About The Race
Aid-Stations, Cut-off Times and Drop-off Bags
There will be 7 aid-stations located at intervals of 10-15km (6-10 miles) and one water station, excluding the start and finish at Camp Toilogt. Aid-station 3 is at Camp Toilogt. Aid-station 4 also functions as Aid-station 7. All aid-stations will offer Mongolian tea and cold water, biscuits, cooked potatoes, salt and dried bananas. A local Mongolian doctor and an English-speaking translator will man aid-stations. Radio communication will be available from most aid-stations for emergency purposes.
Participants have to reach aid-stations by specified cut-off times and will be removed from the race should they not make these cut-off times. These cut-off times are 8 hours after start at the 42km mark; 12 hours after start at the 65 km mark; 14 hours after start at the at the 76Km mark; 16 hours 30 min. after start at the 88 km mark and after 18 hours after start all participants still running will be picked up.
Two drop-off bags will be allowed – one at Aid-station 3 at the 42km mark, also the finish of the marathon distance. The second bag drop-off is at Aid-station 7 at the 76km mark.
(Also see Course Map)
Medical and Emergency Services
A western doctor will lead the medical team and handle any life-threatening emergencies. Appropriate transportation to the nearest hospital will be on call at the race headquarters in the event that a participant requires emergency care. Race medical personnel will check participants prior to the race and reserve the right to prevent any unfit participants from running. They may also prevent further participation at aid-stations if runners appear unfit to complete the event safely. This measure is necessary to ensure that all participants are off the course by race end (18 hours after start). Participants will be required to attend a medical briefing by the medical team prior to the race in order to ensure that they can help sick/injured fellow participants on the course.
We recommend that participants pack any prescription medicines that they may need due to their known medical condition as well as some common items such as:
- Band-aid & disinfectant (open wounds, blisters)
- Elastic band (sprained ankle/knee)
- Antiseptic wound cream for sores
- Muscle relaxant, chili plaster or poultice in case of stiff neck, pinched nerves or injured muscles
- Vitamin C and other cold medicine
- Stomach medicine (diarrhea)
- Your preferred pain killer/aspirin
The US State Department recommends no particular vaccinations for visitors to Mongolia. For further information please consult the US State Department web site or the UK Foreign Office web site.
For additional medical information for visiting Mongolia we also recommend that you contact the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention,
Medical advice is also offered in the Lonely Planet Guide Book on Mongolia.
Race Safety Rules
Safety is best ensured through prevention: at all times, make sure to keep focused and to be extra careful near cliffs (yes, there are cliffs!) or while going down steep trails. Exhaustion may reduce your attention or even cause disorientation; altitude adds to these effects. Always make sure to drink and eat regularly and sufficiently; rest if you feel excessively exhausted.
Should an emergency occur, fast communication will ensure that the emergency can be dealt with in the best possible way. For such an emergency, modern technology is on stand-by (e.g. short-wave radio, Western medical assistance and pharmaceuticals). But if injured, you will have to first get to an aid-station to benefit from those means. In certain circumstances only a fellow runner will be able to help you reach an aid-station or to inform the nearest aid-station.
Should you meet a runner in need of assistance, do supply it, based on what you will be taught before the race. Do also inform the next aid-station or the nearest one in case of a life-threatening situation.
- 1. You must stay on course at all times for your own safety and follow the markings (green marks). Should you not see course markings for 100 m. return to the last one you had seen and look for the next trail marks.
- 2. You are required to carry at all times:
- 2.1 Your own rain proof gear for top and bottom, meaning including rain pants
- 2.2 Emergency kit, containing:
- 2.2.1 One emergency blanket, provided
- 2.2.2 One whistle, one note pad and 2 small plastic bags, provided
- 2.2.3 Emergency food, provided
- 2.2.4 The course map and profile, provided
- 2.2.5 Bandage, provided
- 2.2.6 Water disinfecting tablets, provided.
- 2.3 Your own compass.
- 2.4 Your own liquid containers with a minimum capacity of 1.5 litres
- 2.5 Your own electrical torch
- 3 You are required to carry the above items in order to enhance your ability to withstand an emergency situation and allow the race direction to bring you assistance as fast as possible.
- 3.1. Do not discard the items listed under 2.2 as long as you are still racing.
- 3.2. You are requested to consume your provided emergency food rations while racing only if:
- You are unable to transport yourself to an aid-station
- You are exhausted; you may collapse or feel you are getting disoriented.
- You consider yourself to be in an emergency situation
- 3.3. The items listed in 2.2 will be checked at random after checkpoints during the race and you will be disqualified if you do not have the above items with you.
- 4. Runners who do not have the compulsory items with them and have not had to use them in an emergency will be disqualified.
- 5. Immediately provide assistance to other participants in an emergency situation. You will be given some relevant first aid instruction before the race. You may find it necessary to transport an injured fellow runner to the nearest station. After providing assistance inform the race direction via aid-stations. As much as possible you will be credited extra time for your detour or time spent in assistance.
