Ultra Thai Chiang Mai: Thailand's own ethnic Ultra race
A unique trail race starting in Chiang Mai and reaching the top of Chiang Dao. Asia has another landmark Ultra Trail on the race calendar, and indeed also on the Asia Trail Master series calendar. The new event in the popular tourist region of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand will be organised from 4 to 6 December and features a "single day" 150km race as main event, but those who prefer to take it just a bit easier can also opt for the three-day stage race over the same total distance. As all main ultras, UTCM will be semi-self-sufficient with a few stops in mountain villages.
Ultra Thai Chiang Mai is organised by experienced French runner Sebastien Bertrand, and is part of a bigger project called Thailand Mountain Trail (TMT), which investigates and marks mountain trails in Northern Thailand. Its aim is to revive the old paths previously used by hill tribes that are now disappearing. Working together with local tribes, respecting nature and areas, and promoting sport and outdoor activities are TMT’s core objectives.
The organiser is leaving nothing to chance and last November invited 20 runners from Europe and Asia for a test run of the UTCM course. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, so a new classic end-of-the-year ultra is in the making. For UTCM to see the light took a year’s research among the hill tribes, hundreds of kilometres covered on foot, walking or running, and a massive amount of work clearing and marking the paths. The course is therefore predominantly as natural as can be, with ethnic hilltribe paths leading up the highest peak in the country at over 2000m altitude.
Note that the prefix "ultra" is well-deserved, as there's 8800 metres of elevation gain along the 150km route, which also crosses five mountain peaks. The single day runners are required to complete the distance within 45 hours.
The official registration for the event opens on 15 April via the event website. In the context of the Asia Trail Master series, this is a big event to boost your points tally at the end of the year.
You can also stay up to date with key event facts via our cover page.