Europe’s Jewel: The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc


Columbia Hong Kong team enjoying the surrounding trails of Chamonix. Photo: Alexis Berg

| Full article available [FREE] in Asia Trail magazine HERE |

Ultra runners worldwide grin with glee, break into an instant sweat, immediately start daydreaming, and burn with race-day anticipation when the famed ultra-talk acronym UTMB crosses their minds and escapes their lips. Since the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc’s beginning, the event has drawn revered attention and received iconic status — an event whose mountain views will stop the most serious racer in his tracks, and whose camaraderie and spectatorship rivals that of Tour de France’s.

China’s Long-Fei Yan — who won the Hong Kong 100, both in 2015 and 2016 — says about the UTMB: “It’s just like the Olympic Games, and all the participants can test their running standard in this race.” Long-Fei adds: “It’s the greatest race I have ever run with the most participants and the most events. In most Chinese runners’ eyes, it’s a sacred race and they are very proud to run the it.”

Jeff ‘BroncoBilly’ Browning entered the race in 2015, and has not been the same since: “It’s awesome and the race atmosphere is truly electric. The mountain culture is so deep in the Alps that you can’t help loving the race. The spectator turnout is amazing and it gives you so much energy to run through the villages and high-five lines of kids. People are all over the course — even in the middle of the night.”

A Stacked Field of Racers

As always, the 2017 UTMB has attracted a massive field of athletes. The elite entry list is long and full of experienced and highly qualified racers. Topping the list are runners such as, Kílian Jornet, Jim Walmsley, François D’Haene, Xavier Thévenard, Sage Canaday, Gediminas Grinius, and Dylan Bowman.

The women’s race will be just as exciting, with top runners including Núria Picas, Magdalena Boulet, Andrea Huser, Juliette Blanchet, Kaori Niwa, and Pui Yan Chow.

I asked Sage Canaday, a top podium pick, how he feels about the competition this year: “Looking at the competition it appears to be the most competitive mountain-ultra-trail race in history with a lot of repeat champions, top-ranked runners, and a long list of favourites. My goal is always to try to win, but ultimately I want to run the best race that I can.”

How to Run and Train For It

The #1 training priority in any ultra-distance event is building a solid base. And the same rule holds true for the UTMB.

Long-Fei Yan says: “If a runner wants to run good in the race, he needs to prepare at least 3-4 months for the race. System training, core training, and recovery after the training are very important.”

An interesting suggestion from Bowman is to hire a coach with specific experience training runners for events like the UTMB. He feels this is one of the best ways to train and prepare for the race: “I think prioritising time and vertical over mileage in training is important to prepare for the relentlessly mountainous course. Having good lighting gear and a solid nutrition strategy are also important.”

Here’s a top suggestion from most runners, including Manikala Rai: “Come in advance. Two weeks is a minimum. It permits you to adapt to jet lag, change of climate, new food, etc.”

Browning agrees, emphasising the importance of getting in lots of climbing and descending before race day, a sure way of familiarising oneself with the Alps’ unique terrain. He adds a note on pace: “I think it’s important to not get too caught up in the hoopla and early fast pace that UTMB is known for. The field is so deep and coupled with the electric energy of the crowd, it makes it easy to run too hard early. You have to be ready for the latter tough miles that come with long ultras in the mountains.”

Holly Rush’s top UTMB training suggestion: “Just run lots! If possible I would try to see the route before the race, this really helped me decide on the right kit and shoes and what was coming next. If this isn’t possible, then do lots of climbing practice with poles (I used poles for the first time and they really helped) and spend plenty of time on your feet. I would also practice with different foods. Expect the lows. In a race this long you will go through bad patches. Just keep moving forward and soon you will come through it.”

As Rush observed, you don’t even need to be racing to enjoy the festival atmosphere. During race week, Chamonix turns into a running mecca, with thousands of people hanging out to run and to support the runners.

By Clint Cherepa. Full article available in Asia Trail magazine (August 2017). 

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Tsang Dominates Hong Kong Trail Running Awards

Stone Tsang receiving the Altra Lifetime Achievement Awards. Photo by Lucien Chan

Stone Tsang receiving the Altra Lifetime Achievement Awards. Photo by Lucien Chan

Local trail running champion, Stone Tsang, was the big winner as the Hong Kong trail running community gathered on July 21 to recognise outstanding performances from the 2016/17 season. Nominated for six awards, Tsang took home three, including the Andy Naylor Sportsmanship and Altra Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Reflecting on his multiple wins, Stone reflected, “For me, it’s an amazing night and it’s an honor to win three awards. I’m very happy to get the support of so many people and I’m very lucky. Thank you to the community and Gone Running.”

Another stand out was Canadian Jeff Campbell, who claimed the blue ribbon Green Race Male Runner of the Year on the back of 12 wins in 13 races. Amazingly, Campbell bought his first trail shoes less than three years ago. For the ladies, over a dozen local wins and a top 10 finish at the Ultra Trail World Tour saw New Zealand’s Marie McNaughton’s make it back-to-back victories, comfortably winning the WAA Female Runner of the Year.

Despite seeing only 22 starters, the 298km Hong Kong 4 Trails Ultra Challenge was well represented, with the magic 60 hour cut-off broken for the first time in six years. Tsang’s win in the Runivore Best Solo Run was based on his second placed 54:15 finish, as well as his monumental fundraising effort, raising over $500,000 for sports-based charities. Unluckily beaten for the solo run prize, race winner, Tom Robertshaw, received the Alpinamente Sponsors Award.

The awards also acknowledge the crucial behind-the-scenes work of race organisers and volunteers. The Vibram Hong Kong 100 claimed the 2XU Best Race gong for the second year running, while RaceBase’s 9 Dragons – challenging back-to-back 50 mile and 50km courses over a single weekend – won the Black Diamond Best New Race. Local snapper, Sunny Lee, picked up the inaugural Ultimate Direction Best Trail Running Photo trophy.

The awards are organised by Gone Running (, a local community trail running store in Wanchai, and winners are based on public voting. A groundswell of interest saw this year’s online voting double to 5,852 returned ballots, while big name trail running brands like Salomon, Joint Dynamics and Tailwind also strongly backed the awards night with over $35,000 of prizes.



WAA Female Runner of the Year – Marie McNaughton

Green Race Male Runner of the Year – Jeff Campbell

2XU Master Runner of the Year – Janine Canham

Joint Dynamics Youth Runner of the Year – Tang Ying Fei Nathania

Salomon Most Improved Female Runner – Frances Lai

Tailwind Most Improved Male Runner – Nick Cook

Runivore Best Solo Run – Stone Tsang

RaceBase Best Team Run – Team Japan

Andy Naylor Sportsmanship Award – Stone Tsang

2XU Best Race – Vibram Hong Kong 100

Black Diamond Best New Race – 9 Dragons

Ultimate Direction Best Trail Running Photo – Sunny Lee

Icebreaker Community Award – Filipina Extreme Hikers

Altra Lifetime Achievement Award – Stone Tsang

Alpinamente Sponsors Award – Tom Robertshaw

What Record for Kilian Jornet and the Everest?

Kilian Jornet successfully completed his last “Summits of my life ” climbing the Everest (8,848 m) with his minimalist approach: no assistance, no fixed rope and no oxygen supply. Jornet via his press agent announced to have the FKT (Fastest Known Time) from Rongbuk monastery to the summit, with a time of 26h. Is it really a new record ?

summits Life

Stomach pain slowed down Kilian Jornet on his ascent

Starting the ascent from the Everest Base Camp at 5,100m on May 20th at 10pm local time, Jornet reached the summit 26 hours later at midnight on the night 21-22 May. He severely suffered, however, from stomach issues from 7,700 m, which drastically reduced his progression, having to move slowly and “stop his record attempt” on his way back to the advanced base camp at 6,400m, i.e. not going back to the start location. His starting point was the monastery Rongbuk at the end of the official road, 3km south of Rongbuk. This point is what the operators call EBC for Everest Base Camp. This is not what the alpinists name Advanced Base Camp (ABC) which is higher at 6,400 m.

Therefore, Jornet started his ascent with an extra 15km from 5,100m to 6,400 m that he covered in a record time of 4h35min, which is phenomenal. Once he reached the ABC at 2:35am, he rested 2h to optimize his energy for the final ascent. At 4:30am, he left ABC for a non-stop climb to the summit. He met his friend and photographer Sebastien Montaz on his way between 7,600 and 7,800m. Montaz filmed him up to 8,000m. Jornet started to suffer from stomach pain at 7,500m. “ I did not feel well and I was moving very slowly. I had to stop every few steps, but I was fine with the altitude so I decided to continue” said Kilian who decided to rest for 15min at 8,300m. “I saw  a beautiful sunset when I finally reached the summit at midnight. I was alone and I saw all the headlamps of the different expeditions from both north and south sides. I started the descent right away” said Jornet, safely back to ABC 38h later at around 12:15 on May 22nd.


What are the current records of the Everest?

If we look at the ascents without oxygen, there are only few contenders. On the Nepalese side ascent, Marc Batard climbed in 22h29min. From the Tibetan side, same way as Jornet did, there are two records recognized by Guinness Book hold by Hans Kammerlander in 16h45min in 1996 ABC (6,400m). In 2006, the Austrian Christian Stangl established a similar time in 16h42min still from ABC to summit. These two alpinists covered, however, a significantly shorter distance than Jornet. From this point of view, Jornet has the record from Rongbuk and he is the only one to date to have attempted the ascent from that far. If we look at the times, Jornet took 19h30min to 20h to reach the summit from ABC (excluding his rest time at ABC), an extra 3h than the previous record from ABC to the summit explains Rudolph Popier, a specialist of Himalaya and member of Himalayan Data Base.

Interestingly, during his training period, Jornet established a new record of the best progression above 8,000m. He climbed up to 8,400 meters from ABC in less than 6h. That’s 350m/h for a 2,000m elevation gain. Only Denis Urubko did 298m/h on 2,235m during his record of Gasherbrum 2, while few Sherpas matched this vertical speed.

Therefore, Jornet did not establish an official record, but he did his own record his own way like he did for the Mont Blanc when starting from the church of Chamonix or Courmayeur. Up to 200 alpinists climbed Everest without oxygen, which is already a huge accomplishment. A witness at ABC, Adrian Ballinger said that Jornet may consider another attempt…

Article adapted from Wider magazine article

Mira Rai Found Her Chance

Mira Rai

Photo by Martina Valmassoi


“Everything is bonus here! Free flight, free bus — everything free!” reports Mira Rai by phone from her home district of Bhojpur in eastern Nepal. “Now I am a little bit up here! Wow!” She’s referring to her newly elevated status as a hero of her district, complete with VIP treatment. “Here, network a little bit problem. OK, bye-bye time. Ciao ciao!” and she continued on the two-day journey to her village.

Rai’s spoken English has its own system of grammar, in which ‘Wow’ and ‘Ha ha’ serve as punctuation, but it also conveys happy disbelief in her still-unfolding fairytale, a zero-to-hero story with a fast-paced plot line.

In the fall of 2013, Rai was prepared to go to Malaysia to work in a factory, but at the last minute, her former karate instructor invited her to come to Kathmandu and train for track and road racing. Bearing in mind her strength and endurance, he suggested 10,000m might be her best event.

The venture was not entirely successful. Unable to afford the small fee to train at the stadium, Rai phoned a coach for training plans, and was often prescribed a counter-productive slog along the heavily polluted ring road around Kathmandu. She improved this regimen by running up a hill to a scenic viewpoint most mornings. She’d never heard of trail running, or “hilly up-down running,” as she called it.

By March 2014, with just 20 rupees left, Rai was ready to quit Kathmandu for home, when, on her viewpoint morning run, she met two other runners who invited her to a ‘game,’ a race, that Saturday morning. She showed up for the tough Himalayan Outdoor Festival 50km in a cotton t-shirt, tracksuit pants, and $3 running shoes. Nine hours, a hailstorm, and a washed-out trail later, Rai was the first and only female finisher. She accepted prizes of $80 and a pair of Salomon shoes, and her trail-running career was born.

