Running Adventure: With Horsemen and Yaks in the Mongolian Wilderness

Running Adventure: With Horsemen and Yaks in the Mongolian Wilderness

Runners from 20 countries participated in the 14th Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset – said to be the most pristine 100km and 42km run on the planet. The non-profit event supports environmental projects in Hovsgol National Park, Mongolia.

MS2S

Wildflowers and pristine mountains: MS2S runners enjoy a unique scenery. Photo Credit: ms2s.org (Darko Todorovic)

 

 

Stunning seas of wildflowers, the crystal clear, mighty Lake Hovsgol, horse treks along the lake, steep mountain treks, alpine forests of taiga, lush green hills, vast open space and untouched nature. The adventure run Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset (MS2S) takes place in a fairy-tale part of the world, earning itself a reputation as the most beautiful 100km and 42 km on the planet. For the 14th time, international runners from 20 countries gathered in Hovsgol National Park in Northern Mongolia for this annual challenge.

 

New Record: 10:03 Hours

The 14th Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset on 1 August – the Swiss national day – ended with a Swiss victory in a new record time. Florian Vieux finished in 10:03 hours, running not only for 100km, but also overcoming a total elevation gain/loss of not less than 3,365 meters. The 21 year old runner Bat Ulzi Sandagdorj, the youngest son of a local nomad family, was the fastest on the 42km marathon distance.

 

Challenging Race, Adventurous Week

The race is as challenging as it is beautiful: Equipped with torches, the runners start out at 4:30am into the dark woods for the first two kilometres of horse tracks, before following the lakeside dirt road and watching the sunrise over Lake Hovsgol. The winding, steep track up to Chichee pass at 2’255 meters above sea level is the first of many tough challenges. Up on the mountain, runners and Mongolian horsemen alike enjoy a stunning panoramic view all the way to the Siberian mountains in the north.

 

Mongolian horseman in front of aid station

Mongolian horseman in front of an aid station. Photo Credit: ms2s.org (Darko Todorovic)

 

And the nature remains that spectacular throughout the race: Mossy forests, green hills, craggy mountains. The race is very special, and so is the whole race week: The international runners live in cosy Mongolian gers at the shores of Lake Hovsgol, where they acclimatise to the altitude of 1,600 meters and explore the nature with fishing, kayaking, hiking, horseback-riding and mountain biking before and after race day. Early bird travel packages for the 2013 race week are available from 1 October on www.ms2s.org.

 

Environmental Projects

The Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset is organised on a non-profit basis and all proceeds are used to keep Hovsgol National Park pristine and to support the culture of the local population via the ecoLeap foundation registered in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Pure Mongolia

Pure Mongolia: A horsemen enjoys the mountain panorama. Photo Credit: ms2s.org (Darko Todorovic)

 

"The proceeds from the event and participants' donations have funded the set-up cost for the litter control project and its ongoing operation: including hiring park rangers dedicated to litter control, providing eco-friendly garbage bags, and raising awareness nation-wide through TV ads and education of local children and families", explains race director Angie Eagan. "We want to keep this pristine mountain area as beautiful as it is now and to make the nomads proud of their abilities and culture."

 

 

 

 

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