Over the past decade, recreational and outdoor sports have become immensely popular in China. The upsurge in interest has propelled once obscure sports into the national conscious, while also spawning all manner of new competitions. One such contest, the Red Bull 24-Hour Plateau Challenge is about to get underway in Yunnan, and organizers are looking for fit and interested athletes to join.
First held in 2006, the Plateau Challenge is a multidisciplinary sporting event held on one of the province's more beautiful peaks, Jiaozi Snow Mountain (轿子雪山). The massif is a rocky, craggy spire rising to a point 4,247 meters above sea level in central Yunnan's Luquan County (禄劝县). Much of the mountain is a protected scenic area, and it is there that the Plateau Challenge will be held.
Red Bull 24-Hour Plateau Challenge details
The race is 100 kilometers long in total. Teams of three — one woman and two men — are required to complete the course in under 24 hours, with one mandatory seven-hour break, while otherwise budgeting time for meals and the completion of different athletic heats on their own. The total purse for the Plateau Challenge is 80,000 yuan, with 25,000 going to the winning team.
Each team must find and pass through 16 checkpoints along the course. At each stop, teams must check in and follow health protocols while replenishing water and other supplies. During the race, all participants will complete a cycling section, which includes both tarmac and off-road portions. Cross country trail running, orienteering and inline skating — or more running/walking if participants cannot skate — portions are also included. Over some sections of the race, competitors must also navigate rope bridges and abseiling — or rappelling — elements.
Competition organizers will provide all necessary equipment outside of basics such as footwear and clothing. The course is on a mountain beginning at 2,000 meters above sea level and topping out at 4,200. Therefore, all entrants must provide their passports and an electrocardiogram no more than three months old while applying. Weather conditions may be unpredictable, so interested parties are also expected to have a high fitness level and bring clothing for all meteorological conditions.
Details and November 22 registration deadline
Participation in the Red Bull 24-Hour Plateau Challenge is free and open to teams registering before the final deadline on November 22. Because of the international nature of the competition, registration is currently open for entirely foreign teams only. Up to 33 teams are allowed to participate and, as of this writing, 20 groups from China, Nepal, Vietnam and India have already enrolled.
All transportation, equipment, room and board are provided without charge by competition organizers. If you think you have what it takes, call Quentin at 15308808367 to register. More details and information are available, in English, at the same number or by sending us an email through the GoKunming contact form.
Orientation day: November 27
• Check-in and orientation from 9am-4pm at the Kunming Mountaineering Expedition Association, including equipment allocation
• Same day race briefing and press junket from 7-8pm
• Equipment final check for all teams following briefing
Race days: November 28-29
• Travel by bus to Jiaozi Snow Mountain from 8-10:30am
• Check-in (including health and equipment inspection) and lunch from 10:30-2pm
• Opening ceremony begins at 2:30pm
• Race starts promptly at 3pm
Once the race has finished and the awards handed out, competitors will stay the night at Jiaozi Snow Mountain before being bused back to Kunming November 30.
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