Mohamad Affindi and Donaghey cruise to Malaysia Action Asia 50 champion titles
Highly-rated 50km race held for a second successful year at Janda Baik
The second edition of the Malaysia Action Asia 50 saw local elite trailrunner Mohamad Affindi Nudin and Australian Kathleen Donaghey bag comfortable victories in the men’s and women’s 50-kilometre race respectively. Both were the only runners to clock under seven hours for the challenging course at Janda Baik, a pristine sanctuary just 30km away from KL’s hustle and bustle.
Overall champion Mohamad Affindi crossed the finish line in a remarkable time of 6 hours 8 minutes and 6 seconds. He said: “The course was a bit slippery and rocky because of the rain. So, the race was very technical and challenging. There were lots of turns and obstacles we had to leap over. I had to be very careful.”
Women’s 50km winner and second overall Donaghey clocked 6:56:31. She said: “The most impressive thing was the scenery along the way - it was very beautiful. I really enjoyed the course. It was challenging for me with the hills and rocks, and less flat road. It was worth to try this race.”
The event, which also included 24km, 10km and a new 5km distance, started and finished at Cherengin Hills Convention & Spa Resort. It was a true test of mental and physical strength. One of the toughest trail running races in Malaysia, runners needed to conquer not only the hot and humid weather, but also large changes in elevation.
Nearly 50 minutes behind Mohamad Affindi in second place for the men was Kin Fatt Wong (7:17:33). “It is nice to race in Malaysia. It was my first time joining a 50km race and I really enjoyed the whole race. The trail on the mountain when we went uphill was extremely technical and challenging. We had to conquer lots of stairs and stone steps; that was really tough,” said Wong.
Less than a minute behind was third-placed men’s finisher Kian Voon Chong (7:18:19), who was racing his second 50km event. “It was so challenging,” said Chong. “The route was a bit complicated, but the scenery was good. The course design was diversified, with uphills and downhills, gravel road, small bridges and mountain jungle. The different scenery brought me different moods. I think I will join this race next year again.”
The 50km course had 2,433m elevation gain - equivalent to climbing KL’s iconic Petronas Towers more than five times.
The 5km and 10km route for beginners and novice trail runners offered a varied terrain of hills and flats, dirt trails and paved road. The 10km course had a total of 425m of elevation gain with the highest point at 516m.
The 24km was more challenging with more than double the elevation gain (887m total) and a lot more dirt trails.
Christopher Koelma (2:36:21) and Yufen Lian (3:50:47) claimed the men’s and women’s titles respectively in the 24km event. Koema said the win was very meaningful to him: “The course is tough and the most challenging part was all the uphills.”
Lian agreed. “The hilly part was most challenging for me,” she said. “I used to be a short-distance runner doing 5km races. This was my first time in a 24km race and the result is beyond my expectations.”
In the 10km race, the men’s title went to Asdi Wedinga in 53:10 and the women’s title was won by Jenny Abbott (1:03:36).
It was Wedinga’s first win in four attempts at the MSIG Malaysia Action Asia Taiwan 50. On the most challenging part of the course, he said: “The trail on the mountain was extremely technical and challenging, you had to conquer lots of stairs, mud tracks and stone steps.”
In the 5km race, the men’s title was won by Jan Joostens in 36:55. It was his first time participating in the MSIG Malaysia Action Asia 50. On the most favourite part of the course, he said: “I liked the last part most, because I could see beautiful scenery when I ran down the mountain. The race was really exciting, and I definitely will come back to the race next year.”
Women’s 5km winner Marjolijin Decleer (45:38), who was participating in her first trail race, said: “The route was very good, very beautiful. The track design was diversified, with uphills and downhills and gave me different moods. It was extraordinary. I will try 10km next year!”
To minimise environmental damage to the natural route and maintain a clean green environment in Malaysia, the Malaysia Action Asia 50 operated a strict no cup policy. Runners were advised to bring their own water bottles or hydration packs and refill them at the water checkpoints throughout the course.
2018 MSIG Malaysia Action Asia 50 Top finishers
50km - Top 5 Men
1. MOHAMAD AFFINDI NUDIN – Malaysia – 6:08:06
2. KIN FATT WONG – Malaysia – 7:17:33
3. KIAN VOON CHONG – Malaysia – 7:18:19
4. TENGKU MOHD WAHIDI TENGKU ROSLAN – Malaysia – 7:26:53
5. MUHD RAHMAN BIN WAHID RAHMAN – Malaysia – 7:59:22
50km - Top 5 Women
1.KATHLEEN DONAGHEY – Australia – 6:56:31
2. NAUM JEPKOSGEI – Malaysia – 8:07:31
3. FAHERINA MOHD ESA – Malaysia – 8:10:48
4. MEI CHONG – Malaysia – 8:20:57
5. LAY NAH YVONNE NG – Singapore – 8:42:31
Men’s Champion – CHRISTOPHER KOELMA – Australia - 2:36:21
Women’s Champion – YUFEN LIAN – China – 3:50:47
Men’s Champion – ASDI WEDING – Malaysia – 53:10
Women’s Champion – JENNY ABBOTT – United Kingdom – 1:03:36
Men’s Champion – JAN JOOSTENS – Belgium – 36:55
Women’s Champion – MARJOLIJIN DECLEER – Belgium – 45:38
Malaysia Action Asia 50
November 25, 2018 (Sunday)
50km – 5:00 a.m
24km – 7:00 a.m
5km & 10km – 7:15 a.m
Cherengin Hills Convention & Spa resort, Janda Baik, Malaysia
5km, 10 km, 24 km, 50km
For more race details, please click below: