On a cool morning on November 15th, nearly 1500 racers hit the trails along Tai Lake in Suzhou.
Organised by XTERRA, a brand born in Maui, Hawaii, its X marks the ‘unknown’ and TERRA represents ‘the earth’, the name itself stands for Exploring the Unknown Territories. For 25 years, XTERRA has attracted millions of adventurous outdoor enthusiasts and has become a global lifestyle brand.
Last September, XTERRA successfully introduced the trail event to China, holding the first triathlon event in Qunming. This year, in the picturesque Suzhou, XTERRA organised the first trail run challenge alongside the magnificent Tai Lake.
With nearly 1500 runners from every corner of the country, the event drew together some top athletes, from Wang Jiachao, the para-Olympic champion to Tang Jingyan, the foremost female athlete in her field.
Under COVID-19, while many foreign participants could not attend, there were still over 50 runners from 18 different countries taking part in the race, among them athletes from France, Japan, Brazil and Germany.
There were 4 event distances, 50KM, 30KM, 10KM and 5KM. Carefully designed tracks covered the beautiful views along Tai Lake while retaining the signature challenges of an XTERRA event.
After nearly 5 gruelling hours, Li Jia Jia, from China won the title in the 50KM men’s group with a time of 04:50:01, and Tang Jing Yan took the crown for the 50KM women’s in 05:50:15. 30KM’s wins were shared by Li Fei & Wu Xing with 02:50:45 & 03:57:42, respectively. The event also had 2 winners from Japan, Mizuki Michihiro and Mori Ayaka who won the men’s and women’s 10KM category.
More than just a trail run!
From day one XTERRA holds sustainable development as it’s guiding concept. The Suzhou event maintains such a spirit. From a strict no-littering policy, to replacing disposable water bottles with reusable folding bottles; the organiser discouraged the use of trekking poles during the race aiming to protect the ground covering vegetation along the track.
The organiser ensured the equipment used during this event was all reusable. T-shirts were made from 100% recycled materials with bio-degradable packaging. XTERRA hopes that leading by example, those who love outdoor activities in China would be more aware of the importance of environmental protection.
Since June 2020, XTERRA initiated X-plogging – a non-profit activity that combines sports and litter pick-up. In the short 5-month life span, 21 cities and 61 events were organised, tons of rubbish has been cleaned up. The Suzhou event not only is the first trail run race organised by XTERRA in China but is also held the 1st X-plogging conference. Collaborating with the China Green Foundation, XTERRA donated 1,500 trees on behalf of all the participating runners, a green contribution in action!
Find out more about XTERRA events HERE.