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Amazean Jungle by UTMB
13th February 2023

UTMB World Series heads to the jungle for first ever Amazean Jungle Thailand by UTMB

On 17-18 February, the UTMB World Series heads to Betong on the Thai-Malaysian border for the first of four UTMB World Series events in Asia in 2023. The inaugural edition of the race promises to wow runners as they get to experience the unique and seemingly endless ‘sea of mist’ that often blankets the town, offering a supernatural view that has to be seen to be believed. With five distances on offer - from 145km (Betong 160) to 15km (Betong 10) - runners will also be charmed by the lush rainforests, jungle trails and the support of the local Paekortor community. The Betong 160 and Betong 100 runners will also get to experience the famous Piyamit Tunnel. Winding through the mountain, this manmade tunnel connects Thailand and Malaysia and is steeped in a fascinating history that will transport runners back in time as part of their running experience.

Race Director Bunjarat Suharitdamrong said: “Amazean Jungle Thailand by UTMB showcases a fertile jungle area in the south of the country, that is not normally easy to access. The jungle is very different from anywhere else in Thailand. It is not just green all year round, but its fertility and biodiversity will astonish runners. Thailand has numerous forest types that offer a different experience for trail runners. The second UTMB World Series event in Thailand, therefore, is totally unique, providing a challenging race as well as a fabulous experience through the abundance of nature and the rich culture of the Betong district.”

As one of two UTMB World Series events that will take place in Thailand in 2023, runners will have the opportunity to earn Running Stones for use in the UTMB World Series Finals lottery, while the top 3 male and female finishers in the 100M, 100K and 50K categories will also qualify for the Finals in their corresponding race.

The event has attracted 40% of its participants from outside Thailand, with many elite and passionate amateur runners from nearby Asian countries taking the chance to earn coveted Running Stones and explore trails closer to home. Many international runners from as far afield as Great Britain, Italy and France will also be taking to the start line to experience a new culture and destination.

Amongst them is Gediminas Grinius (UTMB Index 850) of Lithuania, who is back to race in Thailand after finishing third at the Doi Inthanon Thailand by UTMB event late last year. When asked what attracted him to enter the Betong 100, he said: “I was attracted by challenge which this race represents. The jungle sounds very adventurous. I'm pumped to explore this remote & undiscovered area of Thailand. My ambition was to win the Doi Inthanon race and injury in the middle of the race stopped me from doing that, so this time I hope for healthy and fast running, which brings me on podium once again.”

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