Posts tagged russia
Mt Falaza Ultra Trail, door to eastern Russia

Eastern Russia, and in particular the Vladivostok-Primorye region, is gradually becoming a hub for outdoor sports in this part of the year. Autumn turns the landscape in this part of the world to its most beautiful, with many different colours everywhere. For the second time, Asia Trail Master is happy to promote a modest but great trail race here in its championship series. The Mount Falaza Ultra Trail is a 50K run through forests and a rocky mountain, Falaza, with an elevation that will get the respect of the more technical trail runners in the field of participants. This weekend's main race, which starts and finishes at the Gribanovka Ski Resort, measures 60 km and an elevation gain of 1830 hm. Shorter distances are also available for the less ambitious. 

Race director Alexey Chacklov is himself an excellent multisport athlete, who is known for his exploits in adventure racing in China, as well as on the MTB. Mount Falaza Ultra Trail is one of his event babies, and him and his team are looking forward to welcoming ever more international runners to his event. This year's race favourites are expected to be locals with Vladimir Popov arguably as the man to beat. Nadezhda Hosanenko is another one to watch out for. 

Pavel Rozanov is Talking Trail Running

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.

What is your ambition for this event? 
Of course we would like to see our race among the worthiest races of the Ultra-trail World Tour... But speaking more realistically, the aim is to engage more and more strong trail runners.

Q: Can you say a bit more about the area in which the event takes place?
The race takes place on the territory of the Belukha Nature Park. It is part of the World Heritage Site dubbed The Golden Mountains of Altai. The region represents an important and original centre of biodiversity of mountain plant and animal species in northern Asia, a number of which are rare and endemic. Mt. Belukha is not only the highest point of all Siberia, it's also a sacred mountain for native Altai people.

Q: Talking about trekking, how tough is the climb on Mt Belukha? 
It’s not very tough, meaning that anyone in good physical condition could climb Mt. Belukha. At 4509 m it is the highest Siberian mountain. It's worth to keep in mind though that it takes at least 3 days from the base camp, provided the weather is good.

Q: Is trail running popular in Siberian Russia?
Trail running is becoming more and more popular following the trend in the rest of the world, I suppose. Some years ago nobody knew about trail running but now a lot of people practice trail running and still more are interested in giving it a shot.

Q: What is the connection between Altai Ultra Trail, and another ATM points race, the Tengri Ultra Trail in Kazakhstan? 
We collaborate and promote each other; and as a bonus, winners of one race can participate in the other without an entry fee.

Q: Is it easy for Russian runners to travel abroad to other trail races in the Asia Trail Master championship series?
No, it’s not easy because they are in remote locations, especially for runners from the European part of Russia. Also, the trail races of the Asia Trail Master series unfortunately are less known than the European trail races so that runners would rather go to Europe to run there than going to Asia.

Q: How do you see the future development of trail running in Russia?
One can only hope that the quantity of both races and trail runners will one day turn into quality :)

Q: Many athletics federations in Asia do not recognise trail running as a genuine discipline. How's that in Russia?
We had the same problem here in Russia, however this year the situation has started to change. The Russian Athletics Federation established a trail running committee which now cooperates with Russian Trail Running Association in order to specify trail running as a genuine discipline.

Q: Should trail running become recognised as an olympic sport?
 I don’t think it`s possible, or necessary for that matter. So much depends on the weather or a specific terrain where the race is held… there are just too many variables.

Q: What is your favourite piece of running music?
Actually, I enjoy the sounds of nature; my running music is singing of birds, whispering rustling of leaves and soft patter of rain.

Run for ATM points in the Altai Ultra Trail in Siberia

Altai Ultra Trail in deep Siberian Russia was one of the more remote and mysterious Asia Trail Master Candidate Races this year, and we are happy to announce that the event will be an official Asia Trail Master points race in 2017. Altai Ultra Trail is the first mountain trail ultramarathon in Siberia. Organised by the Mountain Trail Sports Club, the race takes place on the territory of the Belukha Nature Park and it is part of the World Heritage Site entitled Golden Mountains of Altai. The trail route does not cross any terrain touched by civilization. To get there requires a significant amount of travel time, but your efforts will be duly rewarded. The event has actually been moved forward to the first weekend of July. 

