26-02-2020 - News
UTMB® Group, pioneers in the creation and organisation of world-class trail running events, have today announced the launch of their newest international event, Thailand by UTMB®. Working alongside local organisers the Sports Authority of Thailand and Running Connect, the first edition will take place from 30 October-1 November 2020, as the group further increases their presence in Asia.
The event will be based around the highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon in the Chiang Mai Province, and at 2,656 metres, it is known locally as “The Roof of Thailand”. This national park is located in the north-west of the country, allowing runners the chance to get off the beaten track and experience a true adventure; crossing rivers, chasing hidden waterfalls, passing royal burial grounds, and learning about the local people.
Trail runners can choose from four distances; the 175km ‘Inthanon 6’ ultra-race, the ‘Inthanon 5’ 120km, ‘Inthanon 4’ 80km race and the shorter ‘Inthanon 1’ 25km race. The race names refer to the number of ITRA points earned by the finishers, and full course details will be announced on 10 March 2020, when registrations will officially open.
Thailand by UTMB® adds to the Group’s growing portfolio of world-class trail events across Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and Asia. Catherine Poletti, UTMB® Group President who attended the official announcement at the Sports Authority of Thailand headquarters in Bangkok, commented on UTMB® Group’s presence in Asia. “Trail running in Asia is a booming sport. There are now 1,114 trail races across the continent, according to International Trail Running Association, and in Thailand we’ve seen a huge growth in recent years, with just 14 races in 2016 compared to 84 today.
“At UTMB® Mont Blanc, 66 Thai runners will take to the start line this year, and so we’re hugely excited to be helping to drive that growth, and to launch Thailand by UTMB ® alongside our partners the Sports Authority of Thailand and Running Connect.”
The new event was announced following a successful test event held earlier in February, which saw 1,000 runners take to the trails of the Doi Inthanon mountain. “We were extremely impressed by how well executed the test event was and these beautiful mountains will provide a unique experience for both Thai and international runners. All of the events supported by UTMB are organised with the highest quality standards, and we aim use of our love of the mountains to not only have a direct economic impact on the territories in which they are hosted, but also tocontribute to a better world. By respecting nature, showcasing and protecting beautiful natural environments, highlighting cultural diversity and encouraging a diverse range of runners on the trails from across the globe.
“Here in Thailand, this new event will offer an unforgettable experience not only for every athlete, but also the volunteers, Thai and visiting international media as well as the local people who will have the opportunity to be part of the event. It will be a demonstration of the country’s ability to organise world-class events,” concluded Catherine.
Thailand by UTMB® is expected to attract the sports best athletes, with the US’s Meredith Edwards and Jason Schlarb both already confirmed. The nearest international airport is less than two hour’s drive from Doi Inthanonin the city of Chiang Mai, and as a partner to the event will offer runners the opportunity to stay in Thailand longer and experience the beauty of the country while enjoying the warm Thai hospitality.
“This is a great opportunity for Thailand to show our potential as a top destination for Trail runners from around the world and we are looking forward to showcasing our beautiful landscape and Thai style,” Mr Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn Minister of Tourism and Sports commented. “A combination of the spectacular landscape with the Thai arts, culture and Thai food will create a fantastic and unique experience for runners. We strongly believe that our natural resources and high-quality team management will help drive our ambition for Thailand By UTMB to become a major event on the Asian trail running calendar.”
To stay up to date with the latest news on Thailand by UTMB®, visit the official Facebook page.
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