|Race name: Xiqiao Mountain International Ultra Marathon
Race place and date: National Arts Studio, Foshan City, Guandong, China, 4-5 November 2017
Race distance and label: 24 Hour. IAU Bronze Label
The race is run within a purpose built and permanent movie set. It is a 1.15 km loop course with zero to very minimal elevation.
The field comprised of local Chinese athletes and also a number of International athletes representing Britain, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Australia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Republic of Korea, Mongolia and Malaysia.
I had the privilege to participate in the recent Xiqiao International 24 Hour Ultra Marathon in Guandong, China held from 4-5 November 2017. The race was held inside a purpose built movie set which created a spectacular backdrop below the Xiqiao Mountain. The course loop was 1.15 km long with minimal elevation. There were a number of tight corners wich resulted in a few casualties with many athletes suffering sore feet. The scenery was incredible with athletes getting the opportunity to run down the streets of a number of Chinese cities replicated to depict years gone by. My personal fovourite was a street in Shangai during the 1940s. Conditions were warm and dry with a gusty wind blowing throughout the day and night. The temperature range was 19 to 24 degrees Celcius but felt a lot warmer once the race was underway. The race started at 9 am on Saturday through to 9am on Sunday with a direction change every 6 hours.
The men´s race was dominated by the European athletes. Norbert Mihalik (Hungary) led from start to finish with an outstanding 246.171 km followed by a solid 232.326 km from Ondrej Velicka (Czech Republic) and Lukasz Sagan (Poland) with a respectable 228.665 km.
In the female race Tracy Dean (England) won with a very strong performance of 226.376 km followed by a gutsy run from Katerina Kasparova (Czech Republic) with 201.830 km and a consistently pacing Battsooj Jargal (Mongolia) with 191.131 km.
During these international events with so many cultures and dialects on the course, one realizes how similar we all are. Running knows borders and can cut through all cultural and language differences. All the athletes are there for the purpose of achieving personal goals and to enjoy the experience. While we may not all understand each other through language, we know we are experiencing the same emotions. Breaking through pain barriers and achieving our personal goals. Running past one another, giving the thumbs up (or down) and giving the odd smile is a universal language. The encouragement of others and the support from all the crews and officials made this event incredibly humbling and one that will be remembered by many. Thank you Tony Chu, Suki Huang, the event organisers, the athlete support crews and the Foshan people for your gracious hospitality.
Foto: Female top 3
Female top results
1. Tracy Michelle Dean (Britain) 226.376 km
2. Katharina Kasparova (Czech Republic) 201.830 km
3. Battsooj Jargal (Mongolia) 191.131 km
4. Zhang Ping (China) 190.907 km
5. Narantsatsral Choyondagva (Mongolia) 188.250 km
Foto: Male top 3
Male top results
1. Norbert Mahalik (Hungary) 246.171 km
2. Ondrej Velicka (Czech Republic) 232.326 km
3. Lukasz Sagan (Poland) 228.665 km
4. Otgonbataar Perenlei (Mongolia) 223.435 km
5. Yan Qijun (China) 221.991 km
Prepared by Wayne Botha
IAU Communication Committee