Sunrise to sunset run in the Mongolian grasslands
With the 17th edition (who says trail running is a young sport?) of the Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset race in Hovsgol National Park, the second half of the inaugural Asia Trail Master series gets underway. The race labels itself as "the world's most beautiful 42 and 100km trail run", and runners who have been there tend to go along with that statement. For sure, this race takes place far away from what one calls 'civilisation'.
The Hovsgol National Park in far northwestern Mongolia is so far away from capital city Ulaanbaatar, participants in the MS2S race are required to plan a week's holiday. The reward is stunningly beautiful and peaceful landscape, and a true feeling of 'being away'. Moreover, participants are supporting the Ecoleap Foundation, which aims to protect the natural pristine environment of the National Park, as well as educate and guide locals and tourists how to do so.
Its remoteness restricts overall participant numbers, but nevertheless Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset is a classic and winning it a highlight on any trail runner's record. Finishers on the 100km and 42km courses will score a substantial number of Asia Trail Master points, and the 100km course qualifies as a point for runner's quest to obtain Grandmaster status.
In the current 2015 rankings, China's Xie Zhangrong is still in the lead ahead of GlobalLimits Heritage Site Runner Patrick Singh and Yan Longfei, and in the women's it is still UTHK winner Yuen Kit Shan ahead of Marcia Zhou and Veronique Messina.