Six Asia-Pacific sporting events for athletic travellers

25 Jan 2017 by Craig Bright
There are simple ways to improve your health and fitness

Exercising while travelling isn’t always easy – tight schedules, lacklustre facilities or even a plain old-fashioned dearth of motivation can all wreak havoc on exercise regimes when heading overseas.

But what if your itinerary was designed around a set-in-stone sporting event? By combining activities such as a short run or an intense marathon with business or leisure, a relatively straightforward trip can be something to look forward to even further.

Travel search engine Skyscanner has found a number of sporting events across Asia-Pacific that travellers can take part in while travelling in 2017. From casual 5km runs to 100km feats of endurance best left to those who are gluttons for punishment, here are six events in Asia-Pacific sporting enthusiasts can take part in this year.

Time to get training!

Wanjinshi Marathon

Where? New Taipei City, Taiwan
When? March 19
Distance? 7km, 14km and 42km

Covering New Taipei City’s Wanli, Jinshan and Shimen districts, the Wanjinshi Marathon saw approximately 12,000 runners take part in 2015. This year, the race starts at Wanli’s Pacific Hot Spring Hotel Green Bay car park and heads north along the course past the North Bay Golf Course and Shi Ba Wang Gong Temple, before ending in Shimen.

The Sunday morning run has an early start (6am for the marathon, 6:20am for the 14km and 6:50am for the 7km) with shuttle buses from three locations in the city.

The Music Run

The Music Run

Where? Singapore
When? May 6
Distance? 5km

The first of two more leisurely 5km runs on the list, The Music Run takes place on Singapore’s Sentosa Island and combines a mini-marathon with a music festival. Throughout the course, some 120 speakers are lined up playing different music in each of the five 1km sections – rock, pop, old school, hip hop and dance.

Runners can also vote on the music being played by casting votes on a special app, which are tallied in real time and push songs further up or down the playlist. After the run has ended, a festival with live bands, DJs, dancers, LED screens and fireworks takes place.

Andaman Trail

Where? Phuket, Thailand
When? June 18
Distance? 10km

Starting in Phuket’s Kamala area and finishing up at Bang Niao Dam, the Andaman Trail is designed to be a race for varying abilities. Runners are split into four groups depending on speed (runners can choose this upon registration), but aside from that runners are able to take their time on the run and staff are available to assist those in the final group to make sure participants can finish the race.

As its name suggests, the run is designed as a trail run, though according to the organisers approximately 90 per cent of the run does in fact take place on concrete, meaning first-time trail runners need not be too daunted.

Mongolia Action Asia 3-day Ultra Marathon

Where? Mongolia
When? June 16-18
Distance? 60-100km

The clue is in the name with the Mongolia Action Asia 3-day Ultra Marathon and at a distance ranging from 60km to 100km, this run is the precise opposite of a leisurely stroll in the countryside. That said, the goal of the run is actually to promote Mongolia’s natural terrain and top running locations.

Comprising single-track horse trails and open plains in the Steppes of Mongolia near the Siberian border, the specific location of the run is kept a secret until the night before each of the three days of running, when maps are given out to participants to promote exploration.

The Color Run

Where? Jakarta, Indonesia
When? August 7
Distance? 5km

With iterations in more than 35 countries across the globe, The Color Run is claimed to be “the single largest event series in the world”. The relatively leisurely run is just 5km in length, but the course is only half of the fun.

Every kilometre, runners have coloured powder poured on them – the aim being for runners to end the event more vibrantly multicoloured than an Andy Warhol painting. The event has two rules: wear white at the starting line; finish covered head-to-toe in colour.

Tough Mudder Melbourne

Where? Melbourne, Australia
When? October 28-29
Distance? 9km and 18km

Similar to the Color Run, Melbourne’s Tough Mudder event is designed to get you covered in colour by the end of it – only this time the colour is brown and the cause is mud. Claimed by the organisers as being “probably the toughest event on the planet”, the event is more obstacle course than run and tests participants’ strength, stamina and mental fortitude with a particular emphasis on teamwork.

This year, the event is introducing new obstacles that include climbing up a vertical tube while water rushes down, swinging across rings while suspended 30 feet above the ground, and wading through chest-deep water with a cage poised just inches above the surface.

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