Over 1,600 runners are heading to the southernmost of Thailand, Betong Yala for participating in the inaugural Amazean Jungle Thailand By UTMB 2023!

By 19 Φεβ 2023

The UTMB World Series heads to Betong on the Thai-Malaysian border for the first of four UTMB World Series events in Asia in 2023. The inaugural edition of the race promises to wow runners as they get to experience the unique and seemingly endless 'sea of mist' that often blankets the town, offering a supernatural view that has to be seen to be believed.

With five distances on offer – from 145km (Betong 160) to 15km (Betong 10) - runners will also be charmed by the lush rainforests, jungle trails and the support of the local Paekortor community.

As one of two UTMB World Series events that will take place in Thailand in 2023, runners will have the opportunity to earn Running Stones for use in the UTMB World Series Finals lottery, while the top 3 male and female finishers in the 100M, 100K and 50K categories will also qualify for Finals in their corresponding race.

The first Betong 160 champion of the inaugural edition, Sange Sherpa from the Kailas team set off a confident pace from the start til the end and crossed the finish line in 25:03:28 Hrs. His teammate Xiao Lin from China ranked second place 1 hour behind in 26:05:36 Hrs. A talented Chinese runner, Wenfei Xie was hours ahead of the chasing women, and she remained unchallenged winning the women's race in 29:12:57 Hrs and with it finished third overall.

After climbing more than 8,000 m Sange Sherpa commented "It was a very very tough and challenging race but I also enjoyed it a lot. I've never seen giant trees like this and I think I saw an elephant footprint. It was an amazing and worthwhile experience."

Another Kailas athlete Xiao Lin said "It was a real jungle. I saw many wild animals but they did not harm me. I think they scared us too because when I turned on the headlamps they all ran away. It means this jungle is very abundant. The course was challenging and tough, especially the first 70K but after that, it was runnable with much care".

The third overall place Wenfei Xie said "It was too hot basically I am not scared of hot weather but here was an exception. The course is very challenging big climbing and so steep. However, I will be back to defend my podium next year."

60-year-old Phuket-based Somyot Puangjit from Thailand ranked fourth overall place clocking 31:01:18 Hrs. The second woman Rongrong Chen from China crossed the finish line in 31:01:54 Hrs. Betong 100K race, Gediminus Grinius Professional coach from Lithuania won in 13:53:40 Hrs. The second was a Japanese runner Hisashi Kitamura clocking 15:07:00 Hrs., 26 minutes ahead of third placed French Vietnam-based Valentin Orange in 15:33:53 Hrs. In the women's race, a talented Nepali runner Anita Rai was the first female to cross the finish line in 17:29:32 and ranked fourth overall. The second was won by Hoka athlete called Jinhee Kim from Korea in 20:31:22 and the third place belongs to Hien Tran from the Tailwind team in 22:02:14 Hrs.


Saturday Highlights



Sunday Highlights


In Betong 50k battleNhon Trong Do Vietnamese trail runner began with a furious pace being the leader until the last 9 kilometres to the finish line. Cramp pulled him down to the third clocking 07:06:36. In the meantime, Andres Olivera the one and only Perunian in this event holds second place from start to end and crosses the line in 06:45:16 Hrs. Lesniak Michal a trail runner from Poland ran a stable pace at the beginning and speed up to the champion clocking 06:37:08 Hrs. The female division was won in 07:14:10 by a talented British runner Meek Jo, 110 minutes ahead of second place Danielle Perry from the USA. The third was a leading Thai female athlete Rakchanok Sutammajarn in 09:13:36.
Text, Photo Credits & Video Credits: UTMB