Summer has been hot and per usual there aren’t many races to choose from, but now that it’s August we can finally gear up for the fall race season. A couple of the big road races, (Toroko Gorge, Taipei Marathon) have set their dates but haven’t opened registration yet, but there are still plenty others to fill your race calendars with.
Races in the Taipei area:
Barrier Free Charity Run – 9/6, 2015 (21k, 10k, 5k). Registration ends 8/19. 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.
Otterbox Action Asia X Trail – 9/26, 2015 (17k, 9k). Run in the hills of Maokong in one of the island’s longest running annual trail event. Action Asia is a large organizer that holding events all around Southeast Asia, from inflatable kayak races to 100k ultra-marathons. 17k and 9k might sound like a run in the park, but the elevation profile says otherwise. There is a massive climb in the first 5k, then only two water stations will help you get through to the finish. This race is known for its competitive environment and insufficient prizes, but pack a bag, train hard, and test your might against the best trail runners in Taiwan.
Junior Chamber International Road Race – 10/17 (3k, 10k). Registration ends 9/16. Following the exact path one of our contributors uses for their nightly run, this race starts at Floating Island Bridge in Fuzhouyishu Riverside Park, and follows the sound of frogs north to Crescent Bridge (新月橋), which straddles Banqiao and Xinzhuang districts. As a massive, exclusively pedestrian and bike bridge, Crescent Bridge has become a cultural icon in New Taipei City.
Rainbow Cup Charity Run – 10/10, 2015 (16k, 7k). Registration ends 9/10. Starting at Bitan Park near Xindian MRT is this charity run. Runners head along the biking route north, with the 16k-ers turning around at Fuhe Bridge (福和橋) then heading back to the starting point.
The Ultra Taiwan – 10/24-10/25, 2015 (4k, 15k, 25k, 50k, 100k). Registration ends 9/10. Ultra Taiwan delivers to runners arguably the best collection of trails and scenery available in Northern Taiwan, focusing on the beautiful mountains, valleys, rivers and beaches at the northern reaches of Taiwan’s massive Xueshan (Snow) Mountain Range. A region that boosts a huge local history, fascinating culture and a smorgasbord of varied trails and stunning scenery that is quite literally a trail runner’s paradise. Races start in different locations in Northern Taiwan, and all end in Fulong Beach. Shuttles are available from Taipei Main Station.
Running Toward a Bright Future – 10/25, 2015 (22k, 10k, 5k). Registration ends 8/31. If you aren’t already tied up with the Ultra event and are looking for a reasonably priced race with some hefty prizes, look no further. The course for the main event (22k) is relatively uninteresting, looping around the Meiti/Dajia Riverside park area. But with registration fees of only 500NT and top prizes of 10,000 NT, the earning potential for top runners in a local race simply can’t be beat.
4th Crazy Beer Trail Fun Run – 10/31 (5k, 10k). Registration ends 8/20. Sponsored by Merrel and Taiwan Beer, this race starts and ends at Waishuanghsi Riverside Park. The route follows flour splashed on the ground as runners head through temples and trails to arrive at the finish for a cold beer. The top 15 finishers (both male and female) will receive trophies and prizes from sponsors.
Good Morning Taipei Ultra Half Marathon – 11/29, 2015 (22k, 14k, 5k). Registration ends 9/16. If you’ve raced a few half marathons in Taipei, you have probably done this Dajia Riverside Park route before. Winding, bike paths follow the river through Taipei’s Neihu District, with views of Elephant Mountain and Taipei 101 to the south, and the mountains of Yangmingshan to the north. Although this appears to be another standard riverside race, the top prize money should bring plenty of competition.
Significant Races in other parts of Taiwan:
Yilan Expressway Marathon – Yilan – 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 – Taoyuan – 11/14, 2015 (50k, 21k, 13k, 5k). Shimen reservoir is an hour away, on the western edge of Taiwan’s gorgeous central mountain range. The elevations changes 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.
Featured Destination Race
Bromo Tengger Seneru Ultra – Indonesia – 11/1, 2015 (170k, 102k, 70k, 30k), Registration ends 9/30. Looking for an adventure that will earn you some UTMB points? This just might be it. This course weavers through and atop the active and dormant volcanoes of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. Offering a variety of ecosystems, and vast elevation changes, this challenging, beautiful course is sure to leave you breathless.