Posted in TH UTMB Blogs on Apr 07, 2022.

UTMB® World Series Asia-Pacific Major moved from Hong Kong to Thailand for 2022

(Chamonix, France) 7 April, 2022 – UTMB® World Series has confirmed the first ever Asia-Pacific Major has been moved from TransLantau by UTMB® in Hong Kong, and will now take place around Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon, at the newly rebranded Doi Inthanon Thailand by UTMB®, from 8-11 December 2022.

Positioned as the pinnacle trail-running event on each continent, a UTMB® World Series Major must be able to welcome a strong international field, with each Major granting additional qualification chances for the UTMB® World Series Finals at UTMB® Mont-Blanc. The top 10 male and female runners gain automatic access to the UTMB® World Series Finals, and all race finishers are granted double the number of Running Stones compared to other World Series Events, which are used as entries in the Finals lottery.

The continued impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on Hong Kong, and the ongoing uncertainty regarding Hong Kong’s ability to welcome international runners, has forced the decision to change the host country, as Marie Sammons, UTMB® World Series Sports and Regeneration Director, commented:

“UTMB® World Series Majors are a real draw for international runners and the elite community due to the additional access they grant to the UTMB® World Series Finals. It is important runners can plan their seasons, and unfortunately due to the continuing uncertainty around international travel to Hong Kong, we have had to change the destination to Thailand. We took this decision before entries open for both races to ease that change. TransLantau by UTMB® is an extraordinary event, and we are fully committed to it and to Hong Kong as a destination. We can now move forward with more certainty knowing with confidence that Doi Inthanon Thailand by UTMB® is an exceptional event for the first Asia-Pacific Major.”

With a new name to reflect its iconic location in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, Doi Inthanon Thailand by UTMB® was selected to host the Major based on the organizer’s proven ability to host a world-class event over the last three editions of the race; its unique trails and position as an iconic global destination; strong local government support; and its accessibility to athletes from across the globe. Each UTMB® World Series Major is also broadcast live, and Doi Inthanon Thailand by UTMB®’s ability to create a spectacular event and generate outstanding images will lend itself perfectly to its Major status.

Based around the highest mountain in the country, Doi Inthanon, the event takes runners to the ‘rooftop of Thailand’. Located in the north-west of the country, it allows runners to get off the beaten track and experience a true adventure, crossing rivers, chasing hidden waterfalls, passing royal burial grounds, and meeting the local people. Entries will open mid-May.

While organizers continue to monitor the situation in Hong Kong with optimism for later in the year, entries for TransLantau™ by UTMB®, will open on April 15th. Taking place from 4-6 November, it is a leading race in Hong Kong that gives runners of all abilities the chance to escape the city and connect with nature on Hong Kong’s wildest island, Lantau.

Anticipation is building around the inaugural UTMB® World Series, which will officially get underway this Friday at Istria 100 by UTMB®, Croatia’s biggest trail-running race, from 7-10 April. Over 1,000 runners will take to the start line in what will be the first chance to qualify for the UTMB® World Series Finals in the OCC, CCC® and UTMB® races at UTMB® Mont-Blanc 2023. Find out more at UTMB.World.

UTMB® World Series

UTMB® World Series is the world’s ultimate trail-running circuit that unites the sport’s biggest stars and passionate runners through the best, leading international events in the most stunning locations. UTMB® World Series Events are the only place where runners can begin their quest to UTMB® Mont-Blanc, France, where the prestigious UTMB® World Series Finals will be held. Built on a passion for the mountains with sustainability at its heart, UTMB® World Series gives all trail runners the chance to experience the UTMB® adventure across the world, with events taking place across Asia, Oceania, Europe and the Americas in 2022. For more information, visit www.utmb.world.

About UTMB Group

Over the last 18 years, and since the creation of UTMB® Mont-Blanc in 2003 by a group of passionate friends, UTMB Group has been the driving force behind the development of trail running. The UTMB® Mont-Blanc is the sports pinnacle event, and every year, 10,000 runners earn their place on the start line. UTMB Group also pioneered the LiveTrail® technology, an innovative digital service that supports the management of endurance races. Revered by hundreds of thousands of athletes, UTMB® has become a global, premium, and leading brand. In May 2021, UTMB Group partnered with The IRONMAN Group to launch the UTMB® World Series, which from 2022, will bring together many of the best international events on the planet to provide exclusive access to the sport’s pinnacle event, UTMB® Mont-Blanc. The UTMB® World Series is built on the founding principles of UTMB® Mont-Blanc: surpassing oneself; fair-play; respect for people and the environment; and solidarity. Find out more at www.utmb.world.

About The IRONMAN Group

The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll® Running Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf®, UTMB® World Series events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, Epic Series™ mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events including Haute Route®, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com/about-ironman-group.

CONTACTS

UTMB World Series French & Swiss media enquiries:
presse@utmb.world
Hugo Joyeux - UTMB® World Series Press Officer
T : +33 4 50 53 47 51

UTMB World Series international media enquiries:
presse@utmb.world
Sabina Mollart Rogerson – International press Offcier
t: +44 7922 140148

nicola.dawson@utmb.world
Nicola Dawson, UTMB® World Series Media & PR Manager
T: +44 (0) 7919051417

The IRONMAN Group media enquiries:
press@ironman.com
Dan Berglund