Pure wilderness: Running in the land of Ghengis Khan

26 Sep 2014 09:10
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Press Release
Only in Mongolia: Running through a sea of Edelweiss.
Credit : www.ms2s.org / Peter Troest
  • The registration period for the 17th Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 42km and 100km trail run, taking place on 5th August 2015, starts on 1 October 2014.
  • Adventure seeking runners can now register for this unique experience on www.ms2s.org.
  • Runners from no less than 13 countries participated in 2014; new race record set for 42km distance.

Mongolia (24 September 2014) – Wild horses, wild yaks and seas of wildflowers: The Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 42km and 100km ultra marathon truly offers pure wilderness to the participants. “It is one of the most remote races worldwide. The untouched nature in the Hovsgol National Park is the main reason why many of our runners refer to the Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset as the most beautiful 100km run on the planet”, says race director Nicolas Musy. The course in the National Park in Northern Mongolia follows lake-side single tracks and horse trails. It includes steep hills, windblown lowlands, craggy mountains, marshy forests and spectacular views over mighty Lake Hovsgol and all the way to the Siberian Mountains in the far North.

Credit : www.ms2s.org / Peter Troest

Register now!

The registration period for next year’s race starts on 1 October 2014. 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 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 picturesque camp at the lakeshore. Runners sleep in traditional Mongolian yurts.
Credit : www.ms2s.org / Khasar Sandag

2014: New record for 42km

Runners from 13 countries gathered at the shores of Lake Hovsgol in August 2014 for the 16th edition of this spectacular race. French runner Alex Balson, who lives in Northern Mongolia and is familiar with the course, set a new record time for the 42km in 3:48 hours. An impressive time, especially considering the difficulty of the terrain and the accumulated elevation gain/loss of 2,255 meters in the marathon distance. For the 100km ultra distance, the accumulated elevation gain/loss is no less than 3,365 meters. Sean Smith from Australia managed to come in first in 13:37 hours. Especially remarkable was the breathtaking finish in the veteran category, where 69-year old Marc Progin from Switzerland and Hans Andersen from Denmark sprinted head-to-head through the finish line and shared the first place in 14:52 hours. The fastest female on 42km was Rose Kennedy from the United States, while her compatriot Rhonda Stricklett won the 100km ultra distance in strong 14:25 hours.

Marshy forests in remote Northern Mongolia.
Credit : www.ms2s.org / Peter Troest

Preserving the National Park

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.”

Lake Hovsgol is one of the most voluminous freshwater lakes in the world - and a unique scenery for an unforgettable run.
Credit : www.ms2s.org / Khasar Sandag