Xterra Taihu Hitting the Trails in the Autumn Gold
On the cool morning of November 15th, nearly 1500 racers hit the trails along Tai Lake in Suzhou.
Organised by XTERRA, a brand born in Maui Hawaii, its X marks the ‘unknown’ and TERRA represents ‘the earth’, the name itself stands for Exploring the Unknown Territories. For 25 years, XTERRA attracts millions of adventurous outdoor enthusiasts and is becoming a global leading lifestyle brand.
Last September, XTERRA successfully introduced the trail event and its outdoor lifestyle to China, holding the first triathlon event in Qunming. This year, in beautiful Suzhou, XTERRA organized the first trail run challenge along the magnificent Tai Lake.
With nearly 1500 runners from every corner of the nation, the event drew together some top athletes in the country, from Wang Jiachao, the para-Olympic champion to Tang Jingyan, the foremost female athlete in the field.
Even under covid-19, while many foreign participants could not attend, there were still over 50 runners from 18 different countries taking part in the race, among them were those from France, Japan, Brazil and Germany.
There were 4 racing categories in this event, 50KM, 30KM, 10KM and 5KM. Carefully designed tracks covered the spell-bounding views along Tai Lake while retaining the signature challenges of an XTERRA event.
After nearly 5 gruelling hours, Li Jia Jia, from China won the title for the 50KM men’s group with 04:50:01, and Tang Jing Yan took the crown for the 50KM women’s in 05:50:15. 30KM’s wins were shared by Li Fei & Wu Xing with 02:50:45 & 03:57:42, respectively. We also had 2 winners from Japan, Mizuki Michihiro and Mori Ayaka who won the men’s and women’s 10KM category.
More than just a trail run!
From day one XTERRA holds sustainable development as it’s guiding concept. This Suzhou event maintains such a spirit. From a strict no-littering policy, to replacing disposable water bottles with reusable folding bottles; the organizer discouraged the use of trekking poles during the race aiming to protect the ground covering vegetation along the track.
The organizer ensured the equipment used during this event were all reusable, T-shirts were made from 100% recycled materials with bio-degradable packaging. XTERRA hopes by leading by example, those who love outdoor activities in China would be more aware of the importance of environmental protection.
Since June 2020, XTERRA initiated X-plogging – a non-profit activity that combines sports & litter pick-up. In the short 5-month time, 21 cities and 61 events were organized, tons of garbage were cleaned up, literally. This Suzhou event not only is the 1st trail run race organized by XTERRA in China but is also the 1st X-plogging conference. Collaborating with China Green Foundation, XTERRA donated 1500 trees on behalf of all the participating runners, a green contribution in action!
Text & Photo Credits: XTERRA