At the end of Q2 in this year's Asia Trail Master Championship series we find an odd-one out, if one could say so, on the race calendar. The Altai Ultra Trail is certainly the most remote event of all, but that should not deter anyone. In fact, the Altai Ultra Trail is a popular race in Siberian Russia and the area where it takes place is quite simply breathtaking. Being one with nature is no exaggeration when out there! Moreover, the event is held over several days and offers various race distances and even a three-day-duo team race. The organiser and race director knows the Altai area like the back of his hand. Pavel Rozanov grew up in the closest city Novosibirsk and is a mountaineering fiend. Via the Altai Ultra Trail, which he set up last year (it was an ATM Candidate Race, too) Pavel wishes to show his native region to the world. A great opportunity to get to know Pavel Rozanov a bit better, and we were happy to talk trail running with him! If you are keen on joining him and his team, check out our cover page of the Altai Ultra Trail event, which has links to the registration module on the event's own website. Please note that registrations are ending next week.
By Kris Van de Velde
Q:Where were you born and did you grow up ?
PR: I was born and grew up in Novosibirsk (unofficially dubbed "the capital city of Siberia”); after graduation from the University I moved to Moscow and lived there for 15 years until finally returning to Novosibirsk 3 years ago.
Q: What created your interest in running and trail running in particular?
My interest in trail running stems from my continuous mountaineering activity in the past which gradually transformed into this just as mountain-involving but a less risky activity.
Q: Are you a runner yourself? What's been some of your greatest performances?
Yes, I do practice trail running with great inspiration but for myself I prefer individual self-supported treks (as opposed to organized races).
Q: What do you do for a living?
I am a manager of architectural design projects.
Q:The Altai Ultra Trail attracts a lot of attention. How would you describe the event in a nutshell?
The Altai Ultra-Trail is a wild demanding race in a WILDLY beautiful environment.
Q: Should non-Russian speakers be worried about making the long trip to Altai?
While the trip is long there is nothing to worry about because once you take our shuttle bus in the Novosibirsk airport (or in downtown Novosibirsk) all you really have to take care of is taking pictures, and that is especially true about the second part of the journey (the Chuysky Trakt) which was named one of the most amazing and scenic roads in the world by the National Geographic magazine. And when you reach the start area our English-speaking volunteers will help you with all the arrangements so I'm sure the language problems are overestimated. A lot of foreign tourists and mountaineers visit this region of Altai every season, so the staff of the local hotels/base camps is used to dealing with foreigners.
The shuttle bus from Novosibirsk to the starting point of the race and back is on request, runners need to fill in an application form when registering for the race. Estimated dates are 27/06, 28/06, 29/06, with departure at 21:00-22:00 from the city center. Total travel time is approximately 14-15 hours. Other options available upon request.
Q: Being in such a remote place, how do you handle runner's security?
The race takes place on the territory of the Belukha Nature Park. While it's a remote place it is also a touristic spot so it's in everyone’s interest to ensure safety there. In addition, the organizers arrange insurance policy for every runner so a helicopter evacuation will be organized in case of heavy injury during the race.
Q: What's the highest altitude runners reach during the Altai Ultra Trail?
The highest altitude runners reach is 3060 meters, two spots at the 105th and 155th km of the race. For the 50 km race the highest point is approx 2600 meters.