After the experience of leading the first edition of the Mongolia Stage Race in 2019 and having suffered the mandatory stoppage due to COVID-19, we present you the new event for 2023: MONGOLIA TRAIL RUN. It is an adventure experience, designed for amateur runners of all levels as well as walkers, which takes place entirely in the lonely steppes of MONGOLIA. It is a unique event that allows you to sleep every night under a starry sky in the comfort of a traditional ger, get to know the tastes of a country and immerse yourself in incredible landscapes.
The six-stage race begins at the Elsen Tasarkhai dunes and ends at the iconic 16th-century Buddhist Erdene Zuu Monastery in Karakorum, revealing a different landscape each day. Together with your new travel companions, you will enjoy the routes, the daily meals, the activities, the transfers, the cultural visits, and nature in its purest form…
Stage 1: The great adventure will begin in the Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes (Bayangobi desert) which stretch about 80 km long and 5 km wide. Touring Elsen Tasarkhai (which literally means “an isolated piece of sand”) we will enjoy a small sequence of true desert in the middle of green steppes. Some wooden constructions will catch our attention… they are shepherds’ cabins. Elk, wolves, deer and foxes will mark our steps although the different species of camels will control our walk. The little Gobi will not leave us indifferent.
Stage 2: The stage begins on the shores of Lake Ugii, famous for being an important breeding area for waterfowl; about 150 types of birds gather annually in its waters. We will enjoy the views bordering the great blue lake, we will leave the old Orkhon river on our left, and we will cross the Orkhon river bridge to enter the Orkhon river valley. A large number of free animals will move at our pace… horses, sheep, camels and goats will make us forget about the great cormorants. Finally, the small and colourful town of Ugii will welcome us with open arms.
Stage 3: With the memory of the Galdan Zuu temple with its 7-meter Buddha and the Zayiin Khuree Khiid museum, we begin the third stage following the Tamir river and leaving the city of Tsetserleg on the right. We cross the river by a long wooden bridge also used by yaks and then we enter the first wooded areas where you can see hundred-year-old trees of singular beauty. In the valleys we come across hundreds of animals again… yaks, horses, sheep… vultures and eagles stalking their potential prey. After several hills, we arrive at the Tsenkheriin valley where we find the camp with natural hot springs.
Stage 4: Open forests, gentle valleys and small plateaus. We will feel going back in time; a few nomadic families will greet us as we pass… “Сайн байна уу”. Paths and tracks will take us to cross multiple rivers… some small and others not so much. We’ll feel the chill on our knees while the yaks wonder what we’re doing out there. Later on, we will pass by Lake Espejo… don’t forget to take a look at your hairstyle! Observe the zigzagging rivers from a hill. Take a stop and lose yourself for a minute among the fauna. To finish… nothing better than a great NOMAD BARBECUE to lower your heart rate.
Stage 5: In the queen stage it is time to enjoy the mountains and the impressive views that accompany our walk. We will see great eagles throughout the tour. We will pass through a small lost town where a large number of children live. When you run out of energy, stop to observe one of the multiple Ovoos (they serve as places of worship, to honour the mountains and the sky; they are made of wood or rocks). We will return to the Orkhon river valley, a new gift for our senses. Finally, from the top, we will see the colourful city of Kharkhorin on multiple occasions.
Stage 6: A few meters from the exit, an immense abandoned ship will surprise us. From the monument to the Heroes, we will be able to see the roofs of Karakorum, the meandering Orkhon river and dozens of street vendors waiting for us… We will skirt the city passing through emblematic sites: the Tortoise monument, the penis rock, and the “great hall” archaeological site, among others. Naturally, the “Mongolia Trail Run” will end at the emblematic 16th-century Buddhist Erdene Zuu Monastery, considered by many to be the most important monastery in Mongolia. We will know the same and we will visit Kharkhorin (Хархорин), the ancient capital of the 13th century known as Karakorum.
Live a great running experience in Mongolia!
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