Fifteen months later, Rai won the prestigious Mont-Blanc 80km in Italy, breaking Emelie Forsberg’s course record. The finish-line photo showed Rai, beaming, holding the Nepali flag above her head.

“I was thinking if I could win that race, while my country was crying [due to the earthquake], I could bring a small bit of happiness. I believe the timing was important,” she said. She was right: Rai made the front page of the national daily newspapers, pushing tedious politics aside. “She did something good for Nepal,” said a shop owner in Kathmandu. “It is very good.”

“After my birthday, this is the best day of my life,” she said of the Mont Blanc race, her longest effort yet. “I was running with Hillary [Allen], just staying behind. I took it a bit easily. Really enjoyed. Wow, checkpoints they have fruit, everything, to eat,” she said, making a mouth-filling motion with both hands. “You can drink so much you have to spit it out! Near every checkpoint — ‘Allez allez,’ ‘Dai dai,’ cow bells tung tung tung. I am ‘Hello, hi everybody,’” she laughs. “At 65km, I said, ‘Let’s go, Hillary,’ and started a little bit fast. First sister [Anna Comet Pascua of Spain] was walking hands on legs. I am just walking normally, and passed her. I met Greg [Vollet, of team Salomon] at 70km. ‘Wow Mira, you are very strong,’ Greg said. OK, I will try. Bye-bye Greg brother, then I am going, and I ran hard.”

Tite Togni, a trail runner who has hosted Rai in Italy the past two summers, said this about her sponge-like aptitude: “She’s a fast learner, adapting very quickly to situations, which I bet comes from her practical schooling (agriculture) — not too much theory. In Italy, every morning before training she watched Kíllian [Jornet] videos to learn.”

The trajectory of her trail-running career has been as steep as some of the trails. Just over 12 months from her first competitive race found her challenging reigning champion Emelie Forsberg for the Skyrunning World Championships at the 109km Ultra Pirineu in Spain. Rai finished in second place, just 4min back. “I started the competition too soon,” she said at dinner a few hours after the finish. She passed Núria Picas, caught up to Forsberg, and took the lead too early in the race, which gave Forsberg a chance to recover and launch her next attack. “Next time, I will do it better,” she said.

Rai is small — 48kg, 160cm — and strong, built for endurance, but the key to her success is not merely physical. She uses the word chance frequently, as in, “Wow, good chance I have.” Her climbing friend gave her comment context, describing the life of a woman in a remote village as “enduringly monotonous.” Rai’s first chance to escape this bleak future came when she was 14 years old, and the Maoist army came recruiting towards the end of their 10-year insurgency. Fully aware of the limitations of village life, Rai was always on the lookout for opportunities, and was driven to make those opportunities work. The Maoist rebels represented an opportunity, a chance to do something different and disprove “the feeling that I am inferior to other people.” Telling her mother she’d be back in a week, she joined the Maoist rebels for two years.

Her climbing instructor, Niraj Karki, noted another advantageous attribute: “Mira doesn’t overthink things.” She has Rai logic. Pre-race nerves? “No,” she said, “I have training. If I had not done it, then I would be nervous. If I run according to my training, then it’s OK. No need to be nervous.” Is she upset if she comes second? “No, the other guy was stronger. Now I know what I need to do next time.” Is she usually happy? “Yes, of course. Every day I am happy, why not? It’s important!”

She’s also bold in new situations. Often out of her comfort zone in new places with new people and limited language skills, she forges ahead with sunny optimism. Giving an interview on Spanish television? “No problem, I will try.”

Rai is a role model for young people in Nepal. Her story has been featured widely in national dailies, on the BBC world service, on websites like, and even a 500,000 circulation women’s fashion magazine. She’s depicted in murals in several cities, has 14,561 likes on her Facebook page, and is the subject of a documentary film, to be released in early December. The impact of her success has been felt in the worldwide trail-running community, and close to home: Rai reported that the schoolteacher in her home village organised a 4km trail race, including her parents’ house as a checkpoint along the course.

“My hope is to help sisters and to influence Nepali women, to say that we have power as well, and we can do anything. I want them to know that,” Rai said.

With money from prizes, sponsors, and fundraisers from proud Nepali organisations, she’s become one of the few athletes able to survive on sports income alone. But she realises that she must prepare for the future, like other young Nepalis who look up to her, and continues to pursue her education, as well as training.

Rai plans to spend the remaining months of 2015 resting before gearing up for next year’s demanding race schedule. She’s been invited to the very competitive Zegama trail race in Spain, and is considering races in China where the prize money is attractive. If it looks like a good chance, she will try and make it work.

It’s been said that champions will find a way to be successful, no matter what. Rai demonstrates that determination: “If I’d not found running I would have done something; I wouldn’t just be idle. I would be searching for other chances.” She’s found her chance, and has started to change the world a little for others.

Richard Bull lives and runs in Kathmandu, Nepal. He organises stage races in the Himalayas and a few ultras in the hills around the Kathmandu Valley.


Side Bar

  • Name: Mira Rai
  • Age: 27
  • Nationality: Nepalese
  • Sponsor: Salomon
  • Running résume: 1st in MSIG HK50 Sai Kung (Asia Skyrunning Championship), 1st in Mont Blanc 80k, 2nd in Tromsø Skyrace, 2nd in Ultra Pirineu. Rank No. 2 in 2015 Ultra Skymarathon Series.
  • Typical training day: 1-2 hour of stretching and run before breakfast, and another 2 hours in the afternoon. For longer training sessions, she will run three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. Rai also has to study English at the language center six hours a day.

By Richard Bull


Heat Wave at the World’s Most-Competitive Ultra

UTMB winner Ludovic Pommeret. Photo by Alexis Berg

UTMB winner Ludovic Pommeret. Photo by Alexis Berg

Despite a hectic Ultra-Trail World Tour calendar,Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) remains a standout race for many elites, given the race’s rich tradition, stunning mountain scenery, consistently world-class field, and the sheer difficulty of the 170km course. It has always taken something magical to win — and 2016 was no different.

