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MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50 - 1st Edition


Runners Want Course Back Due to Staggering Beauty

Author : Press Release
PhotoCredit : Action Asia

Man Yee Cheung of Hong Kong

Climbing up the 1700m high rock face in the dark with a 5 a.m. start, tracking across the Pahang Ridgeline for the first time in any race was some of the highlights of Thailand’s first Skyrunning race – MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50 supported by Tourism Authority of Thailand and Thailand National Park. “The surreal Doi Inthanon beauty with perfect marking has not only made me want to come back next year and I want all of my friends to be here,” said the local Thai 54km runner Mr. Methee.

MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50, the 54km category flagged off this morning at Doi Inthanon National Park Headquarter at 5 a.m., followed by 31km category at 6:30 a.m. and 14km category at 7 a.m. After a fierce competition, the overall champion of MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50 - 54km grabbed by Hong Kong runner, Hui Ho Tat in a blistering finishing time of 06:48:58, while Canadian Kate Butcher claimed the 54km women’s title in 08:14:13.

Action Asia Events, as the first and only trail running organisation that has been allowed to hold a trail running race in Doi Inthanon - the highest mountain in Thailand, pushed participants to their limits by a challenging course with an elevation of 2,565m.

Crossing the finish line in 06:48:58, the overall champion of the MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50, 54km, Hui Ho Tat highly praises the stunning sceneries of the course, “I especially loved the view along the first part of the course, with the beautiful mountains in Thailand, which is totally different from what we have in Hong Kong and it was definitely my favourite part of today. However, the real challenge came in the second half of the course, the mud road and uphill sections were technical that required runners to have proper training before racing. I was really pleased to be the Hong Kong representative joining this amazing event with such a satisfying result!”

The women champion of the MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50 – 54km went to Canadian Kate Butcher in 08:14:13. Winning her first ever champion title, Butcher was so excited and happy with her result, “I used to do half marathon before and just started trail running this summer, so I am so excited of winning this champion title! It was an adventurous course with very clear markings. It was so fun and enjoyable running on this beautiful course with the amazing views along! I will definitely participate in this race again next year!”

Swiss Mathias Hasler from Team Dynafit finished the race in 07:03:23 and grabbed the 2nd place of the men’s 54km category. He shared, “To me, trail running is a passion. I quit my job and started traveling and running around the world from 2 years ago, and racing here in Doi Inthanon, you can also see and run through the small villages which normal tourists can’t reach, so I liked this course a lot even if it was very challenging! I especially enjoyed running the uphill section after checkpoint 6, it was really nice!”

Claiming the 3rd place title of the men’s 54km category in 07:25:54, Thai Pornmongkol Phoothong found the race amazing, “The race was impressive, when going uphill and running in the mist, it was stunning and beautiful with this all-natural environment. Also, I found it quite challenging when it comes to the continuous ups and downs as we don’t have much uphill in Thailand so I was not so used to the terrains and found it very tough.”

Finishing MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50 – 54km, her very first oversea trail running race in 08:37:13, Hong Kong trail runner Cheung Man Yee grabbed the 2nd place of the women 54km category. “I didn’t expect much before participating the race as I had never been here before and had no idea what would happen. Therefore, having the chance today to stand on the podium is actually a bonus to me and I am so satisfied with my result! I found the terrains here very different from Hong Kong’s. Thailand has more mud trails and uphills here and Hong Kong trails have quite a lot of stairs. Overall, the course is really nice as you can also see the environment and atmosphere of the villagers in Doi Inthanon. I really enjoyed it a lot!”

The 3rd place of the female 54km category goes to Singaporean Hwee Hoon Khng, crossing the finish line in 10:04:25. She shared, “I’s happy with my performance today, the course is cool with lots of hills and trees, which put together the stunning scenery, I especially enjoyed the section after checkpoint 6 with its breath-taking views! To me, the most challenging part was the downhill around checkpoint 7, as my legs got injured earlier, going downhill was painful, but still, I liked this race a lot and would absolutely join it again next year!”

MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50 also offered two shorter distances, 31km and 14km. Adam Woolliscroft from the Great Britain claimed the overall victory in the 31km race in 03:53:40. Calling it “an adventurous race”, he added: “There is no doubt that the race was challenging and tough. The ridgeline was absolutely beautiful and delight which was my favorite part by far. To me, the most challenging part was the long uphill section after the ridgeline, I think it was very adventurous as the course was off roads a lot.”

Less than 4 minutes after Wolliscroft crossed the finish line, Canadian Ashley Ramsay bagged the 31km female champion title, also the overall 2nd place of the race in 03:57:03. Racing in Asia for her first time, she found the race very challenging, “The terrains of the course is very similar to my hometown, Vancouver, but still, it was very tough. I am blown away by the technical course and stunning sceneries! Thank you Action Asia Events for hosting this great event and I am wishing to come back again.”

A fierce battle went on in the 14km race. American Simon Hobbs won the champion title of the men's category in 01:35:44 and was enjoying the race a lot. “I think running up there in the mist was nice, it’s quite tough but I did enjoy it! What’s more, I was participating the race with a friend together, which was a really nice experience and I would definitely join it once again!”

Finishing the race in 02:12:58, Thai runner, Waraporn Kantamala won the female champion title of the 14km race. She shared: “If I have to describe the race in one word, it would definitely be ‘challenging’, however, I enjoyed it very much!”

A British family of four came to Chiang Mai and joined the race together, after 15-year-old James Dingley, the son getting on the 3rd place of the 14km podium, his dad Peter Dingley also finished on the podium as the 2nd place of the 31km men’s category. Peter was very happy to race with his family in Thailand. “We have been living in Hong Kong for 15 years. The course today was beautiful and there were lots of uphills, classic Southeast Asian trail which is beautiful to run on and beautiful to look at. The best part for me was the ridgeline, which was very off-road and jungle-like. You have to always push your way through and run as fast as you can, and that’s my favorite part as a big trail running fan. I absolutely loved the race and the whole experience,” said Peter Dingley who’s wife and daughter also finished the 14km course of MSIG Thailand Action Asia 50. 

Matthew Grose, SVP, Human Resources and Business Excellence of MSIG Insurance Thailand Company Limited, also participated in the 14km race and spoke highly of the event, “I had a lot of fun, it was a beautiful place to hold a trail running event as when you went up Doi Inthanon, you were in the clouds and it made me feel fantastic! Overall, it was a worth-running race, especially when you see the stunning view on the top of the mountain; it feels like you got a double win doing this race! I would recommend everyone to come and join this event!”

This fundraising event is possible due to the generous support of presenting sponsor MSIG Insurance (Thailand) Public Company Limited and supporting partners Tourism Authority of Thailand-Hong Kong, Doi Inthanon National Park, Thai Airways, Hoka One One, Outdoor Channel, AirAsia, Alpha Runner, Tri Action, International Skyrunning Federation, ITRA, Action X Store and Action Asia Foundation.

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