Altai Ultra Trail will consist of several different race categories and formats.  You can opt for a 160 km duo team race over 3 days or you can also run individually in races over 105 km, 55 km and 35 km.  The longer distances will lead uphill to the foot of Mt. Belukha (4509 m) - the highest point of Altai and all Siberia, the sacramental mountain for native Altai people. 

 The duo team race will be held on 29 June - 01 July:

  • 1 day - 70km, 3500m elevation gain
  • 2 day - 30km, 1800m elevation gain
  • 3 day - 60km, 2000m elevation gain
  • Total 160km, 7300m ascent

The overnight stops are obligatory and will occur in the tourist camp provided by the local organizers. Transport of equipment to this tourist camp (and backward) will be organized also.

The individual races will follow more or less the same trails as in this year's first edition.  For the Asia Trail Master championship point chasers, the 105 km individual race will be credited with maximum 400 performance points for the winner and act as the A-race, whereas the duo team race will have a maximum of 200 performance points and the 55 km 100 performance points for the fastest runners. Both the team race and the 105 k single race are also in the Grandmaster Quest. The 105 km race has a total elevation gain of 3700 hm. 

International runners should fly into Novosibirsk first. A major hub in Siberia, Novosibirsk may well be worth a day of sightseeing before embarking on a 12-hour drive to Tyungur village in the Ust-Koksinsky district in Altai. One shorter alternative is to transit to domestic airport Gorno Altaisk first, and then do a 7-8 hour drive. 

Registration for the event will open in January 2017. Stay tuned for further news, updates and prerequisites on the Altai Ultra Trail via this website cover page and our social media channels. 

Please check out the trailer below of the 2016 edition. 

Race preview - UT Jeju & Mount Falaza UT

This weekend there are two points races on the Asia Trail Master schedule: Ultra Trail Jeju in South Korea, and Mount Falaza Ultra Trail in Eastern Russia. Both races are young and keen to develop further into important races on the Asian trail calendar. UT Jeju is a three-day stage race of 100 km in total, while Mt Falaza UT features a 50 km and 39 km race valid for Asia Trail Master points on and around the Falaza mountain that characterises the Promorye region in the very far East of Russia, close to Vladivostok. 

This Friday, approx 110 runners will begin the stage race on the beautiful Jeju Island that belongs to South Korea. On day 1, they are supposed to climb the highest peak of the island, Mt Halla, in a race of 30 km. Day 2 and 3 consist of 36k and 34k respectively. Two weeks ago, harsh weather conditions forced the organisers of Ultra Trail Mount Jiri to reduce their event to 50k, but this weekend should not be that dramatic. 

Mount Falaza Ultra Trail is hosted by the Gribanovka Ski Resort, a popular place for skiing in winter and now also increasingly so for trail running and adventure racing. While still a boutique event this year, the local organiser is a well-known and respected athlete in the North Asia region himself, who is highly motivated to develop the event in the years to come. Trail running is also in eastern Russia still a very young sport. Participants can combine the race with a city visit to Vladivostok, as shuttle bus transport to and from the Gribanovka Ski Resort is arranged by the race organiser. 

As always, via our social media channels you can stay tuned to the action on the scene! 

The Siberian forest on and around Mt Falaza, scene of Sunday's Mt Falaza Ultra Trail 

The Siberian forest on and around Mt Falaza, scene of Sunday's Mt Falaza Ultra Trail 

Ultra Trail Jeju caters for all types of runners in a three-day stage race

Ultra Trail Jeju caters for all types of runners in a three-day stage race

2017 Candidate Race - Altai Ultra Trail a success

The Altai Ultra Trail in Siberian Russia certainly ranks among the more remote trail races in Asia, yet over 200 domestic runners made the trip to race 100 km, 50 km or 30 km in the mountainous border region between Russia, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Altai Ultra Trail was a Candidate Race for the 2017 Asia Trail Master series.  

Despite rather chilly and cloudy weather, the event went very well. Race director Pavel Rozanov: "The 1st edition of Altai Ultra Trail exceeded our own expectations, it was great! Most runners told us afterwards they will return next year, which is the best feedback we could have imagined."