This year, 2,555 runners toed the start line, with a mouth-watering line up that included previous podium finishers Luis Alberto Hernando, David Laney, and Tòfol Castanyer, plus last year’s Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix’s first and second Americans Zach Miller and Tim Tollefson, and Lithuanian powerhouse Gediminas Grinius.

In the women’s field, course record-holder Rory Bosio would be joined by 2015 second- and third-place getters, Uxue Fraile and Denise Zimmermann, as well as Switzerland’s Andrea Huser (who recently crushed Lavaredo), 2015 Western States champ Magdalena Boulet, and local favourite Caroline Chaverot (who fell agonisingly short last year, succumbing to stomach issues and leg cramps at Vallorcine, 151km mark, after leading all race).

The UTMB course circumnavigates Europe’s highest peak in a painfully difficult slog loop, starting and finishing at Chamonix, and including a number of 2,400m+ peaks, with relentless thigh-burning climbs mixed in with long technical descents. Like last year, an extra technical climb up and down Col des Pyramides would see total elevation gain at above 10,000m D+.

An additional complication for 2016 would be the weather, with daytime temperatures soaring into the high 20s, well above average with humidity, and thunderstorms forecasted for late Saturday for the mid-packers. These impediments reflected in the higher-than-average DNF rate of 42%.

Considering the higher temperatures, it was not surprising to see the race start out at a less-frenetic pace than previous year’s. Despite being his first attempt at the ‘miler’ distance, Zach Miller led out in his typical rabbiting style, joined by four Frenchmen: Julien Chorier, Fabien Antolinos, Sébastien Camus, and Ludovic Pommeret.

Miller continued to push, building a 26min lead by Grand Col Ferret (the 102km mark) — but UTMB is all about closing well (as David Laney proved last year with a barnstorming finish for third). By Champex-Lac, just 24km later, Miller had lost his lead and would fade to a still-respectable 6th place. Chorier, too, though second for most of the race, would likewise slip back and finish in 8th.

Up ahead, the race was wide open. Grinius was running his typically well-paced ‘lawnmower’ strategy, Tollefson and Laney were also pushing through the field, and Pommeret had returned from the dead after dropping back to 50th with headaches and stomach issues on the descent into Les Chapieux. Of the four new frontrunners, no one was in the top seven at the main checkpoint at Courmayeur.

From here, however, it was a one-man show, with Pommeret taking the lead on the climb up to Catogne and never looking back. While not a blowout win like the previous two years, his finish time of 22h was still a 26min gap to 2nd place Grinius (who himself was 4min ahead of Tollefson).

In contrast, the women’s race was a two-horse affair, with Chaverot dominant from the start and only Huser able to keep pace. Like last year, Chaverot began to struggle in the later stages with leg cramps, whittling her 20min advantage down to just 4min by Praz de Fort (118km). However, she dug deep to hold on for the win in 25h 15min, just 7min ahead of a fast-finishing Huser (making this year’s competition the closest women’s race in UTMB history). Third was Spain’s Fraile in 27h 10min.

Notable UTMB mentions for the Asian men included Masatoshi Obara (16th, 24h 39min ), Masazumi Fujioka (40th, 27h 39min), and Takashi Doi (43rd, 28h 2min), all from Japan, plus Hong Kong’s Wong Ho Chung (42nd, 27h 47min). For the women, excellent performances included that of Japan’s Kaori Niwa (8th, 29h 17min) plus Sophie Grant (10th, 31h 53min) and Marie McNaughton (15th, 33h 56min) from New Zealand, and China’s Yanxing Ma (17th, 34h 5min).


By John Ellis,

Stevie Kremer, Ruth Croft and Dong Li at the first Redbull Summit Quest in China

Redbull Summit Quest. photo: Jacky Boisset

Redbull Summit Quest. photo: Jacky Boisset


Rebull Summit Quest – China

The first edition of the Redbull Summit Quest was held in Golmud City, in the Kunlun mountain range in Qinghai province, China. The race was a female only event with five female invitied hand picked by Redbull. The race started at 5,000 meters and went up to 6,178 meters to Yuzhu peak and then descended the peak with a total distance of 20km. The runners had the option to acclimatise during the week before the race to get use to the altitude.

American runner Stevie Kremer came first in a time of 2:43. Myriame Guillot from France finished second in 2:47 with Taiwan based New Zealander Ruth Croft coming third in 3:15. Camila Nicolau was fourth in 3:44  and Dong Li from China was fifth in 4:50.



XTE Midsummer Race. Photo: XTE

XTE Midsummer Race. Photo: XTE


Midsummer Race 1 Tai Tam – Hong Kong

The XTE Midsummer trail race series was back in action this weekend with the first race being held at Tai Tam. The first race of the series was 10km with around 1,050 runners taking part saw runners start at Tai Tam BBQ site running down to the reserviour before starting their ascent up towards Mount Parker then on to Mount Butler before going along the Wilson trail back towards the start line. 

In the men’s race road runners dominated the race with Gi Ka Man winning the race in 44:46. Wat King Long was second in 45:55 with Hui Ho Tat third in 48:37. Darbon Nathalie came first in the female race winning in 1:00:19 with Francis Lai coming second in 1:00:26 and Miho Kawabe third overall in 1:02:16.

Top 5 men overall:

  1.  Gi Ka Man 44:46
  2.  Wat King Long 45:55
  3. Hui Ho Tat third in 48:37
  4. Yip Tung Hoi 48:38
  5. Ng Wai Hei 48:55

Top 5 women overall:

  1. Darbon Nathalie 1:00:19
  2. Francis Lai 1:00:26
  3. Miho Kawabe 1:02:16
  4. Wong Mei Yying 1:03:05
  5. Adelina Adelinda 1:04:57

More results: HERE

Rate your experience in the race: HERE

Charming Trail, Taiwan. Photo: Charming Trail.

Charming Trail, Taiwan. Photo: Charming Trail.


Charming Trail – Taiwan

The Charming Trail took place in Dongshan Township, Yilan County, Taiwan this weekend with a 7km, 21km and 50km distances on offer for runners. In the 50km there was a 3,508 meters elevation gain with a 1,388 gain for the 21km race. With a variety of single tracks, some roads, mountains and river crossings the race made for a wide variety of terrain for the runners.

