The hot humid days of Summer are approaching quickly and there’s no better way to keep running throughout, than to hit the mountain trails. Its great to see that there are an assortment of trail races heading into this summer. So if you consider yourself exclusively a road runner, why not take a break from sweltering asphalt and take a walk on the wild side?
In the Taipei Area
Conquer Obstacle Challenge – 6/6, 2015 (2k, 10k) Registration ends 6/1. Although I have never attended this “challenge” before I thought I would include it on the list. A friend of mine participated last year, and he indulged generally bad reviews for his first “race”. The obstacles were reported to be somewhat unsubstantial and long lines resulted in more than ideal amounts of sun exposure. But if you are looking for a group event, and a day in the sun, this might interest you.
UCR + I love charity – 6/27, 2015 (21k, 10k, 5k) Registration ends 6/10. This is a riverside race, top finishers receive decent cash prizes, starting at 5000 NT. The race starts at 7am and is easily accessible but expect it to be a very hot run, being central Taipei in mid-summer.
Hill Runner 550 Tough Guy – 6/27, 2015 (2.8k, 500m Vertical) Registration is open until the race is filled, with earlier stages being more reasonably priced. Earlier this year Taiwan Beast Runners brought us the Hill Runner 700. Which I had wrongly assumed would be an easy addition to my race schedule. If you are looking for something new, and a great group of people to run with, check this one out and maybe take advantage of the free training arranged with the race director prior to the event, if you get the chance.
New Taipei City Starlight Run – 7/4, 2015 (21k, 11k) Registration ends 6/4. Very similar to the Taipei Starlight Marathon This event is held in the evening. It starts at the YangGuang sports park, not far from XiaoBitan MRT station and winds around the riverside park before arriving back at the start, one loop for the 11k and 2 loops of the same course for the 21k. Trophies and prizes are offered to top participants.
Amphibious Trail Run – 7/12, 2015 (14.5k, 13.6k, 10.2k) Registration ends 6/2. Last year, this course was my first attempt at a trail run, and it was quite an adventure. Be prepared to get your feet wet. There is an initial road section before participants go under a bridge for some river-tracing-type racing, with some nice trails to finish the race off. There are 2 registration fees for the 14.5k race, if you opt for the more expensive one you have the chance of getting a trophy if you are quick enough. The other distances don’t have awards ceremonies.
North Face Henan Trail Path Challenge – Sunday 7/19, 2015 (14.5k, 8.2k) Registration ends 5/25. This course wanders around Yangmingshan boasting 90% trails. The start/finish is not far from the city but for 250NT, organizers also offer a shuttle bus leaving from Taipei Main. Trophies and prizes will be awarded to the winners.
Trail Idea Club – 7/26, 8/23, 9/11, 10/3 (Various distances) This comes with a hefty price tag, 2980NT for singles and 5960NT for couples, but the prizes are also substantial, with the top prize in each category valuing 17500 NT. Participants must attend all 4 races, although one race is not competitive, there will first be a trail run with a coach, afterwards, runners are set free to race to a finish line in order to gain points. There are prizes for top women, men, and for the top couple, as if one needs another reason to quarrel with their significant other.
Featured Destination Race
Vietnam Mountain Marathon – 9/25, 2015 (10k, 21k, 42k, 70k) Northern Vietnam has been enjoying a recent surge of tourism, why not find out what all the fuss is about and run through the jungles of Vietnam? The 42k course is point to point with a cumulative elevation drop, which is pleasant and the 70k course makes a giant loop of of the northern part of the country. You can take part in this race in a few different ways, participants can choose to enter the race only, or they can choose minimal transport and food, or they can go all out and make a 4 day vacation of it. Either way, it looks like a lot of fun, and a great way to see the countryside.
I, personally, am most looking forward to the Hill Runnner, Amphibious Trail Run and still debating how to insert the Vietnam Mountain Marathon or Trail Idea Club into my schedule, happy running!