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Race Preview: 2019 Hongkong Four Trails Ultra Challenge (HK4TUC)

7 02 2019

Here is a Repost of an article from Ultra 168 of Australia about the 2019 Hongkong Four Trails Ultra Challenge.

RACE PREVIEW: 2019 HONGKONG FOUR TRAILS ULTRA CHALLENGE (HK4TUC)

The 298km trail ultramarathon with 14,500m elevation gain consists of running all of the four long distance trails in Hong Kong. Namely the Maclehose trail (100km), the Wilson trail (78km), the Hong Kong trail (50km) and the Lantau trail (70km) in a single, non-stop effort.

HK4TUC has become widely recognised internationally through the documentary Breaking 60, which features four participants from the 2017 challenge.

This year 29 athletes from 13 nationalities aged 20 to 52 will race. “The field is diverse with only 7 participants from Hong Kong running. The others joining from countries as far away as the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the United States. We are particular proud to welcome 11 female participants to take on the tough Challenge this year,” said Andre Blumberg, Founder of HK4TUC.

Runners must be self-sufficient along each of the four trails. They are run in reverse of the normal direction with no course markings. There are no aid stations and no outside support such as pacers, crew or stashing of supplies permitted on the trails. Participants will only have support between the four trails, but the clock continues non-stop towards the 60 hours finisher cut-off. Furthermore, trekking poles are banned this year in an effort to bring the event back to basics.

Participants who complete the course within 60 hours are declared finishers. Those who complete within 75 hours (the final cut-off time) are declared survivors. Additional cut-off times are 18 hours to complete the first Maclehose 100km trail and 56 hours to commence the final Lantau 70km trail. There have only been six finishers in the history of the Challenge, with three women completing the distance too.

Eleven former participants are returning this year including two 2018 survivors, Meredith Quinlan from Australia and Abimanyu Shunmugam from Singapore. Both are gunning for a sub-60 hours finish this year.

Other notable entrants include:

HK4TUC Women

  • Habiba Benahmed (France, based in Hong Kong): Habiba dropped early in the 2018 edition. She has revamped her training for the better and finished Top 5 in all four of her races last year.
  • Sarah Pemberton (HK, based in Indonesia): Another early drop in 2018, Sarah grew up in Hong Kong. She has ramped training significantly, with a lot of time spent on the course. She won the TTF Hong Kong 115km in early 2019.
  • Nikki Han (UK, based in Hong Kong): Nikki had a confirmed slot back in 2015. She had to pull out however before the start due to injury. Nikki has spent ample time on the course, and had a couple strong local race performances, plus a sub-36 hours 2018 UTMB.
  • Xiao Jing 肖静 (China): More recently Jing focused on road and timed ultras. However, she Tor des Geants, plus multiple Hong Kong trail ultras under her belt. She mostly finishes in the Top 10.
  • Yang Fei Fei 非非 (China): Fei Fei mostly races in China and Hong Kong and finished Top 6 in all of her 2018 races ranging from 50km to 100km. She’s got the speed, but it will be interesting to see how she holds up over the extended, sleep-depriving distance.

 