In The 50km men’s race Petr Novotny from the Czech Republic won the race nearly 30 minutes ahead of the next runner in easily 5:35:28. Cory Lewandowski from the USA was second in 6:04:29 with  Zhou Ping-Ji coming third in 6:04:29. In the women’s 50km race Lin Yin-Xia came first in 7:49:48 with Xu Wan-Jun coming second in 8:07:58 and Huang Xiao-Zhun coming third in 8:17:17.

Results: HERE

Rate your experience in the race: HERE


Borneo Ultra Trail Marathon. Photo:

Borneo Ultra Trail Marathon. Photo: Borneo UTM


Borneo Ultra Trail Marathon – Malaysia

The Borneo Ultra Trail Marathon 2016 took runners through natural jungle settings and village trails and routes in the Kiulu Valley North of Kota Kinabalu and to the South-West of majestic Mount Kinabalu, South East Asia’s highest mountain.

With 4 different distances on offer for runners including a 100km, 50km, 30km and 12km. The expected altitude gain for the 100km route is 5,000 meters, 3,000 meters for the 50km and 1,200 meters for the 30km.

Tamas Karlowits-juhász from Hungary won the 100km race in a time of 16:07:03 with Safrey Sumping and Yim Heng Fatt both from Malaysia finishing second and third male in times of 16:50:33 and 22:22:37 respectively. In the women’s 100km race all the top three females were Malaysian with Adeleniah Pado finished first female with a comfortable win in a time of 22:44:26 also finishing fifth overall. Jassica Lantinga was second female across the line in 25:13:18. Evergreen Edward rounded off the podium in third place finishing in 26:10:43.

More Results: HERE

Rate your experience in this race: HERE

Mount Awa Vertical Kilometer. Photo: Trail Runners Japan

Mount Awa Vertical Kilometer. Photo: Trail Runners Japan


Mount Awa Vertical Kilometer – Japan

The Mount Awa Vertical Kilometer took place in Japan on the outskirts of Niigata over the weekend as part of the Japan Sky Running race series. The 5.7km vertical kilometer race had an elevation gain of 1,100 meters.

Results: HERE

Rate your experience in this race: HERE


Tsurugisan Super Rindo Mountain Marathon – Japan

The Tsurugisan Super Rindo Mountain Marathon was held on Sunday in Japan with runners tackling either a 53km course or a 19km course.

Results: HERE

Rate your experience in this race: HERE

Runners working in teams to complete the 50km or 100km. Photo:

Runners working in teams to complete the 50km or 100km. Photo:Running Shots


The Great Relay – Singapore

The Great Relay Singapore was back this weekend with teams collectively completing 50km or 100km on a 3.3km trail loop in a relay format. Teams consisted of 2, 4, or 6 runners, with each team member running a lap of the 3.3km loop and exchanging the baton with the following team mate upon finishing their lap.

Results: HERE

Rate your experience in this race: HERE

Cordillera Mountain Marathon. Photo:

Cordillera Mountain Marathon. Photo: Cordillera Conservation Trust


The Cordillera Mountain Marathon – Philippines

The Cordillera Mountain Ultra took place in the Cordillera Region of the Phillipines on the weekend situated on the southern slopes of Mt. Ugo in the town of Itogon. The Cordillera Mountain Ultra will featured three events: a 50km Ultra Marathon, 21km Mountain Run, and a Vertical KM.

The 50km Cordillera Mountain Ultra traversed around Mt. Ugo in Benguet. Reaching the highest point at 2,150 meters it featured long ridge lines covered in Pine forests as well as superb views of the West Philippine sea, the entire Agno River Valley as well as the Cagayan Valley of Nueva Vizcaya. The elevation gain for the 50km was 3,020 meters.

The 21km Mountain Run had an elevation gain of 1,023 meters with the Vertical Kilometer race being 4km with a steep incline of 1,000 meters elevation gain.

Results: HERE

Rate your experience in this race: HERE

Hong Kong’s Kayak n Run race series is back with lots more races across Asia this week

Deep Water Bay Kayak and Run. Photo: AAE

Deep Water Bay Kayak and Run. Photo: AAE


Royale International Kayak n Run Deep Water Bay – Hong Kong

The Royale International Kayak n Run series kicked off this weekend with the first race being held at Deep Water Bay on Hong Kong Island. With two races on the day a family 1.5km kayak and 2.5km starting before the adult race of 4km kayak and 5km trail run which saw competitors kayak around middle island back to deep water bay before starting the trail run climbing up Mount Nicolson before running back down to the beach and the finish line.  

Kurt Lynn and Ali Watts of the Gatorade Juggernauts took the overall victory and first place also in the mixed 70+ category in 1:33:46 in the adult race with Kurt following up from his earlier victory with his son Taiki Lynn in the family race just before the adult race. Team Uglow consisting of Adrien Choux and Jerome Laboulais finished second overall and first in the men’s 60+ combined age category in 1:35:35 with the Ivaders of Romian Demarre and Jeremy Borne finishing third overall and second in the men’s combined age category close behind in 1:36:05.

