It's already the third edition of the Tengri Ultra Trail this weekend, Kazakhstan's premier trail running event. Well-established on the calendar by now, the event attracts ever more runners to this remote but stunningly beautiful area. Tamgaly Tas along the big Ili River is not for nothing a UNESCO World Heritage Site with rock paintings, canyons and prime grassland with snowcapped mountain peaks on the horizon. The event follows the same concept as last year featuring a 70 km main race, which qualifies for the Grandmaster Quest. Less ambitious runners can also opt for 35 km and 15 km, but it's the longest distance only that counts for the ATM Championship.
The camping area for all runners at the Heritage Site is still the venue for start and finish, and there is still no connectivity neither (so race updates will come with delay this weekend).
Experienced Belgian ultrarunner Luc Hapers ranks among the top favourites this weekend, alongside Russian Yura Shtankov, a race winner at home and abroad. Of course, the local Kazakh athletes cannot be underestimated neither. There will be more opportunities to show their talents on the trail soon, as the Altai Ultra Trail is not too far away, and another race in Almaty is under preparation for later this year.