First Endurance ultra runner Krissy Moehl travelled to the mountainous region of China at the base of the Himalayas to win her second race of the year, a grueling 160.3km ultra distance running race – Mt. Gaoligong by UTMB.
Having recently won the Sean O’Brien 50 miler, Moehl is off to a hot start for 2018. Racing atypically early this year, Moehl stated “This was an incredibly hard race to train for. The winter months I typically focus on the preparations for Chuckanut 50k (Moehl is the Race Director) and also take recovery from the year of racing. I switched gears this winter to be prepared for this run and endured one of the wettest and coldest PNW winters by spending more time outside ‘in it’ than not. There were plenty of days I would have opted for an inside workout or a rest day, but the motivation of training for this race kept me out there and I got to spend a lot of trail time with my pup”.
The Gaoligong Ultra traverses the foothills of the Himalayas on 3,000-year-old cobbled trading paths through mystical mountains. Moehl described the terrain stating “It was a super challenging course! There was more than 8,300 meters of climbing – that’s like Hardrock! But the highest elevation was around 8500ft (not that high) so there were a ton of steep and relatively short climbs”.
The local people of the area actively support and embrace the event and welcome the athletes. Regarding the experience, Moehl said “I loved the interactions with the people along the course and in the aid stations. They really know how to make you feel like a rockstar. I’ve never had so many photos taken in such a short time period.”
Spending the previous months in the humid and chilly west coast conditions of Washington, Moehl said “The race was warmer than the weather I endured for training. Because of that electrolyte hydration was key for me. I complimented my typical water only with a shot of EFS at nearly every aid station. I also enjoyed the local Ginger Tea. At the finish and then again before the awards ceremony the next day I downed a packet of EVO1, my new favorite vegan recovery drink. Drank it all winter through training and still craved it at the end of the race.”
Winning the 160km ultra distance in a time of 27:19:38 earned Moehl the Mt. Gaoligong title by 2:07:11 on Japan’s 2nd place finisher Kaori Niwa and 4:01:49 on 3rd place Haiyan Gu from China.
“The quote – ‘Hard Work Pays Off’ is a meaningful one to me and it was SO rewarding to have all of the committed running pay off!”.
Mt. Gaoligong Ultra By UTMB 160km
March 9, 2018
1. Kristin Moehl 27:19:38
2. Kaori Niwa 29:26:49
3. Haiyan Gu 31:21:27
4. Longxia Li 33:29:35
5. Jun Yang 34:23:24
6. Lin Huang 34:50:12
7. Chunhua Mou 35:21:25
8. Ying Chen 35:50:07
9. Junfang Tao 36:39:30
10. Yuqiu Bai 37:05:32