Thais in the mix at premier trail event
A RECORD LINE-UP OF 3,200 athletes from around the world took part in The North Face 100 Thailand 2017 on February 4 in Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima. Launched in 2012, the event has since grown to become the largest of its kind in the country, and forms part of an annual Asia Pacific Series. With temperatures exceeding 36˚C during the day, conditions were tough, adding to the challenge for runners across all five race distances – 15km, 25km, 50km, 75km and 100km. In the 100-km race, Thailand's h o p e s were p i n n e d o n S a ny a Khanchai – winner of this event in 2013 and 2014 – and experienced adventure athlete, Jantaraboon Kiangchaipaiphana. Kiangchaipaiphana put in an strong performance but ultimately fell just short, to finish second behind Chiang Mai-based Englishman Harry Jones who claimed the title in nine hours 26 mins. In the female division, it was a close race for the top spot between Thai runner, Phitchanan Mahachot, and New Zealander, Kylie Ayson. Previously based in Hong Kong, so having the advantage of training on the mountainous trails there, Ayson was able to push Mahachot hard, but in the searing heat, it was the Thai athlete who prevailed, crossing the line first in a time of 12 hours 34 mins, with Ayson less than 10 minutes behind her.