Summer is in full swing, and it’s getting too hot to run in the city. Luckily, we can enjoy the hot weather knowing there will be an abundance of races to look forward to in late summer and early autumn. I’m most excited for the Beast Trail, Ultra Taiwan and the Action Asia 50km. What will you sign up for?
Races in the Taipei Area
Beast Trail Run – 8/22. 2015 (50k, 25k, 12k). This will be the first ultra marathon held by the Taiwan Beast Runners. It is taking place in the jungle of Sanxia and organizers have prepared shuttle buses, accommodation and easy registration for competitors not living in Taiwan. The 50k course will form 2 large loops through untouched forest, with 3000m + elevation gain.. If you are looking for a challenging course this might be it. Also, if you complete the 50k before 3:30pm you can decide to continue on to the 12k loop, making you a complete bad-ass.
X-MEX Running Activity – 9/5, 2015 (11k). Registration ends 8/10. This Yilan held trail race will take competitors through the Toucheng forest to the coast and then back. Top teams will get 30,000 NT and top individual competitors could win up to 10,000 NT, but the registration fees are hefty at 2000 NT (-500 NT for chip return).
Barrier Free Charity Run – 9/6, 2015 (21k, 10k, 5k). Registration ends 8/17. This riverside race starts at the Meiti riverside park and runs a clockwise loop around the Dajia area. It is a fast flat course with the exception of 2 bridge ramps, but you can expect crowding on the narrow paths. Top finishers of both the 21k and 10k will be rewarded equally, with the division winners receiving prizes from the sponsors.
Run for Life – 9/6, 2015 (21k, 7k). Registration ends 7/26. This course begins just past the LuZhou MRT station at the riverside park. Following the riverside paths, the 21k runners will complete almost the entire length of the Sanchong riverside before turning around and heading back to the beginning of the course. Proceeds go towards funding a national help line.
ABRAZO K. Rainbow Run – 9/12, 2015 (21k, 10k, 5k). Registration ends 7/18. Starting at the Dajia riverside park, this course follows the river, almost reaching the NanHu bridge, before turning back to the start. Sponsored by a skin care company, participants can expect discounts on ABRAZO products.
Keelung Lions Cup Marathon – 9/20, 2015 (42k, 21k, 10k). Registration ends 8/10. If you are looking for a reason to go to Keelung, and maybe even win some cash, this might be your chance – top finishers will receive up to 10,000 NT. But this rural course has its own difficulties, as there is a major hill for competitors to overcome.
Yangmingshan Cross Country Race – 9/20, 2015 (10.6k). Registration ends 7/17. This year’s CTRRA race, usually held in mid summer with a 21k distance, is taking a different turn this year. The 21k course took participants into normally restricted territory for a glance at one of Yangmingshan’s highest peaks; this year with only the 10.6k distance, the course may not be as impressive.
Otterbox Action Asia X Trail – 9/26, 2015 (17k, 9k). The annual Otterbox challenge will be held this year on the same day as the Salomon trail race and trail enthusiasts will have to choose between the 2. This course is certainly the more challenging of the 2, as you climb your way around the hills of Maokong.
Salomon ShuangXi Old Trail Challenge – 9/26 (16k, 7.5k) – Registration is not yet open; but if its the same course as last year, it will be in Yangmingshan and expect a lot of stairs. Top prizes include gifts from the sponsor, Salomon. Expect better prizes but fewer dirt trails than the Otterbox race, held the same day.
Cheer for Autistic Charity Run – 10/4, 2015 (21k, 10k). Registration ends 8/15. This takes the same course as the Run for Life held in September, so if you love running the Sanchong riverside parks, or you live close and are looking for some motivation for your morning run, check out either of these. Top runners for either distance will receive 5000 NT.
Charity Run for Eye – 10/10, 2015 (22k, 10k, 5k). Registration ends 7/31. Not into relaxing on this national holiday? How about running an afternoon riverside race instead. Standard out and back course, starting at the Meiti Riverside park, hopefully you can enjoy some 10/10 activities after finishing this late afternoon race.
Hunglodei Marathon – 10/17, 2015 (42k, 21k, 12k) Registration ends 7/31. Starting in the mountains on the way to Wulai, this out and back marathon course takes participants down to the Xindian riverside before turning back and heading for the hills; expect a downhill start, flat middle and an uphill ending. Top finishers get 6000 NT.
TGX Compression Sox Marathon – 10/17, 2015 (100k, 50k+50k, 50k, 30k, 15k) Starting in Danshuei, this race is not for the faint of heart. Participants will run out to the coast and back into the mountains five times, making the “Buddha’s Palm” out of central Taipei. Not only are these distances grueling on their own, the inland portion will mostly be covering higher elevations of YangMingShan and Wulai.
Ultra Taiwan – 10/24-25, 2015 (100k, 50k, 25k, 15k, 4k) Registration ends 10/1. This inaugural race show casing some of the most well-known scenery found in Taiwan has caught much attention, both within and outside of Taiwan. Winners will be awarded UTMB points, potentially helping them gain entry to some of the most prestigious trail races in the world. Expect beautiful scenes, stiff international competition and daunting elevation changes. Check out the post about Teapot mountain, an integral part of the 100k and 50k course here.
Significant Races in other parts of Taiwan
Yilan Expressway Marathon – 11/7, 2015 (42k, 21k) Registration ends 8/31. This race is sure to get substantial attention, both nationally and internationally, with prizes for the marathon distance topping out at 80,000 NT (2600USD). There are some street names provided, but no map outlining the route, and runners can guess that it will be a flat, fast course, on the (as the name implies) expressway.
Action Asia 50km – 11/14, 2015 (50k, 21k, 13k, 5k). Shimen reservoir is an hour away, on the western edge of the beautiful central mountain range. The elevations are daunting, but this established course offers some nice views of the surrounding area. Shuttle buses are offered race day morning from Taipei, for a small fee. Check out last year’s race report here.
Sun Moon Lake Marathon – 11/22, 2015 (42k, 29k) Registration ends 8/15. Participants are capped at 1500 for the full marathon. Although this race offers no cash prizes, we can expect entry for this race, in this stunning area of Taiwan to fill up fast. Accommodation is limited by the small size of the city, but race day shuttle buses are on offer from Taichung’s train station for 250NT.