2020 Gaoligong by UTMB®
Located next to the China – Myanmar border, Gaoligong Mountains stretch in a straight line from North to South. Geographically the foothills of the Himalaya, Gaoligong is a reservoir of great biodiversity, harboring some of the best-preserved forests in China, home to clouded leopard, gibbons, bears and red pandas. Gaoligong range is also part of Three Parallel Rivers, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where the three great rivers – the Yangtze, the Mekong, and the Salween flow southwards from the Tibetan Plateau towards the Indo-China Peninsula.
History here goes back millennia – starting from three thousand years ago, predating the Great Silk Road, caravans travelled across Gaoligong along the great Tea and Horse Trail, which linked Yunnan, Tibet and India. The Tea and Horse Trail operated until about 60 years ago, trading in silver, jade, and tea.
World War II left battlefield scars all over Gaoligong – here the Chinese Expeditionary Force battled against invaders with the help of the courageous volunteer American pilots, known as the “Flying Tigers.”
A precious natural ecosystem, Gaoligong Mountains are home to wildlife endangered elsewhere. Running here allows us to experience first-hand the region’s unique charm, deepen our understanding of the local nature, appreciate that it must be protected, and, as we run, to listen to the sounds and breathing of the untouched, primeval forests.
Gaoligong Mountains have witnessed, for centuries, the story of humans striving for peace and harmony. The ancient Southern Silk Road that went through here, connected cultures and ancient worlds by trade, unifying them in peace. Running allows us to continue Gaoligong’s pursuit of peace.
Experiencing the Local Culture:
Runners experience the welcoming ceremony performed by 14 ethnic groups from Gaoligong Mountains.
Gaoligong by UTMB® is a battlefield for contemporary heroes. Here, in the midst of a punishing ultra-race, we delve deep into our soul, go beyond our limits and find out who we really are.
In March 2020, Gaoligong by UTMB® will be held in Gaoligong Mountainous Tengchong, China again. We expect around 3,000 runners from all over the world to arrive to Tengchong to compete in the four race distances, the MGU -160 km, RCE -125 km, THT- 55 km and also the new 30km TCZ.
See you in China next March, when flowers bloom in the Gaoligong Mountains, see you at Gaoligong by UTMB®!