Overall Top 3 Teams

1st – Gatorade Juggernauts – Kurt Lynn / Ali Watts– 1:33:46

2nd – Team Uglow Asia – Adrien Choux / Jerome Laboulais – 1:35:35

3rd –ivaders– Romian Demarre / Jeremy Borne – 1:36:05

Men Combined Age 36+

1st – Reecho– Tsz Kin Chung/Check Hin Ng – 1:45:38

2nd – PB- Patrick Angell/Brandon Kandt– 2:02:55

3rd – WaaaaBear– Ka Chun Choi/Hing Lun Tung – 2:18:09

Men Combined Age 60+

1st – Team Uglow Asia– Adrien Choux/Jerome Laboulais – 1:35:35

2nd – invaders- Jeremy Borne/Romain Demarre– 1:36:05

3rd – Al’s Diners– Robbie Broomhead/Ruaraidh Smeaton – 1:47:15

Men Combined Age 80+

1st – Church 1– Lau Yu Cheung/Kan Fung Choi – 2:00:30

2nd – Tung Chun Triathlon- Kin Wai Chan/Davy Ng– 2:02:30

3rd – SS 88– Angus Chu/Damien Liu – 2:19:21

Mixed Combined Age 36+

1st – Uglow– Antoine Epinette/Elsa Jean De Dieu – 1:36:40

2nd – Team Tiger- Magdalena Cvetkovic/Chris Davis– 1:38:45

3rd – Team Uglow TU1– Charlotte Henry/May Leng – 1:41:45

Mixed Combined Age 70+

1st – Gatorade Juggernauts – Kurt Lynn / Ali Watts– 1:33:46

2nd – Double Trouble – Anita Zhang /Christopher Gunns – 2:02:33

3rd – Baymax – Charmaine Kwan /Andrew Ng – 2:18:52

Women’s Team

1st – Jimi – Imi Bond / Jo Eades – 1:51:43

2nd – Team Canada – Katie Tang/Emily Honsberger – 1:55:47

3rd – Team Garlic – Kwan Tai Wong / Kwan Heung Wu – 2:02:03

More results: HERE

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Bhutan the last secret. Photo: Global Limits

Bhutan the last secret. Photo: Global Limits


Bhutan – The Last Secret – Bhutan

Bhutan also knows as the happiest country in the world is playing host to the Global Limits 200km 6 stage race. With the course going through evergreen prime forest, monasteries, rural forests and over three 3,500 meter passes with the finish line being at Bhutan’s most famous monastery ‘Tigers Nest’. Days one to four are between 30km – 38km with day five being the longest day which will really test the competitors with a 54km stage the longest day of the race.

Results: HERE

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International Trail Run. Photo:

International Trail Run. Photo: International Trail Run


International Trail Run – Japan

The International Trail Race held close to Sakamoto Otsu-City was held on Saturday with a total elevation gain of 3,700 meters during the 50km race. The race is organised by local running legend Tsuyoshi Kaburaki who has won a number of races across Asia including the Mt Fuji race.

Results:  HERE

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Kushigata Wind Trail. Photo: Kushigata Wind Trail.


Kushigata Wind Trail – Japan 

On Sunday the Kusigata Wind Trail was held in Japan. With a distance of 30km and an altitude gain of 2,000 meters. Participants were treated to views of  the IIDE Mountains with lingering snow along the ridge line.

Results: HERE

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Hiroshima Osorakan Trail. Photo: Hiroshima Osorakan Trail.


Hiroshima Osorakan Trail – Japan

The first Hiroshima Osorakan Trail run was held over the weekend in held in the Hiroshima prefecture on mount Osorakan and the  surrounding mountainous area. The race consisted of two distances of 60km and 20km with three climbs over 1,200 meters in the 60km course.

Results: HERE

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Oakley Half Marathon Trail race. Photo: Michael Ma

Oakley Half Marathon Trail race. Photo: Michael Ma


Oakley Half Marathon – Hong Kong

The first edition of the Oakley half marathon and 14km race was held on Hong Kong island on Sunday. The Oakley series is a new race series with three races in the series the other two races being in Sai Kung and Hok Tau later in the year.

Starting in Stanley runners had to make their way along the catchwater before joining the Tsz Lo Lan Shan Path heading to Wong Nai Chung Gap where the 14km runners returned climbing over Violet Hill and over the twins before dropping back to the finish line in Stanley. In the half marathon runners climbed over violet hill and then split from the 14km and carried on to Jardines look out and Mount Butler down to Mount Parker road and then over the twins and back down to the finish line at Stanley.

Results: HERE

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Runners tackle either a 8km or 15km course in the Sunset run. Photo: Radium Cheung

Runners tackle either a 8km or 15km course in the Sunset run. Photo: Radium Cheung


Sunset Run – Hong Kong

The XTE Sunset run was held on Sunday with runners choosing between an Explorer  8km race or an Elite 15km race with the race reaching close to the top of Tai Mo Shan. 

In  the men’s race Elite category Hui Ho Tat finished first overall in a time of 1:15:18 with Thomas Robertshaw finishing second in 1:19:49. Leung Chun Keung finished third overall in 1:20:46. In the female race Tsang Yin Hung finished first overall in a time of 1:32:57. Frances Lai was second in 1:43:30 and Wong Ping Yee third overall in 1:46:50.

More results: HERE

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The Great Relay Kualula Lumpur. Photo: Aku Wong

The Great Relay Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Aku Wong


The Great Relay – Malaysia

The Great Relay Kuala Lumpur was back this weekend with its fun relay format with teams collectively completing 50km or 100km on a 3.5km loop. Teams consisted of 2, 4, or 6 runners, with each team member running a lap of the 3.5km loop and exchanging the baton with the following team mate on finishing their lap until the required distance is completed.

Results: HERE

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The worlds highest marathon,

The worlds highest marathon Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon. Photo: Tenzing Hillary Marathon


Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon – Nepal

The annual Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon know as the worlds highest marathon was held on Sunday with participants trekking for 14 days from from Lukla to Everest Base Camp where the race started at 5,364 meters and finishes at Namche Bazaar at 3,446 meters with the total distance being 42.195km.

Results: HERE

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Campbell and Szeto lead the way with victory’s at The Green Race Pottinger

Jeff Campbell on his way to victory at the Pottinger Green Race. Photo: Leung Pui Sun

Jeff Campbell on his way to victory at the Pottinger Green Race. Photo: Leung Pui Sun


The Green Race Pottinger – Hong Kong

The first Green Race Pottinger was held on Sunday with runners tackling a 6.5km loop at Pottinger Gap, Shek O. Runners could choose between doing one loop or two loops for a combined distance of 13km either in the solo category or as a team of two.

In the men’s 13km race Jeff Campbell came first overall in a time of 1:13:56 followed by Dennis Theodosis who was second overall in a time of 1:21:59 with Ng Wai Hei again featuring on the podium with third place overall in a time of 1:26:37.

In the ladies 13km Leanne Szeto came home in a winning time of 1:36:35 followed again by regular podium finisher Rachel Andrews in 1:41:56 with Katia Kucher not far behind rounding off the podium in third place in a time of 1:44:39.

