Mongolia (6 November 2015) – How deep blue can a lake be? And how many different shades of green do exist? Up to 100 runners from all over the world will find out in August 2016, when they gather at Lake Hovsgol in the wilderness of Northern Mongolia. Their quest: The 18th Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset (MS2S). The MS2S, a non-profit 42km and 100km ultra trail run, is without a doubt among the most beautiful runs of the world. Runners pass by wild horses and yaks, seas of wildflowers, the craggy mountains, windblown lowlands and of course the deep blue pearl of Mongolia, Lake Hovsgol.
“The untouched nature is truly stunning. Our race offers spectacular views from start to finish – be it on the lakeside single trail when the sun rises behind Lake Hovsgol, on the impressive mountain passes or in the marshy, remote forests”, says Nicolas Musy, race director of the MS2S. The MS2S is not only beautiful but also challenging: The accumulated elevation gain/loss in the marathon distance is more than 2.200 meters; in the 100km ultra run it is more than 3.300 meters. Musy: “Still, everybody with a strong spirit and good training can finish the race. The cut-off time is 18 hours.”
The registration period for next year’s race has already begun. Runners with an appetite for a special adventure can now secure early bird rates for the race package online on www.ms2s.org. “This is not a one-day event. We offer a whole week full of discovery and adventure”, explains Musy. Participants gather in a picturesque camp at the lakeshore, sleep in traditional Mongolian yurts and get in touch with local nomads and their culture. In the days before and following the race, runners can enjoy a variety of leisure activities: horseback riding, fishing, kayaking, hiking, or mountain biking. The 2016 race week will take place from July 30th to August 6th 2016.
In the 2015 race, runners from all over the world participated in the MS2S. Altogether, the organizers welcomed participants from no less than 22 countries. The young Mongolian runner Tumenbayar Shagdar was able to secure the win on 100km in a time of 11:54 hours. French Aurélia Veyre was the fastest ultra-lady in 15:16 hours. The 42km winners were the Mongolian Tugldur Tselmegsaikhan and the Canadian runner Jennifer Pasiciel. In the veteran 100km category, Swiss Marc Progin won in strong 15:36 hours.
The Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset is organised on a non-profit basis. All proceeds are used to keep Hovsgol National Park pristine and clean as well as to support the culture of the local nomads via the “ecoLeap foundation” registered in Geneva, Switzerland. “We want to keep this pristine mountain area as beautiful as it is now. That is why we fund a litter control project and its ongoing operation including hiring park rangers, providing eco-friendly garbage bags and raising awareness nation-wide through TV ads and education of local children and families”, explains race director Nicolas Musy. The ecoLeap foundation also supports the local culture, adds Musy: “It is not only the pristine nature that makes this part of the world so special. It is also the unique culture of the nomads and their way of life. The nomads should be proud of their abilities and culture.”