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Run a marathon in Mongolia

Travelling to new places and getting fit – arguably the two most common new year’s resolutions. With this amazing Mongolian adventure, you can tick both boxes at once! If you’re an active runner who also likes to explore different cultures and untouched nature, Jebsen Holidays has an ideal itinerary for your next 2019 getaway. The six-day trip takes you through the famous steppes of Mongolia and introduces you to the area’s nomadic families. Plus, you get to take part in the annual Ulaanbaatar Marathon, running through the streets of the capital along with hundreds of locals and international visitors.

Running in Mongolia


14 May: Hong Kong – Ulaanbaatar – Nomadic camp

The capital of Mongolia sits in the Tuul River valley at an elevation of 1,350 metres. The Tuul flows east to west and is known for its extraordinarily clear water. On arrival in Ulaanbaatar, you’ll be greeted at the airport and transferred to a Mongol nomadic ger camp for a welcome dinner at the camp restaurant and an overnight stay in this traditional style of dwelling.

Accommodation: Mongol Nomadic ger camp.

Mongolia Yurt

DAY 2 (10KM)

15 May: Nomadic camp – Bayangobi

This morning, explore and experience nomadic family lifestyle, customs and traditions in the camp. From feeding lambs, milking cows and making wool felt, to trying your hand at archery and watching wrestling. You’ll also get to wear traditional costumes and hear performances on the horse-head fiddle. Lunch is followed by a peaceful drive to Bayangobi, taking in landscapes where Mongolian nomads have lived for thousands of years. Camel riding can be organised at request.

Accommodation: Hoyor Zagal ger camp.

Mongolia Hut


16 May: Bayangobi – Terelj

After another warm-up run for the upcoming marathon, enjoy camp breakfast followed by a drive to Terelj National Park on the edge of the Khaan Khentii mountain range. Terelj is the name of a plant that flowers in abundance here at the end of spring. The alpine scenery and fantastic rock formations were the homelands of Genghis Khan (Chinggis Khaan to Mongolians) and his hordes. Some of the rock formations have a striking resemblance to everyday things. Look out for Turtle Rock and Old Man Reading a Book, in particular. Along the way, you’ll visit Mongolian ovoo or rock piles. It’s customary to circle these three times in a clockwise direction.

Accommodation: Guru ger camp


17 May: Tsonjin Boldog – Ulaanbaatar

There’s another chance to run this morning. After which you’ll visit the Genghis Khan Statue Complex, which includes a 131-foot-high equestrian statue (the largest of its kind in the world) of the famous Mongolian emperor. The site is located where legend says Khan found a golden whip that inspired his future conquests. Lunch at a ger camp is followed by a transfer to the capital, and a tour of Sukhbaatar Square and the National History Museum. Its 15,000 exhibits include silk items and military equipment from the time of the Huns. Evening entertainment features traditional music and dance performances.

Accommodation: Bayangol Hotel or Shangri-La Hotel


18 May: Ulaanbaatar International Marathon day

After breakfast in the hotel, you’ll be transferred to the route of the Ulaanbaatar International Marathon. There are different distances available to run: full marathon, half marathon, quarter marathon and 5km mini-marathon.

Accommodation: Bayangol Hotel or Shangri-La Hotel

Mongolia run marathon


19 May: Ulaanbaatar – Hong Kong

Return journey

Mongolia Statue

Fact file

Price: From HK$9,790 per person with accommodation at the Bayangol Hotel. Or from HK$10,650 with accommodation at the Shangri-La Hotel.

  • 2 nights of hotel accommodation and 3 nights of ger accommodation.
  • All daily meals.
  • 6 days of touring with English-speaking guide and private transportation.
  • All admission tickets
  • Ulaanbaatar marathon registration and badge

Terms and conditions apply; reservations must be made at least 5 weeks prior to departure.


Hong Kong – Ulaanbaatar, MIAT Mongolian Airlines flight OM298, 12.05pm to 4.45pm
Ulaanbaatar – Hong Kong, MIAT Mongolian Airlines flight OM297, 6.25am to 10.55am

Equipment checklist: Two good pairs of running shoes; headlight; water bottle; hiking pole/poles; running outfits; long pants; sunglasses; cap/hat; gloves; sunscreen and lip balm; windbreaker and rain jacket; backpack; small binoculars.

*Flights not included in package.

For info or bookings, contact 3180 6799 or enquiries@jebsenholidays.com. jebsenholidays.com


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This article first appeared in the February/March 2019 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.