Columbia Trial Masters 2012 blasts off in Pattaya

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Last Sunday morning, January 22, saw a huge crowd of over 450 runners gather just outside Pattaya for the first Columbia Trail Masters Race of the year.  Set in the beautiful forest of Khao Mai Kheow, this year’s event welcomed back many competitors from last year, as well as many new racers eager to enjoy the off-road half marathon and 10km races

The weather was cool as the competitors registered for the 21.5km, the 10km and 3km races and excitement was high as they gathered at the start line.

The race gets underway at beautiful Khao Mai Kheow on the outskirts of Pattaya, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012. The race gets underway at beautiful Khao Mai Kheow on the outskirts of Pattaya, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012.

What makes a trail race different to a road race?  It’s simple!  When running on the road, a runner may maintain a set speed and rhythm that’s comfortable.  When running off-road, the runners have to concentrate where to put their feet, and to be able go over small obstacles such as tree roots and small rocks.  This quality often surprises runners who aren’t used to running off-road but adds an extra dimension to the experience.

An event such as this really proves that there a many runners who want to compete in events that are as challenging but subtly different to the more common road races and triathlons.  The hilly course and rough trails, combined with the open farmland roads, provide a very varied race in terms of terrain and difficulty, challenging a competitor’s concentration and stamina.

The results of the Columbia Trails Race – Episode 1 were as follows:

Men 21km

1st Hillary 1:21:51

2nd Patikarn Petsicha 1:25:04

3rd Neals Strik 1:28:04

Women 21km

1st Melissa Johnson-Schnyder 2:00:26

2nd Orn Anong Wongson 2:12:08

3rd Parntip Sanglamanon 2:13:39

Men 10km

1st Edwin Lagat 40:30

2nd Jared 43:23

3rd Aumyot 45:08

Women 10km

1st Sarah Bagnuoli 58:02

2nd Roslyn Mc Cornack 1:03:20

3rd Thidara Thangjaithongdee 1:03:37

This was the first of the Trail Master events for 2012.  The Columbia Management, being very happy with this event, have pledged sponsorship for two more such races in 2012 which makes the Columbia Trail Master Series one to look out for.  The next episode of the series will take place in Phuket on May 6.  For more information, go to www.ama-events.com.