Ultramarathons are becoming very popular in Asia

The selection of intense path runners is on the rise, significantly in Asia.

CNBC attended HK100, an yearly race in Hong Kong, where by participants from about the globe assemble to operate 100 kilometers, marginally a lot more than 62 miles.

If that sounds like a lot, it is. Even the fastest runners took all around 12 hrs to entire the training course, with the cut-off time being 30 hrs.

John Ellis, an investment manager dependent in Hong Kong, has fashioned an obsession with ultramarathons, managing in 17 races in the previous 12 months by yourself. He said that’s amounted to managing extra than 870 miles just in competitions – which is higher than the length amongst New York and Chicago.

“You get this feeling of euphoria. I like the challenge. You happen to be just one with nature,” he mentioned. “It just grounds me and centers me. It can be my meditation.”

He is so obsessed with the activity, he even co-founded, T8, a Hong Kong start off-up which tends to make working equipment for lengthy races like ultramarathons. A single of its solutions, for occasion, is a pair of shorts with an built-in operating band for storing necessities like a telephone and keys.

Members put together to operate HK100, a path race spanning extra than 60 miles.


Ellis is one particular of about 1,800 runners who competed in HK100, which has developed massively considering the fact that it began. In its to start with 12 months, organizers explained they struggled to get 200 runners to compete. This calendar year, nonetheless, they received a lot more than 8,000 programs for the considerably less than 2,000 places readily available.

The need for intense races has surged above the past decade. The number of path races in China, has long gone from just two in 2009, according to Sina Athletics, to 457 by 2018.

“It’s a rather new activity in Asia and persons are exploring all this distinctive landscape,” Janet Ng, the founder and organizer of HK100 reported. “It is growing exponentially.”

Ellis, in the meantime, attributes significantly of the ultramarathon progress to mounting fascination in physical fitness.

“The world’s hoping to get fitter. You have all these individuals looking for the subsequent activity and trail running, for me, is just the next reasonable spot,” he mentioned.

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