HK4TUC Men

  • Kristian Joergensen (Denmark, based in Philippines): Kristian ran in 2018 and lead for pretty much all of the first day. He then dropped out overnight on Wilson trail. Since then, he significantly stepped up his training. He recently spent several days rehearsing the course for tackling the 2019 edition. Kristian won the Pulag 100km, Clark Miyamit 50mile and came 2nd place in Rizal Mountain 50km and TMBT 100km last year.
  • Ian Seabury (Unites States): Ian is based in Los Angeles, California. He has raced and placed well at many of the iconic US 100 miles trail ultras over the years. This includes the Chimera 100, Zion 100, Angeles Crest 100, Pinhoti 100 and Born to Run 100. In 2017 he completed the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning in very respectable times including a sub-24 hours Western States 100 and sub-27 hours Wasatch 100. Interestingly, he raced the inaugural Hong Kong 100 back in 2011.
  • Thomas Combisen (Philippines): Thomas is one of the strongest ultra runners in the Philippines and regularly clocks around 1,500km in races alone each year. In recent years his focus is more on road and timed ultras. He has raced non-stop distances of 250km or above at least three times.
  • Steven Ong (Malaysia): Steven is one of the strongest ultra runners in Malaysia currently. He has has a solid background on both trail and road. Since October 2016 he placed on the podium in each of the 15 races he finished. Winning 11 of the 15. Notable wins include the 2017 Panoramic Ultra Trail 100 miles in Thailand, as well as the 2018 TITI 250km road ultra in Malaysia.
  • Tomokazu Ihara (Japan): Tomo-San has run ultras for at least ten years. His speciality is the 100+ miles distance of which he completed 47 and frequently finished within the Top 10. These include 6 x HURT 100 with a 4th place at the recent 2019 event and 3 x Angeles Crest 100.
  • From an Aussie perspective, watch out for Christian Warren. UK national, but living over in Australia with some excellent pedigree, which includes 6 x TNF100 / UTA, 3 x Buffalo Stampede 75km. He has also raced internationally, including the 2017 Lavaredo and 2018 Tarawera 100mile. Along with UTMB, as well as Hong Kong 100 and TNF100 Hong Kong.

 

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On Intermittent Fasting (IF)

5 02 2019

I have learned about Intermittent Fasting (IF) from my ultra running friends living in California, USA. In my hikes and trail runs with them, we discussed about nutrition and our respective training in trail running and most of them have been practicing IF in their daily and weekly routines. This leads to gain more information from them until I would “google” the topic with more results of articles to read about it. Since then (almost one year already), I would do my own version of Intermittent Fasting which is fitted to my lifestyle as a Senior Citizen and part of my training as for the 2019 Boston Marathon Race.

I am reposting an article which I read in one of the articles of Training Peaks. I hope you can gain some information from it. Thank you!

Can Intermittent Fasting (IF) Improve Your Performance?

JANUARY 24, 2019 · BY ZACH NEHR

Simply limiting your calorie consumption to a specific window every day could give you performance and health benefits.

Can fasting make you faster? Some studies have suggested that intermittent fasting (IF) help you gain strength, burn fat, and ultimately improve your performance.

What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?

Here’s the key: IF isn’t about eating less, but rather eating within a specific time window. Simply limiting your calorie intake to a specific period every day can kick off a cascade of physiological adaptations that can improve your health.

Basic IF guidelines say that you should fast for at least 12 hours every day — that is, eating only within a 12-hour window, and fasting for the other 12 hours of the day. Dr. Satchin Panda, Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, recommends upping that window to a 14-16 hour daily fast in order to maximize benefits, especially when it comes to improved muscular endurance.

12 hours might sound like a long time, but consider that on average, most of us get about 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you eat a relatively early dinner and do a fasted workout first thing in the morning, you’ll most likely find it easy to hit that fasting window with minimal adjustments to your schedule. T

INCREASE FAT OXIDATION

Exercising in the fasted state forces the body to use its energy systems more efficiently, since carbohydrate stores are nearly depleted after a 12-16 hour fast.

Fasting also activates the body’s sympathetic nervous system (SNS) which is responsible for our fight-or-flight response. When the SNS is activated, heart rate increases, digestion slows, and muscle tension increases. During fasted exercise, the activation of the SNS causes an increased breakdown of fat for energy (Varady et al. 2013).

Fat oxidation also increases for 24 hours following a fasted workout (i.e. an easy aerobic exercise session done first-thing in the morning following an 8-12 hour overnight fast). Essentially, fasting helps your body become better at metabolizing fat rather than relying on the carbohydrates that are readily available in a non-fasted state.

DECREASE INSULIN RESISTANCE

Many endurance athletes will eat little meals or snacks every couple of hours (while awake) to give the body a continuous source of energy throughout the day. However, perpetual food intake also requires a constant release of insulin to help maintain stable blood sugar, which over time can cause the body stress. Worse, if insulin is constantly present in the bloodstream, the body can develop resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes.