- 6. Should you be in need of assistance, but not in need of immediate transport to an aid-station, you will help other runners communicate your condition without delaying them, by writing a message in English on the pad with the pen provided and protecting it in a small plastic bag. The next fellow runner will carry this message to the next aid-station.
- 6.1. On this message, write as summarized on the notepad cover:
- Your race number and name
- Your position estimate (between Km X and Km Y)
- Your condition
- Your perceived most urgent needs
- 6.2. Insert the message in the plastic bag and hand it over to the next runner.
- 6.1. On this message, write as summarized on the notepad cover:
- 7. Should you need to attract assistance use your whistle as follows: whistle 3 short blows, wait and repeat.
- 8. Should you hear an emergency whistle, reply by three long whistles to let the person in need know that he/she has been heard.
- 9. Runners who did not assist in an emergency may be disqualified from the race.
- 10. Race medical personnel on course and at aid stations are entitled to withdraw you from the race if they see fit.
- 11. Aid-station personnel will do their utmost to provide you with drink, food and first aid. They are also keeping track of your location on the course and so contribute to your safety: please help them to help you!
- 12. When arriving at aid-stations, first check-in for time and medical check, then proceed to food and drink.
Environmental and Cultural Code
The Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset is set in one of the most beautiful national parks in Asia. Preserving and possibly improving its environment and the cultural distinctiveness of its inhabitants is a primary goal of the event.
We request your active collaboration to achieve this purpose, as follows:
- While running or hiking, keep to existing trails
- Do not litter at anytime, anywhere.
- Pick-up litter that you may come across, even if it is not yours.
- Do not unnecessarily disturb wild or domestic animals
Be generally respectful of the local flora, fauna, people and deities. (Do consider taking at least one clockwise circumambulation around the local cairns -called ovoo in Mongolia- which you will pass by while running! Also try not to move rocks, as Mongolians say that they suffer for a thousand year as a result.)
The climate in Mongolia in July/August is at its best, usually dry and sunny with short spells of rain. Temperatures will range between 20 to 30 degrees Celsius (60 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day. At night they may fall to 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). The altitude at Camp Toilogt is 1,645m (5,400ft). The sun at Lake Hovsgol is very strong and sun protection is strongly advised. Rain showers are to be expected. Partially wet and swampy terrain is not uncommon, particularly in the summer months.
Meals and Accommodations
Meals in Mongolia will primarily consist of beef, lamb, fish, vegetables, potatoes, pasta or rice at each lunch and dinner. Vegetarians will be catered to with simple vegetable and pasta dishes, complemented with milk, yogurt and possibly cheese but we recommend that they bring protein bars or bean products to augment their diet and supply complete nutrition. Breakfast meals will consist of bread, cream and jam with, on occasion, eggs, ham or the like.
The only beverage included for meals is tea and water (all other drinks will be purchased by participants individually). Fresh fruits and vegetables are rarely served in Mongolia. If you are a vegetarian or have special food allergies, do fill in the adequate fields in the online registration form. Organisers will discuss feasible arrangements and determine what meal options may be available in Mongolia that accord with your particular condition. You may also consider bringing any special foods that you may require.
Accommodation in Ulaanbaatar, will be in 3-star or 4-star hotels in single or shared accommodation (a single accommodation supplement applies).
What to Bring
Luggage destined for Camp Toilogt is limited to 15 kg (33 lb.) including one piece of carry-on luggage per person as a result of domestic airline restrictions. (Upon request, additional luggage with a change of clothes and city shoes, for example, may be safely stowed in Ulaanbaatar for retrieval upon the return from Camp Toilogt. Please inform organizers ahead of time should you need this service.)
Lightweight rain gear (top and pants) is mandatory, prior to and during the race. A clothesline comes in handy for drying wet garments in the gers. Warm clothes are recommended for chilly evenings. Temperatures can also drop sharply during rain showers. Hat and high sun protection sun cream (UPF 20 and above) are strongly recommended. Luggage with a lockable compartment (and a lock) is recommended for the storage of valuables. In addition to rain gear (top and pants), runners must bring: an electric torch, and water bottles or a camel back with a minimum capacity of 1.5 liters (see Race Regulation 2.2).
Money, Currency and Purchases
Participants may change any currency at the UB airport while waiting for luggage. In Camp Toilogt, money exchange will not be possible. However, camp Toilogt accepts US$ currency. Change may not always be available and we recommend you take some small bills.
The local currency is the Mongolian Tugruk (MNT)
Traditional Mongolian art and clothing can be very interesting souvenirs and presents. Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset printed T-shirts, and embroidered polar fleece vests will be on sale at Camp Toilogt.
We recommend that participants take a minimum of US$200 (out of which US$100 would be in cash) per week in Mongolia.
Emergency Contact Details
The provisional emergency contact details during the race week are as follows.
In Ulaanbaatar: Hovsgol Travel Company (HT), Travel Manager and Event Secretary Erke or Travel Coordinator Shuree on:
- +976 11 460 368 (HT office phone)
- +976 11 460 367 (HT office fax)
- +976 9909 4810 (Shuree’s mobile phone)
In Camp Toilogt contact Shuree and ask her to transfer a simple message also the mobile phone with GSM and CDMA network is available at the camp.
