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Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 2017: A Run Away from the Modern World

by On Dec 7, 2016

As we manage the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, finding opportunities to quietly be with ourselves may help us tend to the details of what we value most.

Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 2017: A Run Away from the Modern World

You cannot feel further away from the hectic, modern world: Wild horses, yaks, untouched nature, some shamanic “Ovoos” and a few Mongolian gers here and there.

Every year since 1999, runners from all around the world soak up this unique atmosphere and participate in the Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset (MS2S).

The MS2S is not a one-day event. It is a whole week full of discovery and adventure. Participants gather in a picturesque camp at the lakeshore and sleep in traditional Mongolian yurts. In the days before and following the race, runners can enjoy a variety of leisure activities: horseback riding, fishing, kayaking, hiking, or mountain biking.

In the last edition, MS2S 2016 had attracted runners from no less than 21 countries who spent a week together at the shores of Lake Hovsgol.

The 2017 race week will be held from 29 July 2017 to 5 August 2017 with 2 August 2017 being the race day.

Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 2017: A Run Away from the Modern World

Stunning views, untouched nature and wild horses: MS2S is a unique trail run. Photo Credit: www.ms2s.org / Khasar Sandag

Experience Nature Like Never Before

The MS2S, a non-profit 42km and 100km ultra trail run, is without doubt, among the most beautiful and memorable runs on the planet with seas of Edelweiss, the majestic mountains, marshy forests and not to be missed, the deep blue pearl of Mongolia, Lake Hovsgol.

The lake supports a flourishing population of wildflowers and wildlife, including the grayling and lennock. The legendary taimen, the world’s biggest salmonoid, can also be found and fished from the rivers in the area in weights of up to 23kg.

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The region around the lake hosts a widely dispersed population of mostly nomadic Mongol people who live in gers (Mongolian yurts) and tend herds of horses, camels, cattle and yaks. Runners may also encounter reindeer herding Tsaatan people, wild sheep, ibex, bear, moose, and over 200 species of birds.

Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 2017: A Run Away from the Modern World

Flowers in full bloom along the trail. Photo Credit: www.ms2s.org / Khasar Sandag

Nicolas Musy, Race Director of MS2S said,

“Our race offers spectacular views from start to finish - be it on the lakeside single trail when the sun rises behind Lake Hovsgol, on the impressive mountain passes or through the windblown lowlands and dry riverbeds.”

The accumulated elevation gain/loss is around 2,255m for the marathon distance and around 3,365m for the 100km distance.

The overall cut-off time for the ultra-marathon is 18 hours, with cut-off times at key aid stations enforced, so that the last runner can finish the MS2S by sunset.

MS2S is part of the Asia Trail Masters, and completion of the 100km event will qualify as 4 points in the new scale (2 points in the old scale) for the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc.

Mongolian-style Living

Participants will stay in Camp Toilogt, a rustic and comfortable facility which offers guests the novelty of Mongolian-style living, along with environmentally-friendly ‘western’ comforts, such as hot showers, solar electricity and a satellite phone for emergency calls.

Meals served will be prepared by professional cooks using locally-grown organic produce with minimal imported food.

Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 2017: A Run Away from the Modern World

The early morning start in the Mongolian darkness. Photo Credit: www.ms2s.org / Khasar Sandag

For the Preservation of Life

The MS2S is a non-profit race with all proceeds going towards environmental and cultural projects in Hovsgol National Park.

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The proceeds will help to cover the costs of keeping Hovsgol National Park pristine and clean, as well as support the culture of the local nomads via the ecoLeap foundation registered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Nicolas Musy, Race Director of MS2S commented,

“We want to keep this pristine mountain area as beautiful as it is now. That is why we fund a litter control project and its ongoing operation including hiring park rangers, providing eco-friendly garbage bags and raising awareness nation-wide through TV ads and education of local children and families.

The ecoLeap foundation also supports the local culture. It is not only the pristine nature that makes this part of the world so special. It is also the unique culture of the nomads and their way of life. The nomads should be proud of their abilities and culture.”

Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset 2017: A Run Away from the Modern World

Steep mountain passes. MS2S is a challenging trail run. Photo Credit: www.ms2s.org / Khasar Sandag

Registration for the 19th edition of MS2S has commenced. Runners with an appetite for a special adventure can now secure early bird rates for the race package.

Sign up now to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.

Yun Jie is a competitive athlete and coach who is actively involved in various sports at community and international levels. Through editorial writing, she hopes to positively influence and educate readers with her expertise and experience in high sports performance.

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