Our Technical Mission in Xiwuqi has confirmed this year’s race courses for the Grassland Marathon and Genghis Khan MTB Adventure. In agreement with local authorities differences are minimal compared to last year. The running event will commence with a neutralised zone.
The 1200 participants in this year’s Genghis Khan Festival will thus again enjoy the best of the Xiwuqi grasslands. Recent snow and rainfall even suggest the scenery will be greener than ever. In addition to the very positive feedback last year, we keep the courses more or less as they are.
Runners should pay attention to the new starting procedure of the Grassland Marathon. As always, all participants get together at Culture Square at 6:45 a.m., but this time there will be four separate blocks in order to ensure a smooth start with so many people. Marathon runners are obviously in front in block A, followed by KOG participants in B, Half Marathon runners in C and 11k runners in D. The start will be given at 7 a.m., but contrary to before the first few hundreds of metres on the road leading out of the town centre will be neutralised. Runners ought to remain behind the two leading cars, which will move at easy warm-up pace towards the official start that will be given ‘on the fly’ at Xiwuqi Hotel. Time-keeping also starts there. This means that the Grassland Marathon will now be run for over 90% on trails! Consider appropriate footwear.
The MTB participants get a chance to warm-up the legs on Friday morning with the new 5.8km long time trial, before the traditional 3-day stage race starts in the afternoon at 2 pm. The courses for stages 1 and 2 are virtually a copy of last year, even though a modest modification on stage 1 may be required subject to road works in progress, which may affect the very back end of the course near the Genghis Khan horses’ statue. The third and longest stage on Sunday will see a 2km extended incursion into prime grassland between km 60 and 70.
As every year, foul weather in June and local farmers’ wishes can force us to make modifications at the last minute.
The local people in Xiwuqi are delighted to have seen their event growing to this high a level over the past few years, and they will do their utmost to make new friends and make every participant’s experience a good one.