19-10-2020 - News
- The first ever Thailand by UTMB® to take place in less than 3 weeks, 30 October-1 November
- Panda Trail by UTMB® to welcome 2,500 runners in China’s Sichuan region, 20-22 November 2021
- Entries for Val d’Aran by UTMB® 2021, the first UTMB®Group event in Spain, to reopen on 28 October
- Runners from across the globe invited to take on Thailand by UTMB® and Panda Trail by UTMB® Virtual Races for the chance to win entry into the 2021 editions
UTMB® Group, pioneers in the creation and organisation of world-class trail running events, are preparing for a return to the mountains with the confirmation that Asian events Thailand by UTMB® and Panda Trail by UTMB® will go ahead as originally scheduled in 2020.
After racing around the world was put on hold because of the COVID-19 outbreak, including the pinnacle event of the trail running year, UTMB®Mont Blanc, UTMB®Group and the local organisers have been working together to ensure the safe organisation of the international events.
For the first time ever, the Group will also organise Virtual Races for both Thailand by UTMB® and Panda Trail by UTMB® on the UTMB®for the Planet digital platform. The Virtual Races will coincide with the real event dates, giving runners from around the globe the chance to come together virtually and challenge themselves on their local trails as the Group focuses on inclusion and promoting the benefits to one’s health that trail running and sport in general brings.
Catherine Poletti, UTMB® Group President, commented: “2020 has been an unprecedented year, not just for sport but for the world. To now be able to confirm the organisation of two of our international events shows the reliance and adaptability of our team, which is fully part of our DNA. It also demonstrates how trail running as a sport is unique, allowing people to fully immerse themselves in nature for the benefit of their health.
“Events such as Thailand by UTMB® and Panda Trail by UTMB® will offer unforgettable experiences not only for every athlete, but also for those who accompany them, and to the volunteers, media as well as the local people who will have the opportunity to be part of the event and to benefit from the tourism spin-offs that it will bring.
“And while this year has been a challenge, it has forced us to adapt and innovate. Through our Virtual Races we now have a new way to bring together the global trail running community and engage them both on site at events and wherever they are in the world, and no matter their ability.”
Working alongside local organisers the Sports Authority of Thailand and Running Connect, the inaugural edition of Thailand by UTMB® will take place from 30 October-1 November 2020. Based around the highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon in the Chiang Mai Provence, at 2,656 metres, it is known locally as “The Roof of Thailand”. Runners can choose from five distances, including the 170km Inthanon 6, as Thailand prepares to reopen for business and welcome international visitors.
Just three weeks after Thailand by UTMB®, the spotlight will be on China with the first ever Panda Trail by UTMB®, organised by Exploring Xingzhi Group. From the 20-22 November, 2,500 runners will have the chance to explore the trails around one of most famous Taoist mountains in China, Qingcheng Mountain in the Sichuan region and be able to experience colourful historic towns, incredible temples, bamboo forests and the Giant Panda that the region is perhaps most famous for.
For those who can’t physically take to the trails at Thailand by UTMB® and Panda Trail by UTMB, Virtual Races for both events have been created to satisfy international runners.
Dubbed, ‘a great challenge from anywhere to the roof top of Thailand’, from the 18 October, Thailand by UTMB® is challenging runners to join them and run 80km with 4,000 metres of elevation gain for the chance to win entry into Thailand by UTMB® 2021,as well as accommodation and transfers from Chiang Mai airport. There are two prizes up for grabs to one male and one female runner.
From the 6 November, Panda Trail by UTMB® will challenge runners to take on 26km with 1,500m+, the equivalent to the Little Panda Trail distance. One winner will win their entry into the 2021 edition of Panda Trail by UTMB® plus accommodation, with 30 extra bibs also up for grabs.
Looking ahead to 2021, entries for Val d’Aran by UTMB®, the new mountain running event in the heart of Pyrenees, will open on the 28 October. The much anticipated first edition will be held from the 9-11 July 2021, and due to the exceptional demand from runners all around the globe, local organisers InAran Sports have also made additional bibs available for the previously sold out Peades d’Aigua (PDA) 55km race.