Rush Through the Limits

Story By
Aditya Purwanto

Mankind did not reach its peak as it is now by just huddling in caves. At one point, they needed to come out and start to run.

Staying true to its genesis as a destination of health and wellness retreat, MesaStila once again held its unique and extreme trail running event that aims to challenge the inner spirit and the physical condition in the heart of Java. The year’s races would be more challenging and offer more beautiful Javanese scenery. Escape onto unused tracks, overgrown jungle trails, small village roads, rice paddies, cross and climb up to five mountains in Central Java.

Raising the bar from previous year’s event, MesaStila Ultra Challenge 2015 adopted ultramarathon element as a cherry on top of the cake. An ultramarathon is any running event longer than the traditional marathon length of 42,195 kilometers.  Many ultramarathons, especially trail challenges, have severe course obstacles, such as bleak weather, rapid elevation change, and/or rugged terrain. Many of these kinds of races are run on dirt roads or mountain paths, although paved roads are also common. To support the participants, aid stations are established every 20 to 35 kilometers where they can replenish with food and drink, as well as taking short breaks.

The year’s 100K ultramarathon took 5 mountains surrounding MesaStila as parts of its course: Andong (1.726m), Merbabu (3.145m), Telomoyo (1894m), Gilipetung (1.400m) and the ever active Merapi (2.930m) with a cumulative gain of up to 7758 m. Although unfortunately, Merapi and Merbabu was unavailable due to the recent forest fire caused by prolonged drought which forced the committee to readjust the routes to circle the other three mountains instead. The 100k race as well as the 65K and 42K qualified its participants for the Asia Trail Master points, and ultimately, for the revered Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc. The 21K and 14K offered the iconic route starting from the historical Ambarawa Train Station through the unused railways and surrounded by paddy fields and pristine forests as well as local settlements. All races ends at the entrance of MesaStila as the finish line.

The first finisher of 100K race was Arief Wismoyono, previous year’s 65K winner with the finish time of 19 hours 3 minutes 16 seconds, followed by Dzaki Wardana and Pramonosidi Wijanarko in the third position. Mila Marlina was the only female runner and finisher in the 100K category. Finished first from the 65K challenge was the French nationality Celian Baup with 10 hours 27 minutes 38 seconds finish time. Joined roughly 10 minutes later by Muhammad Fauzi Difinubun and fellow French runner Vincent Chalias. The female participant in this category, Ina Budiyarni finished in 15 hours 43 minutes and 49 seconds.

The newly adopted 42K race was completed by Ary Iskandar, running behind him was David Machmud and a competitor from Belgium, Kris Van De Velde. In the female side of the race, Shindy Patricia finished first, followed by Hashifah Siregar. The other three female participants however, failed to finish. The top three of male 21K finishers were Tribius Tauho, Alfred Maleczki of Hungary, and Tom Damek while Erni Ulatningsih, Melly Milenia, and Sharfina Shelia Rosada became the fastest three female runners. Setenly, Marbangun and Khamid Shoiman to finish the fastest in the 13K male division, on the other side Rieke Febrianti, Nurul and DInda Zakila owned the category.

In the end, it’s not about who finish first or failed to finish; it’s about pushing one's limit to the unknown length, with the bravery to start each step at a time, to see and conquer what challenge lies ahead. MesaStila will be there to offer you that opportunity with MesaStila Challenge Ultra.