Thai storms to 100km victory at 2013 ''The North Face 100® Thailand''

Sanya Khannchai, winner of the 100km at the 2013 The North Face 100® Thailand.

For immediate release 02 February 2013

NAKORN RATCHASIMA – Over 1,400 registered for the 2013 The North Face 100® Thailand – the fastest growing trail running event in the country with more than a 3-fold increase on last year – which was held in Pakchong, Nakorn Rachasima on 2nd February.

The challenging route over hilly and technical trails in the Pakchong area welcomed a record turn out for the event, competing in 100km, 100km duo, 50km, 25km and 10km distances.

Sanya Khannchai of Thailand had a fierce battle throughout the 100km race against Salameh Al Aqra of Jordan, with the lead changing many times. Passionate about running having completed 60 marathons though never with an outstanding results, he took the lead for the final time near the 70km mark and never looked back, running out the eventual 100km overall winner.

In last year''s inaugural The North Face 100® Thailand, it was another Thai who won the 100km banner event, Solchai Choosakul, in a time of 09:28:14. This year a more challenging trail route with six peaks over 600m to summit, Khun Sanya finished the 100km in just 09:47:46.

Returning for the second year, Thailand-based American Katherine Welch was hoping to defend her 100km crown. Up against 25 women, Katherine held a comfortable lead for much of the race and in the last 20km pushed her advantage home finishing in a time of 11:07:02, more than one hour ahead of the second place finisher.

In the Men''s 50km, event ambassador Saman Gunan (THA) took an early lead and swapped places with Australian David Barr. Barr finally broke the deadlock near the half-way mark and went on to win in a time of 04:07:07 with Khun Saman finishing third overall.

In the Women''s division, French woman Clementine Tanguide lead from start to finish, completing the course in a time of 04:45:16.

520 runners lined-up for the 25km race. In the Men''s division a close three-way battle developed with Kuwaiti Mohammad Almatar taking the win in 01:52:59, while in the Women''s division it was Kristi Wollbrink (USA) who held off a spirited challenge from Panthip Sungkamanont (THA) who placed third overall.

The largest startline was the 10km with a huge Thai participation this year – runners from around Thailand and beyond and corporate groups signed up to join the record turnout. It was Manop Sakulwattanaset (THA) who reigned supreme in the Men''s 10km beating Jeff Basting (USA) into second with Jaturon Mahakanok (THA) in third.

Helen Wright (GBR) was pushed all the way in the Women''s 10km, winning the title by a little over 30 seconds from Laainam Chaipornkaew (THA) in second and Bridget Zapata (USA) third.

Eighteen nationalities and more than 1,400 runners took part in the 2013 The North Face 100® Thailand. A combination of the route being 80% trail with challenging hills and technical sections was deemed a winning formula by runners this year.

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