Note: All of the individuals named above speak English. In July/August Mongolia is (usually) 16 hours ahead of US West Coast Time and 6 hours ahead of Central European Time.
- Lake Hovsgol National Park – A Visitor’s Guide
- This excellent booklet provides a very comprehensive introduction to Hovsgol National Park and includes background information on the lake, local culture and color plates of local flora and fauna.
- Mongolia in Transition. Old Patterns, New Challenges
- Ole Brunn and Ole Odgaard – collection of essays about social change in Mongolia since 1991
- Mongolian Folktales
- Hilary Roe Metternich – provides great insight into Mongolian culture
- The Modern History of Mongolia
- C.R. Bawden – academic history of Mongolia since 1910s
- Men and Gods in Mongolia
- Henning Haslund – fascinating account of a 1935 trip through Mongolia (now back in print)
- The Last Disco in Outer Mongolia
- Nick Middleton – great account of visits to Mongolia in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
All participants will be required to sign a copy of the Safety Notice
Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset is an adventure race organized alongside local nomads and among rare flora and fauna in one of the most pristine National Parks of the world, where Nature still rules. Whilst offering challenging competition for the best ultra-runners, the event also aims at preserving the beauty of the setting and at promoting the local cultural identity.
Over the previous events, scratches, a twisted ankle and one case of stomach hyperacidity are the only injuries and illnesses suffered by participants. We strongly believe, however, that adequate preparation and participants awareness are a key factor to a good safety record. The Safety Notice and Waiver are part of it and require your undivided attention. The safety risks and hazards outlined below are not exhaustive or complete – there are many other potential risks.
Please also read our Safety description.
As with any air travel, there are always risks of an air disaster and we wish to warn you that there are no concrete preparations we can do to prevent an air disaster. If you are concerned about any aspect of the air travel for Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset, you are responsible to thoroughly investigate the details before you commit to register for the event.
Safety is best ensured through your own awareness of your environment: at all times, make sure to keep focused and to be extra careful near cliffs or while going down steep trails. Exhaustion may reduce your attention or even cause disorientation; altitude adds to these effects.
Food and Drink
Always make sure to drink at least 0.5 to 1 liter of water hourly, eat snacks once an hour and to eat something substantial at the midway aid-station (don’t forget to consume salty foods such as soup to replenish the salts you lose thru sweat).
Rest, eat and drink if you feel exhausted/groggy. Do not depend on race medical staff to tell you of this imperative.
Should an emergency occur, and you or another participant is injured, the best way to help the participant is through fast communication. Race organizers have established a communication system that will help in emergency situations. For such an emergency, modern technology is on stand-by (short-wave radios, Western medical assistance and medicines). Also, the race regulations (below) stipulate that all participants must carry message pads and pencils so that other runners can pass notes to aid stations. The only way that the race medical staff can help injured participants is if either (a) the injured participant can be assisted to an aid station, or (b) the injured runner or a passing runner can get a message to an aid station with instructions on how to find the injured runner and what the nature of the injury is. In certain circumstances only a fellow runner will be able to help you reach an aid-station or to inform the nearest aid-station. Should you meet a runner in need of assistance, you must supply it, based on first-aid knowledge you will be taught before the race. Also inform the next aid-station or the nearest one in case of a life-threatening situation.
All participants must adhere to the Race Regulations.
Behavior at Aid-stations and Finish
Aid-station personnel will do their utmost to provide you with drink, food and first aid. They are also keeping track of your location on the course and so contribute to your safety: please help them to help you!
When arriving at aid-stations, first check-in for time and medical check, then proceed to food and drink. You may not litter or carry cups away from the aid-stations. At race finish, shower and a dinner will be organized. Please be patient if hot water or a shower cabin is not available immediately after you arrive, due to limited facilities. Only use biodegradable soap, as provided.
Stay in groups. Do not go off on your own.
Horseback riding is dangerous. Every year one or two participants fall off and get scraped up. Only ride horses if you and race director are confident that you are capable. In order to minimize the danger, you are required to stay in groups and submit to race director’s instructions at all times. If you know you want to ride horses in Mongolia and you haven’t ridden before, please take some lessons at home before you come.
It is crucial that you do not swim alone. The water is extremely cold and hypothermia is very possible.
If you want to take a boat anywhere a Mongolian skipper/boat driver must accompany, and you must wear a life jacket at all times.
The Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset is set in one of the most beautiful national parks in Asia. Preserving and possibly improving its environment and the cultural distinctiveness of its inhabitants is a primary goal of the event. We request your active collaboration to achieve this purpose, as follows:
While running or hiking, keep to existing trails
Do not litter at anytime, anywhere.
Pick-up litter that you may come across, even if it is not yours.
Do not unnecessarily disturb wild or domestic animals
Be generally respectful of the local flora, fauna, people and deities. (Do consider taking at least one clockwise circumambulation around the local cairns – Övös in Mongolia- that you will pass by while running! Also try not to move rocks, as Mongolians say that they suffer for a thousand year as a result.)