The 13th annual Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 100km and 42km run took place on 3 August 2011. Adventure seeking runners from 16 countries participated. The non-profit event raised money for environmental projects in Hovsgol National Park.
Mongolia, 23 August 2011 – Pristine mountains, dark green mossy forests, the crystal clear Lake Hovsgol, the unique nomadic culture: The Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset (MS2S) is said to be the most beautiful 100km and 42km run on the planet. For the 13th year, runners from all over the world gathered in Hovsgol National Park, not far from the Siberian border in northern Mongolia, to take part in this adventure race. “It is not only about running a race”, says organizer Nicolas Musy. “The runners and their companions or families enjoy a week in Mongolia with horseback riding, kayaking, fishing, hiking or mountain biking in this fantastic, pristine mountain area. They also get in touch with the unique nomadic culture; they sleep in Mongolian gers and have the chance to interact with the horsemen who keep them safe during the race. This is what makes the MS2S special!”
With an accumulated elevation gain/loss of more than 3’300 meters, this is no cakewalk. German-Japanese Timo Meyer, running for the charity, Shoe4Africa, won the 100km race in 10:55 – the second best time in MS2S history. For most others, it was all about finishing within the 18 hour cut-off time. Just as in the years before, there were many true adventurers among the runners: One athlete travels thousands of kilometres by bike through Mongolia every year to participate in the race, others flew in right after an expedition to Alaskan Mount McKinley, after participating in the Maasai Ultra Marathon in Kenya or a running event in Antarctica.
The MS2S race is a non-profit event. All proceeds are used to support a variety of preservation projects in Hovsgol National Park via the “ecoLeap foundation” registered in Geneva, Switzerland. One of the supported projects is the “zero-litter policy” in the national park. “The proceeds from the event and participants’ donations have funded the initial set-up cost for the litter control project, as well as the ongoing operation costs: for hiring additional park rangers, providing eco-friendly trash bags, and communication and educational events and materials”, reports Musy.
After race day 2011, preparations for next year’s event have already begun. “We are continuously working on our environmental projects, to keep this pristine mountain area as beautiful as it is now and to make the nomads proud of their abilities and culture. And we will put all our efforts into organizing another great race in 2012”, says Nicolas Musy. The registration period for the MS2S race will start on 1 October 2011. Musy: “The camp at Lake Hovsgol allows us to accept a maximum of 100 runners and their companions.”