XTERRA Expands Trail Run World Series to “Avatar Mountain” Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan, China
March 12, 2024
Key Points:
  • XTERRA Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan Trail Run is the first of its kind at this UNESCO site and World Geopark on October 26-27, 2024.
  • Trailblazing course with 21K and 50K distances, showcases Zhangjiajie's natural wonders.
  • Event serves as a qualifier for the 2025 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship.

ZHANGJIAJIE, CHINA - In an expansion of the XTERRA Trail Run World Series, the inaugural XTERRA Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan Trail Run has been scheduled to take place on October 26-27, 2024. 

This landmark event marks the first international trail run to be hosted in the ethereal landscapes of Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan, a UNESCO World Heritage site in China. Athletes from across the globe are invited to embark on a legendary journey through the mystical "Avatar Mountain," offering an unparalleled blend of natural beauty and cultural richness.

XTERRA VP Operations & Marketing, J-D Cousens proclaims, "With its global reach, XTERRA has established itself as a leader in organizing top-tier off-road events, attracting both elite competitors and passionate enthusiasts. The introduction of the XTERRA Trail Run World Series to Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan reflects our dedication to discovering exceptional destinations and offering athletes an extraordinary and memorable experience."

Unveiling the Hidden Gems of Zhangjiajie

Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan is celebrated for its majestic sandstone pillars, verdant forests, and otherworldly vistas that have inspired artists and filmmakers alike. As trail runners weave through the dense jungle trails, they will uncover the hidden gems of this mystical region, with each turn revealing breathtaking views and challenging terrain. The course, meticulously designed for both 21K and 50K categories, promises to test the mettle of runners with its rocky ascents, twisty paths, and significant elevation gain.

XTERRA’s APAC Technical Director Landry Benoit shares his enthusiasm, “The trails in the jungle are dense and single-track, almost like they've been forgotten and swallowed up by nature. It's exciting to reopen these trails and I'm sure the participants will really appreciate these hidden gems brought back to light.”

"Athletes should be ready for a mix of rocky ascents and descents, along with some really twisty turns. There's also a significant amount of elevation gain that adds a tough layer to the course. The 50K is going to be challenging, probably one of the toughest in the Trail Run World Series," advises XTERRA Global Technical Director and former XTERRA World Champion Nico Lebrun.

Embracing the Local Traditions and Culture

In line with XTERRA's mission to connect athletes with diverse cultures, this trailblazing event will immerse runners in the local traditions of Tujia, Bai, and Miao ethnicities accounting for 77% of Zhangjiajie's total population. 

Participants and spectators will have the opportunity to engage with vibrant customs, taste local cuisine, and witness traditional artistic expressions. This cultural integration ensures that the XTERRA Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan Trail Run is not only a sporting event, but a holistic experience celebrating the region’s diverse rich traditions and history.

The related person in charge of the Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan Cultural Tourism and Sports Bureau added, “Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan is renowned for its towering quartzite sandstone pillars and lush landscapes. Our partnership with XTERRA not only emphasizes our dedication to promoting outdoor sports, but also highlights our rich local heritage, firmly establishing Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan as a premier global destination for trail running and cultural immersion.”

Zhangjiajie's Path to the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship

As part of the expansive XTERRA Trail Run World Series, the Zhangjiajie event serves as a qualifier for the 2025 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship. With 232 slots available, athletes participating in both the 21K and 50K races will have the opportunity to earn their place on the starting line and compete for the title of XTERRA Trail Run World Champion.

The XTERRA Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan Trail Run on October 26-27, 2024 is more than just an event; it's an adventure through one of China's most iconic natural wonders. Registration is now open with elite athletes and trail running enthusiasts able to register for the 21K and 50K races via the XTERRA Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan event page.


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