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Jiri wins M'sian 100k Ultra Trail Marathon
Published on: Tuesday, November 08, 2011
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Kota Kinabalu: Jiri Vystejn created history by winning the inaugural Malaysian 100-kilometre Ultra Trail Marathon on Sunday in the village of Pukak along the banks of the Kiulu River with a time of 13 hours 47 minutes 30 seconds. The event, a first in Malaysia saw the Czech overtake Sabahan and Malaysian triathlete Heidelee "Dino" Mohammad just after the 50-kilometre mark of the event in the highlands below Mount Kinabalu in the afternoon and it was a lead he would never surrender despite the efforts of Anthony Hughes of the United Kingdom, who finished second with a time of 13:55:55.

Third place was claimed by Sabahan expedition and tour leader, Ahmahdul Tahir who pipped young Dino by a mere seconds with a time of 14 hours 47 minutes 39 seconds whilst Dino finished in fourth by one second right at the actual finish line.

In the women's category, Katja Fink of Switzerland also created history by finishing first with a time of 17 hours 36 minutes 18 seconds whilst second place fell to Eric Berthou from Sweden with a finishing time of 19: 43:37.

Third place went to Malaysian runner Jong Kiat Ngo of Sarawak with a time of 23 hours 22 minutes 22 seconds.

The event also saw competitors competing in the 50-kilometre and 25-kilometre category on the same race course but at a shorter distance than the full 100-kilometre ultra marathon that saw 180 competitors start the event and well over 40 participants not being able to complete the event due to fatigue, injuries or not meeting cut off times.

The event, a qualifying race for the 2012 Ultra De Trail Mount Blanc, the world's toughest ultra trail marathon and for the 2012 Racing the Planet Gobi Desert Race saw competitors lining up on the banks of the Kedaimaan river in the outskirts of scenic Kota Belud and commence at 7:00am.

The event saw competitors competing for the first 30 kilometres through the villages of Podos and Melangkap before passing through Bundu Paka and on to Lobong Lobong. 100-kilometre competitors were given the "jungle experience" by taking on the famed Miki Adventure Camp trail section deep in the Kiau valley below Mount Kinabalu with trail runs along ridges surrounded by beautiful padi fields and rubber plantations as well as leech's and uneven terrain.

Competitors continued through the night up a 1,000m ascent and then down into the Kiulu valley before finishing in beautiful Pukak with the last competitors finishing at 6.40pm, some 35 hours 40 minutes after the start of the event with the final day, with a mere 20 minutes before the cut off time.

The event, organised by Sabah Adventure Challenge, South East Asia's oldest established multi-day adventure race will see the 2012 event scheduled once again in mid to late 2012 with limited running spots for 100 ultra runners in the 100-kilometre category and 100 spots up for grabs for the 50-kilometre category due to the qualifying slots available for the European races in 2013. According to race director Aman Avtar S.

Sandhu, the event will be an annual event in Sabah given the rave reviews received hours after the event finished from competitors who did the event.

"We knew it was going to be a challenge with the weather being the way it has been and a major landslide above Lobong-Lobong village but we were blessed with cloudy weather and little rain which was extremely good for the competitors," said Aman.

"It was an outstanding finishing time by Jiri and a finishing record we will be looking to see broken in 2012."

The event was supported by New Balance, Sabah Amateur Radio Society and the official hotel for the event was Hotel Mega D'Aru in Tanjung Aru.

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