Epic race during MesaStila Peaks Challenge 2016, 8-9 October has brought together more than 500 runners from 24 different countries to Central Java. There are five different categories, which three of the longest trails are qualified for Asia Trail Master Series Championship; 100K, 65K, 42K, 21K and 11K. This year competition was especially hard with heavy rain hitting the area during the race for several times.
This year, total of 50 100K runners had to concur Mt. Andong 1726m, Mt. Merbabu 3145m, Mt. Merapi 2930m, Mt. Telomoyo 2894m and Mt. Gilipetung 1400m. While running through overgrown jungle trails, small village roads and rice paddies, participant were also accompanied by beautiful Javanese scenery to ease their trip.
For many, MesaStila Peaks Challenge (MPC) is more than just another race. The extreme trail and elevation gain offer new precious experience to any professional runner. In fact, the trail is regarded to be one of the most challenging in Asia. So if you have completed 150K run before, does not mean you have what it takes to complete the MPC 100K.
100K first winner, Jan Nilsen, completed the race in 19.49.25 around 1 AM after starting the race a day before at 5AM from Mesa Stila. The Norwegian born, now representing Thailand, is also a champion of a previous challenge in Rinjani. During the race he was hit by heavy rain and storm, thus needed to keep going to avoid the cold. Despite the hardship during the race, Jan also expressed his enthusiasm in joining the race again next year. The best moment for him was running alone through Mt. Merbabu at night. “I can finally run in my own pace,” he happily mentioned.
In second and third are cheerful Indonesian runners representing Yogyakarta, Muhammad Dzaki in 21.58.42 and Fauzi Difinubun in 22.38.04. Both started the race from the very back, and confessed to had playfully greeted all runners they passed before claiming their winning spots. Fauzi even mentioned he had not had any expectation as it was his first 100K. “This is just a coincidence. A Coincidence that other runners are falling behind,” he kept saying. But don’t be fooled, as both of them also went through unimaginable struggles. Dzaki has lost his eyeglasses and spoil his shoes open during the heavy rain, and even gotten lost in the last 10k of the race. Fauzi meanwhile had to go hard decision when faced with 4 runners who suffered from hypothermia.
In female category, 100K run win by Tahira Najmunissa from Malaysia in 25.39.20. Thanks to the point she gained from the race, she is now the unbeatable female winner of Asia Trail Master Series. She was just minutes behind from his husband, who finished in the forth place of the overall race. In second and third to 100K female category are Ruth Theresa from Indonesia in 30.42.30 and Maria Josephine from Philippine in 34.00.00.
Meanwhile 65K runners need to go through four peaks with COT 20 hours, and 42K three peaks with COT 12 hours only. For 21K and 11K runners, the game is completely different from last year’s. Now both categories have to go through similar track as the other runs, resulting in higher difficulty but more breathtaking scenery. MPC committee hope the new experience will encourage more people to challenge themselves to try the longer run.
Overall enthusiasm this year has surprised the MPC committee. The number of participants has multiplied almost 5 times from last year! This good news will definitely change the next race into even better. The central java tourism office has also noted the improvement and will try to get Indonesia tourism ministry to support the international event. So runners, keep practicing and be prepared for the next MesaStila Peak Challenge in 2017!
List of MesaStila Peaks Challenge 2016 winners:
Despite all the struggles, victories are gained and amazing experience will forever be cherished. Congratulation for all winners from male and female category 11k, 21k, 42k, 65k, 100k!
- Jan Inge Nilsen (Thailand)
- Muhammad Dzaki (Indonesia)
- Fauzi Difinubun (Indonesia)
- Tahura Najmunissa (Malaysia)
- Ruth Theresia (Indonesia)
- Maria Josephine Liao (Philipine)
- Firdaus Rhenaldy (Indonesia)
- Michal Kaczorowski (Polandia)
- Andy Brouke (Australia)
- Jassica Binti Lintanga (Malaysia)
- Ina Budiyarni (Indonesia)
- Tim Philips (USA)
- Margono (Indonesia)
- Juanico Chepeda (Indonesia)
- Kristina Kotzmanova (Slovakia)
- Siti Meamunah (Indonesia)
- Cheryl Parker (UK)
- Valentin Bailly (France)
- Hartono Tono (Indonesia)
- Johan Chandra (Indonesia)
- Estelle Carret (France)
- Indah Wardhani (Indonesia)
- Nikita Vinza (Indonesia)
- M Yusuf (Indonesia)
- Samsul Andya (Indonesia)
- Jakaria Yahya (Indonesia)
- Jess Wriedt (Australia)
- Inke Rimadani (Indonesia)
- Laurentia Julia (Indonesia)