The TU is a 50km circular trail, with 13 stream crossings and 2,500m of elevation gain. The TU starts and finishes in the Shan tribal village of Ban Tham. TU100 competitors will complete the loop twice.
The route takes runners through three more remote hill tribe villages, passes beautiful limestone cliffs and the entrance to the magnificent Tham Lod (Lod Cave).
The course is mainly on walking tracks and old 4WD dirt tracks; about 3km is on concrete roads in the villages
Approx 6.25km – this is a tough section. The course record is 51 mins!
Leaving Cave Lodge, you will run through Ban Tham village, then descend to the Nam Lang river. You will run over the top of Tham Lod (Lod Cave) and back to the Nam Lang.
After 1km, the first tough climb is Heart Attack Hill. It’s about 350m straight up to the Ridgeline, From here you will have beautiful views down into the Karen village of Muang Paem (CP2) and the hills showing above the mist in the valley.
Just before the village is the first stream crossing. CP1 is in Jakaar’s house. Jakaar is an essential member of the TU team, helping with just about everything!
Approx 10.25 km – course record is 58 mins
The route leaves Muang Paem and follows a stream through a beautiful forest, with several stream crossings, before joining a little used 4WD dirt road for a steady climb and then a descent into a valley. Here the trail crosses the stream on a rustic wooden bridge, followed by another climb to reach the tiny, remote Lahu tribal village of Eyla. The second aid staion (CP2 and 6) is here.
It is approximately 21km to the next aid station, so water containers MUST be filled here.
Approx 21.5km – course record is 2:02:16
From Eyla, the course doubles back for 2 1/2 km and then follows a little used walking trail through jungle deep into the back-country. This is the biggest climb on the trail, gaining approximately 650m elevation in 6km.
The top of this track is the highest point of the course at 1441m, and also the halfway point. Now you join a disused 4WD track for a long, undulating descent (approx 15km). The jungle is rapidly reclaiming this road. In sections the run-off from the rain has formed gulleys 6m deep and 5m wide, where the road used to be, leaving tracks only about a meter wide. In the worst sections trails have been remade around the gulleys. Although the gulleys will be clearly marked, great care will still need to be taken on this section, especially in the dark.
This is the remotest part of the run, where gibbons and barking deer can be heard.
This road takes runners into the Lahu tribal village of E-Ko (CP 3 and 7), which is situated on the Nam Lang River.
Approx 12.5km – course record is 1:18:33
From E-Ko, the route leaves the village on an undulating 4WD dirt road, before turning left onto a walking trail on the ridgline which descends, towards Ban Tham. This section of track is quite slippy and technical in parts with some very steep downhill sections.
At the bottom of this track, is the last stream crossing. The final 3.5km is flat and easy, with the last 2km on concrete roads through the village.
Ban Tham is the finish for the 50km runners, or the halfway point for the 100km competitors.
All snacks will be vegetarian. The following will be available at aid stations:
water, Coke, fresh fruit, banana sticky rice, biscuits, crisps, peanuts and other cold snacks.
basic medical supplies – bandages, plasters, scissors, antiseptic cream, iodine, and vaseline.
|Checkpoint||Distance (km)||TU50 Cut Off||TU100 Cut Off|
|3||37.5||10h 45m||9h 00m|
|4 (50k Finish)||50||14h||11h 00m|
|8 (100k Finish)||100||—||24h|