Almost everyone has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, but with global travel restrictions slowly easing, and trail running events being held successfully around the world, runners can start to look forward to racing with much anticipation.
This week, Thailand has reopened its borders to vaccinated travellers from more than 60 countries without the need to quarantine. The reopening comes at an ideal time for the country’s premier trail running event, Thailand by UTMB®, which is eagerly waiting to welcome international and local runners from 10-12 December 2021.
Based around the country’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon, Thailand by UTMB® literally takes runners to the rooftop of this tourism mecca. 5 distances are on offer, all named after the mountain on which they are run, that allow runners to experience Thailand’s rural heartland: crossing rivers, running past rice paddies, exploring hidden waterfalls, passing royal tombs and through local villages.
Finishers of the Inthanon 6, Inthanon 5 and Inthanon 3 races will also receive 9 Running Stones to be used in the UTMB® Mont Blanc 2022 entry lottery – the world’s leading trail running event, which from 2022 will host the finals of the UTMB® World Series.
What do I need to know?
Where: Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai, Thailand
When: 10-12 December 2021
– Inthanon 6: 170km / 8,350mD+
– Inthanon 5: 120km / 5,410mD+
– Inthanon 4: 80km / 4,030mD+
– Inthanon 1: 24km / 910mD+
– Inthanon 10K: 14km / 710mD+
Number of participants: 2000 runners
Highest point: 2,144m
Qualification: Due to the limited opportunities for runners to qualify for the event, applicants for Thailand by UTMB® 2021 will not need qualifying points. Athletes should study the race information and have adequate training.
About Thailand by UTMB®
2021 will be the second edition of Thailand by UTMB®, which after a hugely successful inaugural event, was welcomed into the Ultra-Trail® World Tour.
The route showcases the local biodiversity and the forest changes with a gradual climb from 400 to 2100 meters above sea level. The journey immerses runners in local culture, allowing them to experience the peaceful ways of life of the Hmong, Pga-Gan-Yaw and Karenic tribes as well as awe-inspiring views of the terraced rice paddy fields and cool temperatures in beautiful, tropical, humid forests.
The start and finish line are at Doi Inthanon National Park HeadQuarters, Chom Thong District, Chiang Mai Province. Doi Inthanon is one of the most popular national parks in Thailand, famous for its waterfalls, trails, remote villages, exceptional sunsets and sunrise, birdwatching and all-year-round cold weather on higher elevations.
This race is right for you if you are looking for…
The striking mountainous landscape of Doi Inthanon which frames the city provides the setting for Thailand by UTMB®. Part of the Himalayan mountain range, it is a place where the past and the present seamlessly merge with modern buildings standing side by side with revered temples.
This race will appeal to runners with a desire to explore the world. In the mountains, cool temperatures will help distract from the burn in your legs, while in the city, there are unique museums, fantastic spas, wonderful cuisine, and beautiful parks to reward yourself with after a hard-earned race.
Chiang Mai International Airport has direct flights from around the world. From the airport, it is around 100km to the Doi Inthanon National Park with various transfer options available. More details about travel can be found on the Thailand by UTMB® website here.
In line with the Thailand government’s reopening plans for the country, from the 1 November 2021, The Ministry of Foreign affairs announced that the country will reopen without quarantine to fully vaccinated travelers from 63 countries.
To visit the country, tourists will need to be fully vaccinated, test negative for Covid before and after arrival, and spend their first night at a hotel that meets government requirements. They will also need to have Covid insurance cover.
To enter Thailand, all travelers are required to have a Thailand Pass. More information can be found here.
More information for travelers who are not from the listed countries or non-vaccinated travelers can be found here.
The organizing committee and Sport Authority of Thailand (SAT) will issue an invitation letter for international runners. The organizers can be contacted here.
*Note: Fully Vaccinated foreign travelers from non-listed countries may enter Thailand without quarantine through the “Sandbox” Program and travel within defined areas for 7 days before going to Doi Inthanon, the race venue.