Much like a muscle’s response to exercise stress, your digestive system needs time to recover so it can respond efficiently to the next stimulus. Fasting allows the body’s digestive, endocrine, and inflammatory system to repair and reset (Sutton et al., 2018).

While overnight fasting generally provides the body with sufficient time to rest, it is the challenge of a fasted morning workout that puts the body’s physiological systems (and subsequent endurance benefits) into overdrive. After completing a workout in a state of glycogen depletion, the body’s growth hormone and testosterone responses are stronger compared to athletes who fuel more constantly (Greenfield 2018).

How to Incorporate IF Into Your Training

Fasted exercise doesn’t need to be hard, in fact, most of the benefits of fasted exercise can be attained by performing a light, aerobic workout in a state of glycogen depletion. It could be a 30-minute walk or hike, an easy swim, or even just a sauna session — the key is to get moving and get your heart rate up for at least 20-30 minutes (Greenfield, 2018).

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is much more difficult to perform while fasted. HIIT (>70% Max heart rate) requires the use of glycogen as a fuel source, and attempting a HIIT workout in a fasted state will likely result in poor performance due to low energy availability. However, the ability to perform high-intensity workouts in a fasted state seems to vary greatly among individuals, so talk to your coach before attempting such workouts.

It is also important to remember that refueling is paramount after a fasted morning workout — the body readily absorbs carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and micronutrients quickly and efficiently in the 1-2 hour window following fasted exercise. My favorite post-fasted workout meal is a big bowl of oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit, and whey protein powder.

How to Fast

Traditional fasting allows you to drink only water during the fast. That means no calories, flavoring, salt, sugar, etc. Fortunately, most experts agree that you can have your morning coffee without technically breaking your fast — just skip the cream and sugar (Panda, 2018).

Your success in intermittent fasting for endurance performance depends on finding an eating window that works for you. If you are a night owl, for example, try making your eating window 12PM-9PM – followed by a 15-hour fast. If you’re a morning person like me, try a 9AM-6PM window – which still makes for a 15-hour fast.

When it comes to IF, the most important thing about maintaining your daily fast is that it is consistent and sustainable. Try different windows, meals, and timing to see what works best for you.

REFERENCES

Greenfield, Ben. 2018. The Benefits of Fasted Exercise.

Panda, Satchin. 2019. Circadian Fasting

Sutton, Elizabeth et al. 2018. “Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Blood Pressure, and Oxidative Stress Even without Weight Loss in Men with Prediabetes.“ Cell Metabolism, Volume 27, Issue 6, 5 June 2018, Pages 1212-1221.e3

Varady, Krista A. et al. 2013. “Alternate day fasting for weight loss in normal weight and overweight subjects: a randomized controlled trial.” Nutrition Journal, 2013, 12:146





Official Result: 5th Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race

3 02 2019

2019/5th Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race (Solo, Single Stage)

10:00 PM January 31, 2019 to 12:00 Midnight February 2, 2019

Start Line: Rizal Park, Luneta, Metro Manila

Finish Line: Sundial, PMA, Fort Del Pilar, Baguio City

Course Cut-Off Time: 50 Hours with Intermediate Cut-Off Time of 10 Hours Every 50 Kilometers

Number Of Starters: 24 Runner

Number Of Finishers: 10 Runners

Percentage Of Finishers: 41.66%

2019 Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra Starters

RANK          NAME             TIME (Hrs)

  1. Robert Watson (Overall Champion)—42:36:20
  2. Ian Piza (1st Runner-Up, Overall)—45:38:46
  3. Najib Julkipli (2nd Runner-Up, Overall)—45:45:03
  4. Alwalid Darry—46:30:41
  5. Ronnie Gurrobat—47:48:27
  6. Vicente Blue Zapanta Jr—49:15:25
  7. Muktadir Absara—49:43:07
  8. Barney Mamaril—49:46:01
  9. Ken Molina—49:51:11
  10. Enrique Trinidad—49:51:59

Overall Champion Robert Watson

Congratulations To All The Finishers! See you next year!








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