km introductory race to the 30 km (1 ITRA point), and 50 km (3 ITRA points) intermediate races to the full 100 km (5 ITRA points) race with about 5,000m elevation gain.
Credit photo : Dev Sidhu - Borneo Ultra Trails
The trails climbed up along steep ridges with sweeping views over the surrounding jungle-clad ridges and river valleys, crossed streams and rivers on bamboo and hanging bridges and passed through quaint, native villages on a combination of jungle trails and dirt roads. The 2018 race was made extra challenging by the weather. Very hot days saw competitors struggling with overheating and dehydration up on the ridgelines while streams in the valleys offered ample opportunities to cool off. Rain in the late afternoon and early night turned soft jungle trails muddy and slippery, leading to slow progress during the night while accompanied by fireflies and the jungle orchestra of cicadas and frogs.
The winners are: 30km : Katatrina Andersen (Sweden) et Craig Armstrong (Australia) // 50 km Cindy Fan (Hong-Kong) et Petr Novotny (Czech Republic) et 100km Lucy Scott (United Kingdom) et Milton Amat (Malaysia)
Full results can be found at: http://itra.run/page/328/Results.html
The next large Borneon ITRA race will be the Salomon TMBT Ultra-Trail® Marathon in September – see www.borneoultra.com
Huilo Huilo : Chili
The second edition of Huilo Huilo Trail Run was carried out in the Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve in the Los Rios Region, in the south of Chile, which offers fantastic views to Mocho-Choshuenco Volcano, glacial-shaped valleys and hundreds of hectares of native forests. More than 700 runners participated in this second edition, including 100 Argentinian runners.
The runners of 13 km, 22 km and 30 km (2 ITRA Points) and 50 km (3 ITRA Points) enjoyed the trails in the northern end of Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve. There is also a non-competitive category for kids assembling mini runners between 5 and 13 years old in a 2 km event.
Credit photo : Sebastián Burdiles, Patto Oberg y Fernando Ruz
Huilo Huilo is part of the Columbia Trail Challenge by Nimbus, which includes the race in Pucón in January 2018 and finishes with Torrencial Valdivia in June of the same year.
The winners of the 50 km were Franco Paredes
(ARG) and Cindy Ramirez
(CHI), they both were also winners of the first race in Pucón (50k), so they have an incredible opportunity to win the challenge and be awarded with a trip to Chamonix to run the UTMB next year in 2019, sponsored by Columbia and Nimbus.