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MURA Forum: The Rise of Asian Ultras – the Hong Kong and Philippines Experience

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If indeed there is such a phenomenon called the Rise of Asian ultras, then Hong Kong and Philippines can rightly claim and deserve to be called the leading pioneers of the region.

Ever since the first ever ultra trail 100km – Vibram HK100 was held in Jan 2011, many other ultra races have sprung up rapidly within a short span of 5 years.  Trans Lantau, TNF100, UTHK, Raleigh Wilson and other shorter ultras.  These races have attracted participants from many countries around the region, with HK100 even becoming part of the Ultra Trail World Tour Series.  The number of Malaysian runners, attracted by the beautiful trails and high standards of race organization, have risen from a handful in the early days  to around hundreds in recent years.
Philippines, on the other hand, is the earliest of all Asean countries to blaze the trails in ultra running.  Blessed with  abundance of trails and beautiful landscapes, some of its races, like H1 and TNF 100, Four Lakes  have become classic and iconic among the South East Asian ultra runners.  Unlike Hong Kong’s cosmopolitan ambience, Philippines ultras offer the raw and down to the basic ultra running in nature.  Besides, they are known to be tough races as well.  If challenging yourself and pushing the limits is your kind of things, make Philippines your ultra destination.
Our speakers Tan Seow Ping and Yim Heng Fatt are both seasoned ultra trail runners with many 100km and 100 miles ultra trails races under their belts.  Seow Ping in particular has lived in Hong Kong for 8 years.  Yim on the other hand, is an ultra runner who excel in other sporting disciplines as well, like ironman and cycling.  For ultra runners who aspire to try their hands (or rather legs) on ultra trail races, they would do well to take a leaf or two from their profound insights and perspectives in this MURA forum:  Rise of Asian Ultras – Hong Kong and Philippines experience!
Date: 30 October 2015 (Friday)
Time: 7.30 – 10.00 pm
Venue: Marathon Shop, Taman SEA, Petaling Jaya
Speaker: Tan Seow Ping and Yim Heng Fatt
Admission: Free for MURA member, RM 10 for non-member
RSVP Required: http://goo.gl/forms/KuF0OcUzsZ


Tan Seow Ping profile

10 years on and still passionate about running. Born and bred in Malaysia and partly in Australia, Seow Ping now lives in Hong Kong. Got bitten by the running bug back in 2005 that culminated with the completion of her first marathon at the end of that year at the Standard Charted Singapore marathon. After completing a number of other road marathons, her first taste of trail running came when she moved to Hong Kong in 2008, completing her first 100km race with a group of friends at the Oxfam Trailwalker. She fell in love with the trails and has never looked back from ultra-trail running.

Seow Ping has since completed a number of ultra-trail races including Vibram HK 100, Translantau 100, TNF 100 Hong Kong, TMBT, GNW100, UTHK and most recently UTMF. Seow Ping is also one of the few women to complete the first edition of ‘Grand Slam’ of 100K races in Hong Kong with the completion of Oxfam Trailwalker, TNF100, Vibram HK100 and Translantau in the 2013/14 race season. She is looking to get to her 100 marathon/ultra-races sometime in the next few months. Running helps Seow Ping balance a hectic work life and is her preferred way to explore new places.


Yim Heng Fatt profile

Yim Heng Fatt started running back in 2009, with the shorter 10km and slowly progressing to half marathon and finally his 1st full marathon in 2010’s Standard Chartered Marathon. From thereon, he has not looked back and has progressed to now 103 marathon/ultra marathons. In the later years of 2011, he began to start running ultra trails which he adored a lot. Ultra trails let him get lost in the wild wilderness where everything is just plain natural as much as it can get. It also provides him a sense of tranquility where the long hours of ultras gives him time to think about many things in life, and many times sort out the kinks and knots happening in life. The furthest distance he attempted so far was the Ultra Trail Hong Kong 2015 with a distance of 177km this year. He has completed a few of the 100 ultra milers including UTMF (Ultra Trail Mount Fuji), GNW (Great North Walk) and most recently H1 Philippines being the toughest in terms of distance and time given. Besides running, he also dabble in century rides as well as triathlons, and has completed 2 Ironman events, namely Ironman Langkawi, Malaysia and Ironman Busselton, Western Australia both in 2014.

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