It is some of the most beautiful and pristine trail running on the planet: The 13th Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset mountain marathon and 100km will take place on 3 August 2011. The non-profit event supports initiatives to preserve Hovsgol National Park and the unique natural culture of its nomadic people. Adventure seeking runners can register on www.ultramongolia.com.
12 May 2011 – Trail running amid the breathtaking scenery of Hovsgol National Park – no surprise that the Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset is known among participants as the world’s most beautiful 100km run. Besides the 100km race, participants also have the chance to tackle a 42km mountain marathon distance. Since participants of both distances are granted 18 hours to finish, anyone with the spirit for a physical challenge can actually complete the marathon distance. “It is extreme trail running, adventure, exploration and a fantastic experience of nature, all at once”, says race director Angie Eagan. Around 80 runners and outdoor adventure lovers from all over the world meet in Mongolia for this unique event every year.
International participants will arrive in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, on Saturday, July 30, and fly and drive to Camp Toilogt, located on the shore of Lake Hovsgol in North-western Mongolia. Camp Toilogt is the site of the start and finish line. The runners have the opportunity to acclimatize to the altitude of 1,650 meters and become acquainted with the course prior to the race. Ms. Eagan: “For those interested, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking and visiting local families including Tsaatan reindeer herders is also possible. Participants can combine a remarkable sports event with a unique nature and cultural experience”. The organizers provide travel packages on the website www.ultramongolia.com.
The Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset is organised on a non-profit basis and all proceeds are used to keep Hovsgol National Park pristine and to support the culture of Hovsgol and Mongolia’s local population 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 and its ongoing operation costs: including hiring park rangers dedicated to litter control, providing eco-friendly garbage bags, raising awareness nation-wide through TV ads and education of local children and families”, reports Eagan.
The race in the beautiful scenery of Hosvgol National Park is extremely challenging: The accumulated elevation gain/loss for the marathon distance is around 2’255 meters and for the 100km it is around 3’365 meters. The course follows a lakeside single track north of Camp Toilogt through woods, before departing the lake and heading up over 700 meters into the mountains to spectacular views from the 2’300 meter Chichee Pass. Then, the route descends steeply into a river valley, follows the river bed through sometimes marshy sections and climbs steeply through a fairy-tale like mossy forest to Khirvesteg Pass. From the pass, runners descend and make their way back to Camp Toilogt and the 42km finish line. 100km runners continue to the south-west, following a mostly flat dirt trail, ascending to Jankhai Pass at just under 2’000 meter elevation. From there, the course is primarily a gentle downhill in windblown lowlands over trails and dirt roads, with the final 25km including a beautiful forested trail on the lakeshore. The cut-off time for the ultra marathon and 42Km is 18 hours.
Picture legend: Trail running, adventure and exploration: Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset is the most beautiful 100km run in the world.
Picture legend: Participants can combine a remarkable sports event with a unique nature and cultural experience: Travel packages on www.ultramongolia.com.