Wai Yiu Chan and Stefano Del Favero won the men’s team of two in a time of 1:27:00 with Ann Cheng-echevarria and Yann Kai Oh winning the female team of two category in 1:46:27. April Chan and Man Kit Chow won the mixed team in a time of 2:01:03.

Top 5 overall:


  1. Jeff Campbell – 1:13:56
  2.  Dennis Theodosis – 1:21:59
  3.  Ng Wai Hei – 1:26:37
  4. Mark Lee – 1:30:10
  5. Santosh Tamang 1:30:45


  1. Leanne Szeto – 1:36:35
  2. Rachel Andrews – 1:41:56
  3. Katia Kucher 1:44:39
  4. Joan Yip – 1:52:09
  5. Jcy Ho – 1:54:11

Rate  your experience in this race: HERE

Results: HERE

Photo: Alex Holl

Tianmu-7 Trail Run. Photo: Alex Holl


Tianmu-7 Trail Run – China

Mud, rain and steep climbs were the three elements runners had to challenge at this year Tianmun-7.  Participants crossed the finish line covered in mud but with a smile, proud to have conquered the challenging trails of Zheijiang Tianmushan national nature reserve. A total of 4,600m elevation gain in just 56km was tackled by almost 300 participants with a variety of beautiful sceneries including, river crossing’s, bamboo sections, two summits at 1,500m, temples and running through villages.

Hong Kong based runner Clement Dumont was the first to cross the finish after a grueling 7:45 followed by Liu Chao in 8:36 with Sheng Xue Feng coming third overall in 9:01. In the women’s category, Sabrina Dumont took the lead on the last stage to finish in 11:3 followed by Zhu Ling Ling in 11:19 with Lu Xia Yan rounding off the podium in 11:27.

More results: HERE

The Great Wall Marathon. Photo:

The Great Wall Marathon. Photo:


The Great Wall Marathon – China

One of the worlds iconic races was back this weekend. The Great Wall Marathon annual attracts a large number of overseas runners for this one in a life time experience of racing on the great wall. With 2,500 people tackling either the full 42.195km marathon, the half marathon – 21.1km or a 8.5km Fun Run runners challenged themselves on one of the seven wonders of the world.

Results: HERE

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Ultra Trail.

Ultra Trail Mt Guguan. Photo Don1Don


Ultra Trail Mt Guguan – Taiwan

Held in Taiwan the Ultra Trail Mt Guguan had something for everyone in terms of distance with a 36.4km, 44.9km, 91.5km and 107.9km on offer to runners. The 36km had a combined elevation of 3,900 meters, the 44km had 5,170 meter elevation gain, the 91km 8540 meters gain and the 107km a whopping 10,280 meters gain.

Results: HERE

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Pulag 100km. Photo:

Pulag 100km. Photo:


Pulag 100km Trail Ultra marathon – Philippines

The 2016 PULAG 100K Trail Ultra marathon took place in Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines over the weekend. With a total distance of 112 kilometers and an elevation gain of 5,628 meters and an elevation loss of 5,169 meters the race was mix of single track trails, dirt paths, loose gravel paths, concrete tire paths, muddy paths, hanging bridges and dry stream beds impressively there was In total, there is only less than five kilometers of concrete paths in the entire course.

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Results: HERE

Hardcore 100 Miles. Photo: King of the Mountain

Hardcore 100 Miles. Photo:King of the Mountain



Hardcore 100 Miles Trail Ultramarathon – Philippines

Starting on Friday early morning the Hardcore 100 Miles Trail Ultramathon took place this weekend. The Hardcore 100 Miles is the longest trail race in the Philippines. With a total elevation gain of approximately 11307 meters this race was not for the faint of heart.

The race took runners to two major peaks: Mount Pulag 2747 meters and Mount Ugo 2150 meters and included several hills and hamlets in between.

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Results: HERE

Runners Wild 50km. Photo: Runners Wild

Runners Wild 50km. Photo: Runners Wild


Runners Wild – Bario Sarawak – Malaysia

The Runners Wild 50km took participants into some of the wildest region’s in Bario, Sarawak, Malaysia. Runners experienced the heat of the Malaysian climate with temperatures hitting 30 degrees plus during the race whilst taking in picturesque villages, pristine forests, rice fields and past many long houses of the Kelabit people  who populate the highlands. With two climbs to 1,200 meters during the race and the extra pressure of the heat the race is one of the tougher 50km races in Asia.

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Results: HERE


Hasuu Tasu Night Trail Run. Photo: Sabah Adventure Challenge


Hasuu Tasu Night Trail Run – Malaysia

The Hasuu Tasu Night Trail Run was held this weekend in Malaysia. With the distance between 18km – 20km. The route had various challenging sections and long inclines as well as muddy, and uneven terrain and some asphalt sections on the course.

Results: HERE

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Ijen Trail Run. Photo: Asia Trail Master

Runners are treated to stunning views during the Ijen Trail Run race in Indonesia. Photo: Asia Trail Master


Ijen Trail Run – Indonesia

The Ijen Trail Run was held on the island of Java in Indonesia on Saturday. The race had a number of distances available for runners including a 70km, 42km, 21km and 10km. The race passed through the picturesque Ijen crater, the world’s largest highly acidic lake providing runners with scenic views of the volcanoes crater. With one large climb in the 70km just over 2,300 meters the total elevation gain for the race was 2,448 meters.   

Results: HERE

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Ultra Trail Nam

Ultra Trail Nam Cat Tien. Photo: Dang Xuan Uyen


Ultra Trail Nam Cat Tien  – Vietnam

The first Ultra Trail Nam Cat Tien was held in Nam Cat Tien national park 160 kilometers away from Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday. With a number of distances on offer for runners including a 60km Ultra race, a 42k Marathon, a 21k Half Marathon, a 10km and a 3km Fun Run. Having a lot less elevation gain than other normal Ultra races the 60km had an elevation gain of 712 meters with the highest point hitting 234 meters.

