This morning at 08:00 (03:00 UK Time) the runners taking part in Mountain Ultra 2023 took their first steps on a 200km journey through one of the planet’s least explored Mountain Ranges, the Tian Shan Mountains in Kyrgyzstan. They’ll tackle more than 9000m of ascent over the next 5-days in thin mountain air, camping each night in yurts under the stars.
Stage One is named The Nomad. It’s 32km in length and has 950m of ascent, the least amount of verticle distance they’ll cover during any stage of the race. Starting at 2,500m, it twists through untouched forests and glacial valleys. To the north, the famous Seven Bulls of Jeti-Ögüz, a striking, vibrant red rock formation is visible and to the east, snow-capped peaks tower above the pine forests. The air is thin and they’ll have felt the added effort as the runners reached 3,000m before the final descent into the Jeti-Ögüz Valley, where tonight’s Yurt camp was waiting.
All the runners have made it to camp after a scorching day out on the course. They’d have been forgiven for thinking the altitude and the technicality of the trail would be their biggest enemies in the mountains, but the heat is oppressive and sunscreen supplies are being worked through fast.
Jon Shield won the stage, completing the distance under the blistering sun in 03:37. Michael McLean was 2nd in 03:53, and 1st Female Kristina Madsen finished in joint 3rd alongside Karl Alvarez in 04:06. You can see the winners finish here.
You’ll find complete stage results below. Tomorrow they take on Stage Two – Telety Pass. Racing begins at 07:30 (02:30 UK Time).
STAGE ONE RESULTS:
|Position||Race Number||Name||M/F||Finish Time||Time Behind Leader|