For the uninitiated, ultra- running is an extreme sport where participants complete distances ranging from 50km to 125km, often through mountainous terrain, in remote corners of the world. Its popularity has grown rapidly in recent years, with runners looking for an alternative to the average marathon. “People are always on the lookout for new challenges,” explains Kris Van de Velde, founder and general manager of the Asia Trail Master Championship series. “Ultras on mountain and forest trails offer some form of romanticism that has gone missing from marathons run on tarmac.”
This appeal is evident in the growing number of ultra-running events springing up each year. “Ultra-running allows people with stressful jobs to escape to beautiful surroundings,” Van de Velde says. “ Plus, telling your friends you finished a 100km race on the Ijen volcano in Indonesia simply sounds cool.”
Top Trail Running Events In 2018
Bangalore Ultra – Runners take on the rough terrain of the Hennur Bamboo Forest in one of India’s premier trail events, which offers 50km, 75km and 100km races.
Date TBA, bangaloreultra.com
Ultra Trail Angkor – This breathtaking 128km trail cuts through the natural and man-made wonders of Angkor Wat’s spectacular temples.
19-20 Jan, ultratrail-angkor.com
Borneo Ultra Trail Marathon – Navigate the hot and humid jungles of Kiulu Vallet, north of Kota Kinabalu. There are 30km, 50km and 100km options.
10-11 Mar, borneoultra.com
Rinjani 100 Lombok – Choose from races of 27km, 36km, 60km and 100km, running through Mount Rinjani National Park, the third highest mountain in Indonesia.
4-6 May, rinjani100.com
This article was originally published in the December 2017 issue of Silkwinds magazine.