Unforgettable UTMB World Series debut for Ultra-Trail Mount Yun by UTMB in China as Guidu Qin and Xu Meiling crowned champions
Over 3,200 runners took to the start line of Ultra-Trail Mount Yun by UTMB in the Shanxi Province, China, this weekend as the event celebrated its 5th anniversary and its debut on the UTMB® World Series stage. Guidu Qin (CHN, UTMB Index 855) and Meiling Xu (CHN, UTMB Index 733) were crowned victorious in the queen DMY 100K race, flying across challenging terrain and via stunning natural and historical monuments before taking the tape in Zhonghe Square.
Qin celebrated his first UTMB World Series victory, building on his second place at TransJeju by UTMB earlier in the year in South Korea. Min Qi (CHN, UTMB Index 869) followed just 11 minutes behind after leading for over 20 miles. It proved a real battle up to the final moments amongst the top three male runners, with Mengkai Bate (CHN, UTMB Index 846) trading places with Qi to take the lead, before losing it just 2.5 miles from the finish and winding up in third.
“This is the first time I have won such a big race in China and the excitement is unparalleled. I really feel that the atmosphere at the event is the best among all the races I have participated in. When I got to the finish line, I couldn’t believe it when I was told I was the first runner, I was excited beyond words!” said Qin.
Meiling Xu (CHN) was quick to prove why she was considered the pre-race favorite, finishing with over an hour to spare on second-placed Huarong Fu (CHN, UTMB Index 667) and third-placed Xianfeng Zhang (CHN), while also securing a top ten finish in the process.
“We started at night and the sky was full of stars. Just as the sun was about to rise, the beautiful scenery appeared before my eyes followed by a sea of clouds and the red morning sun. Running through the night was worth it for that very rare experience!” said Xu.
It proved to be another incredible battle in the MMY 50K race as pre-race favorites Jiasheng Shen (CHN, UTMB Index 909) and Tao Luo (CHN, UTMB Index 882) went head-to-head. Having won the 50K in both 2019 and 2020, Luo looked set to take the top spot once again in 2023 until Shen stripped him off his lead in the final three miles and winning with just over one minute to spare. Huohua Zhang (CHN, UTMB Index 868) rounded out the competitive podium in third.
With Na Zhang (CHN, UTMB Index 674) and Anna Li (CHN, UTMB Index 668) both together at the 18-mile mark, an incredible battle also unfolded in the women’s race with Zhang eventually pulling ahead to take her first UTMB World Series victory and secure a spot at the UTMB World Series Finals for the first time. Anna Li held onto second, crossing the line five minutes behind, with Na Chen rounding out the podium in third.
Over 1,000 runners took to the start line for the 20K EMY, which saw Guangfu Meng (CHN, UTMB Index 870) dip under the two-hour mark with a blistering time of 01:59:35. He was joined by Guolong Wang (CHN) and Zongyan Jiang (CHN, UTMB Index 719) on the podium, with Wenrong Zheng (CHN, UTMB Index 680), Yonghua She (CHN) and and Wenli Jiang (CHN) closing out the women’s podium to round-out an incredible weekend of racing under perfect conditions.
With over 1,000 drones displaying a spectacular light show, and children lining the villages to high-five runners as they passed, it proved to be an unforgettable fifth edition at Ultra-Trail Mount Yun by UTMB as participants earned prestigious Running Stones to enter the lottery for the UTMB World Series Finals.
Full results here.