This weekend will see the first ever major trail running race in Kazakhstan take place along the Ili River Valley in Tamsgaly Tas, approximately 120km from Almaty in the east of the country. The Tengri Ultra Trail over 50km or 25km will be characterised by superb views and an endless horizon. Mixed with the green colours of the grasslands will be the bright red of the local flowers.
About 300 runners are expected to start the race from a campsite at te Ili River in the early morning of Sunday. Among them also a number of international runners from Hong Kong (supported by Air Astana and Action Asia magazine) and China, who will claim a sort of pioneering role as Kazakhstan is bound to become a popular destination for adventure lovers. Also because the local population is discovering the pleasures of outdoor activities, and cycling, skiing and running in particular. The Tengri Ultra Trail also plays the adventure angle, as all participants are expected to camp and sleep in tents on Saturday night before the race. There is no wifi or mobile service neither in the area. Security measures have been taken all along the trail, though, and the 50km and 25km participants will be looping in opposite directions.
The winners of the 50km race, men and women, will score 450 points for the Asia Trail Master ranking. Podium placers this weekend will also receive prizes by ATMs partners Newline Sport and Simple Hydration.
A report and main results will be published here on Monday, and a more comprehensive feature article on the event will be published in a summer edition of Action Asia magazine.