By David Saunders | UPDATED: 05:28, 06 February 2020
Considered the standard-setting ultra-distance trail running event for the continent, Gaoligong by UTMB® was originally scheduled to take place from March 21-23 in the preserved Gaoligong Mountains, located in the Yunnan Province and straddling the border of southwestern China and northern Myanmar.
Concerns over the coronavirus have led to the cancellation or postponement of all sporting events across the country, and Gaoligong by UTMB® organisers have now confirmed their intention to hold the race from December 18-20, should the situation improve.
“In view of the continued spread of coronavirus and to support the Government’s epidemic prevention efforts, we have taken the decision to postpone the 2020 edition of Gaoligong by UTMB®,” Yanping Zhang, Exploring Group Yunnan Branch Managing Director, explained. “Public health is our top priority”.
“To give us the best possible chance to host the event in 2020, at a time when weather conditions will be appropriate, we will now be working towards a December date. We are also liaising closely with the Tengchong Municipal Government and local authorities to continue monitoring the situation as it develops.”
The event had already attracted 5,000 participants who were due to run in the foothills of the Himalaya’s around the Gaoligong Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site across four distances – 165km, 130km, 55km and 35km.
Runners who have already registered for the event will be able to defer their entry to December, or they will be offered a full refund.
Catherine Poletti, UTMB® Group President, commented: “The health and safety of our staff, participants and spectators is of paramount importance. We will continue to support our local partners at Exploring Group as they take the necessary measures to ensure the safe running of Gaoligong by UTMB®; an extraordinary event designed to provide trail runners with a unique opportunity to explore China’s undiscovered trails.”
For the latest updates, and for information on entry deferral or refunds, visit the official event website, here. (http://mtgaoligong.com)