AN ULTRA COURSE
To the last drop
For UTCM to see the light took a year’s research among the hill tribes, hundreds of kilometres covered on foot, walking or running, and a massive amount of work clearing and marking the paths. It makes complete sense for the course to start from Chiang Mai and run on via a network of ancient hill tribe paths until it reaches the highest mountain peak in the country. It will be the first long-distance, cross-country trail ever mapped out in Thailand, a major achievement which will give runners from the world over the chance to experience a remarkable adventure.
For the first time in South-East Asia UTCM, 150 kilometres long and with a gain in elevation of almost 9’000 metres, presents a coherent, obstacle-laden, demanding course as good as the top European Ultra Trails. Mountains and jungle, rice fields and forests, temples and ethnic villages - the trail unfurls its difficulties in a dream context which in itself embodies all the magic of Thailand!
3 high points
You leave Chiang Mai in the sparkling freshness of the morning and climb straight up through the yellow and green patchwork of forest to the sacred site of Wat Doi Suthep, with its unique panorama over the whole Chiang Mai valley. Then you rush helter-skelter down the 300 steps below the temple and plunge into the depths of the jungle...
With 50 kilometres of the course under your belt, you catch sight of the first stilt-houses. Smiles greet you as you enter the village. You wash away the day’s exhaustion in the cool waters of a cascading mountain stream, and as night falls, experience the lifestyle of another era in the warmth of a shared hearth.
After 140 kilometres of pushing yourself to the limit, and having experienced the intense satisfaction of getting to the very top of Doi Chiang Dao, you start back down into the valley on a dizzyingly steep slope which falls away for more than 2’000m descent without a break. Arriving at the end of the run becomes an achievement in itself, an ultimate surpassing of the self.