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Gaoligong Mountain Flower International Challenge call for competitors

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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 endurance competitions. One such contest, the 2016 Gaoligong Mountain Flower International Cross Country Challenge, is about to get underway in Yunnan, and organizers are looking for fit and interested athletes to participate.

The race is being held in the mountains of western Yunnan, roughly 60 kilometers north of the city of Tengchong (腾冲), on the slopes of Tiantai Mountain (天台山). The overall setting for this competition is the protected forests and meadowlands of the Gaoligong Mountains (高黎贡山).

2016 Gaoligong Mountain Flower International Cross Country Challenge details

Three separate competitions will be held: a 50-kilometer race (open to 200 participants), a 25-kilometer race (open to 300 participants), and a five-kilometer orienteering run, all held simultaneously. The events are open to both men and women. The majority of the two distance races will be run on dirt tracks and trails through the surrounding hills, with only a few portions covering tarmac. Both will cover large elevation changes, especially near the finish lines.

Details and February 26 registration deadline

Participation in the 2016 Gaoligong Mountain Flower International Cross Country Challenge is open to individuals ages 18-60 who register before the final deadline of noon on February 26. Because most Chinese participants have already signed up, registration via this article is open to foreigners only. Interested parties will need their passports, and a copy of a recent health checkup is recommended but not required.

All transportation to and from Kunming, plus room and board for two nights, are covered by the 100 yuan per person entry fee. Cash prizes ranging in value from 800 to 12,000 yuan will be awarded to the top eight finishers in each race. If you think you have what it takes, call Zhang Hongmei (张红梅), who speaks English and Chinese, at 13708701381.

Race coordinators would like to remind participants to bring versatile race-day clothing and proper shoes. Sunscreen, sunglasses, vaseline, electrolyte drinks and other energy supplies are also highly recommended.

Official schedule

Travel day: February 27

• Registered competitors will meet at the offices of the Kunming Mountaineering Expedition Association (昆明登山探险协会) between 8-8:30am.
• Buses depart for Tengchong at 8:30am
• Buses arrive in Tengchong at 4:30pm
• Race briefing and hotel check-in: 5pm

Race day: February 28

• Travel by bus from Tengchong hotel to race location: 7-8:30am
• On site competitor check-in: 8:30-9am
• 50-kilometer, 25-kilometer and orienteering races begin promptly at 9am
• All races to conclude by 3pm
• Awards ceremony begins at 3:30pm

Return to Kunming: February 29

• Buses leave for Kunming early morning

All images: X-Trail

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