Mikhail Kozyr from Novosibirsk proved to be the outstanding athlete on the longest distance, as he completed the 100 km in 15:46:41, nearly two hours faster than his nearest competitors Viktor Krasnousov and Renat Zharmulhambetov. Best woman was Sofia Beitzel in 19:58:54, ahead of Tatiana Maslova and Nadezhda Bondareva. We are looking forward to see all these runners also compete for points in the Asia Trail Master championship soon. 

On the event website of Altai Ultra Trail, you can find several photo sets and videos of this year's event. 

Eastern Russia is also represented in this year's Asia Trail Master series via the Mount Falaza Ultra Trail in Primorye, close to Vladivistok,  on 16 October. The race there goes through pristine autumn forest and the climb of Mt Falaza. Read more about the Mt Falaza Trail Challenge here. 

Check out these upcoming 2017 Candidate Races !
Asia Trail Master-2017-candidate race..jpg

While this year's Asia Trail Master series is in full swing, we are already beginning to look ahead to 2017 as well. The following three events taking place in June and July have applied to be points scoring races next year and thus are labelled Candidate Races. We will be providing a race report on each of those three events, and of course also welcome comments from participants.  

Stay up-to-date on our 2017 Candidate Races, races Beyond Asia, and great road running events in our designated section.

BATURU TRAIL - Liaoning Province, Northeastern China on 5 June. The event features a tough 50km with approx 3500 Hm in the beautiful hills of Benxi near Shenyang. 

BATURU TRAIL - Liaoning Province, Northeastern China on 5 June. The event features a tough 50km with approx 3500 Hm in the beautiful hills of Benxi near Shenyang. 

Mount Hamiguitan Trail, Mindanao Island in Philippines on 26 June. Another 50km on a famous mountain that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enter the area via Davao. 

Mount Hamiguitan Trail, Mindanao Island in Philippines on 26 June. Another 50km on a famous mountain that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enter the area via Davao. 

Altai Ultra Trail, Siberia in Russia on 15 to 17 July. A new event for adventurers with three race distances. Altai borders Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan and is a remote mountain region. You need time to get there (via Novosibirsk, ideally) but your perseverance will certainly be rewarded! 

Altai Ultra Trail, Siberia in Russia on 15 to 17 July. A new event for adventurers with three race distances. Altai borders Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan and is a remote mountain region. You need time to get there (via Novosibirsk, ideally) but your perseverance will certainly be rewarded! 

Mount Falaza Trail Challenge in Primorye on 16 October

After the test edition last year, the popular Gribanovka Ski Resort in Russia's Primorsky Krai is organising the first official Mount Falaza Trail Challenge on 16 October. A hilly race through a forested area over 60, 40 or 16km with maximum 2500 metres of elevation gain. It is the first ever Russian event in the Asia Trail Master series and also the most northern one. Prepare for a new exciting trail running and cultural experience!

Primorsky Krai, also known as Primorye, is a province in the far East of Russia, bordering China and North Korea, and having Vladivostok as its administrative centre. Primorsky means maritime and that is no coincidence as the province also borders the Sea of Japan to the east. Participants will enter the region via Vladivostok, which has international connections by air, sea and land. Worth visiting by itself, of course, runners and their partners can explore the city and stay overnight, before hopping onto the event bus at noon on Saturday. Gribanovka and its ski resort is a 175km or 2 hour bus ride away from Vladivostok. Runners will stay at the resort on Saturday night before the race on Sunday morning. All hotel and transport services can be booked when you sign up for the race. 

The race is centred around Mount Falaza (1279m), a mountain located at the southern end of the Sikhote-Alin range, which is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is an area known for its large biodiversity.  In autumn, the forest shows itself in many colours.  The event hosts at the Gribanovka resort, a favourite skiing destination for regional people in winter, have substantial experience in organising adventure, MTB and ski races. 

You can read more details of the event via our event cover page. Registration for the race goes via our online form. 

Finishers of the 60km and 40km races will score 100 Asia Trail Master finisher points, plus performance points according to their race result.