Raid the Tengri Steppe
On 6 May 2018 trail runners can already for the fourth time take part and score Asia Trail Master championship points in the Tengri Ultra Trail in Kazakhstan. A unique race through steppe or grasslands and canyons over a total distance of 70 km, 35 km or 15 km at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tamgaly Tas, known for its prehistoric cave paintings and drawings. The Tengri Ultra Trail is one those trail and outdoor event experiences you won't easily forget. Participants are required to camp overnight at the race venue along the banks of the mighty Ili River, where mobile connectivity is still a hit-and-miss. Barbecue combined with cultural and mysterious shaman performances are part of the entertainment on pre-race night.
This is a race suited for quick-legged runners as the total elevation gain over the Grandmaster distance of 70Km is no more than 1450 hm. Nevertheless, the canyon section does require focus as some sections are technical, especially if it is raining like last year at the start. Usually, the weather is dry and hot during the day.
International runners need to fly into Almaty, former capital of Kazakhstan before it was moved to Astana. Almaty is still the economic and cultural centre of the country and certainly deserves a few days of exploring. Almaty is surrounded by high mountains as well, so after the race you might as well do some training out there as well. Remember Almaty was a candidate to organise the Olympic Winter Games in 2024 but narrowly lost by just four votes to Beijing-Zhangjiakou.
Air Astana has direct flights to Almaty from a number of Asian capital cities: Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, for example. Book early and you can even get a good price also.
Have a look at the splendid video documentary below of the 2017 event and get yourself convinced to go and try something new in 2018! Further below is the link to our cover page, from where you can also connect to the local event website (also in English).