Results: HERE

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Yun Yanqiao and Marie McNaughton big performances at the Ultra Trail Australia

The Blue mountain provides the backdrop in the Ultra Trail Australia. Photo: Lyndon Marceau

The Blue mountain provides the backdrop in the Ultra Trail Australia. Photo: Lyndon Marceau


Ultra Trail – Australia

Several Asian runners and Asian based runners took part in the Ultra Trail 100km race in the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney in Australia with some of the worlds best runners in attendance.

Pau Capell from Spain won the race in a time of 9:20:14 with Beth Cardelli from Australia winning the women’s race in 11:14:16. From Asia Yun Yanqiao from China was the first male Asian runner to finish coming third overall in a time of 9:42:09. Marie McNaughton who lives in Hong Kong was the first female Asian based female runner to finish in a very respectable sixth place in a time of 12:42:42.

More results: HERE


Teams of 2 working together in the paddle and run race. Photo: Clive Choy


Run Light Paddle/TerraMar Hong Kong Trail Half Marathon – Hong Kong

The team from Terramar organised two races on Sunday in Hong Kong both having the same finish line. The Half trail marathon started in Siu Sai Wan and finished in Stanley with a distance of 23.5km taking in some some iconic Hong Kong trails along the way including dragons back and the Hong Kong trail. The Run Light Paddle race consisted of a 7km kayak and 7km run which started and finished in Stanley featuring two runs on dragons back and around Tai Tam reservoir and kayaking in between each run section.

In the men’s half marathon Stefano Del Favero finished first overall in a time of  1:57:00 with sixteen year old local Hong Kong runner Wai Hei Ng three minutes behind in second place overall in 2:00:02 and second in the men’s open category. Seth Fischer finished third overall and first in the senior category one minute behind in 2:01:00.
In the women’s half marathon Ng Choi Long won in a time of 2:27:36 also taking the women’s open category. Rebekah James finished second overall and first in the women’s senior category in 2:31:33. Rounding off the podium in third place overall and second in the senior female category was Jennifer Sze Ying Jen Cheung in 2:42:25.
In the run light paddle race Nick Scott and Richard Cowley finished first overall and first male team home in a comfortable winning time of 2:08:46. In second place and second male team was Wai Kin Wong and Jimmy Yee Hing Tong in a time of 2:23:13. In third overall and first mixed team was Chris Davis and Magdelena Cvetkovic in 2:26:18.
Top 5 overall half marathon:
1. Stefano Del Favero 1:57:00
2. Wai Hei Ng 2:00:02
3. Seth Fischer 2:01:00
4. Chun Keung Leung 2:05:51
5. Michal Francke 2:07:46
Top 5 overall run light paddle:
1. Nick Scott and Richard Cowley 2:08:46
2. Wai Kin Wong and Jimmy Yee Hing Tong 2:23:13
3. Chris Davis and Magdelena Cvetkovic 2:26:18
4. Camille Mondiano and Christophe Letilier 2:28:31
5. Lok Man Cheung and Kin Yiu Leung 2:33:04

More results: HERE

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Jeju Trail Running. Photo: Jeju

Jeju International Trail Running. Photo: Jeju


Jeju International Trail Running – Korea

Taking place on the island of Jeju which has an oval shaped crater feature created by a volcanic eruption 1.2 million years ago boasts is own unique volcanic topography. Situated in the Korean strait to the south of the main land the Jeju International Trail Run in Korea kicked off on Saturday with the Ultra Trail 50km race starting at 6am. The race starts by going to the highlight of the race the volcano of Mt Hallasan which is a UNSECO world heritage site sitting at 1,200 meters high with the elevation total for the race at 2,107. The course provides a variety of trails from technical volcanic rocks, pine tree forests to luxuriant vegetation together with the brief appearance of deer’s that made it a race to remember. On Sunday there was also shorter trail races on offer in the form of a 5km and 10km race.

The lead group of five runners took off at a fast pace from the start tackling the first  13km with several dry river crossing, before starting the 7km climb to the edge of the volcano that offers an intimidating view of the local surronding. Local runner Hee Seong Noh lead from the start and paced himself wisely to keep the lead despite  Hong Kong based Frenchman Clement Dumont chasing him for the last 5km. Noh managed to just edge the the win in 5:28:50, closely followed by Dumont 30 seconds behind. Dong Wook Kim another local runner completed the podium in 5:50:20. In the ladies category, Sarah Goudreau from the USA was the first to cross the finish line in 7:39:18 followed by Min Hwa Cha in 7:45:11 and Se Hee Kim rounding off the podium in 8:30:23.

Top 3 overall:


  1. Hee Seong Noh – Republic of Korea – 5:28:58
  2. Clement Dumont – France – 5:29:31
  3. Dong Wook Kim – Republic of Korea – 5:53:58


  1. Sarah Goudreau – USA – 7:39:18
  2. Min Hwa Cha – Republic of Korea – 7:45:11
  3. Se Hee Kim – Republic of Korea – 8:30:23

More Results: HERE

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Malaysia Eco 100. Photo: Eco100

Malaysia Eco 100. Photo: Endurance


Malaysia Eco 100 – Malaysia

The Malaysia ECO 100 was held over the weekend in west Malaysia with a number of options for runners including a 100 miler, 100km, 50km and 13km. Runners got a taste of  the typical Malaysian geographical, social and cultural heritage running through oil palm plantations, rubber and pineapple plantations, several Malay kampungs Chinese new villages, and Indian temples, paddy fields and the challenging hills of Tokun.

The 100 miles had an elevation gain of 4033 meters, the 100km 3507 meters and the 50km a 3034 meters gain. The highest point on the course was 550 meters.

Results: HERE

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Totsukawa trail run

Totsukawa trail run. Photo:


Totsukawa Trail run – Japan

The Totsukawa trail run was held over the weekend near Nara with runners tackling the 35km course and 2,500 meters of elevation gain.

Results: HERE

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Smiles all around at the Doushimura Trail race in Japan. Photo: Leighann Mcgrew-Lawrentz


Doushimura Trail Race – Japan

The Doushimura Trail Race was held over the weekend on the outskirts of Tokoyo with mount Fuji in the background. Know as one of the harder trail races in Japan runners choose between a 42km or 20km course.

Results: HERE

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