• Sign in / uponeworld
    Cathay Pacific
    5 amazing Asian trail races to enter in 2023
    Race your way through Asia’s most beautiful trails this year
    Runners on road. Credit: Getty images
    Find the best fares to
    Asia

    From sprinting through Chiang Mai’s rice terraces to scaling Annapurna’s treacherous slopes, Asia is home to some of the world’s most challenging trail races as well as some fun runs for newbies. Whether you’ve already ticked a city marathon off your list or simply enjoy trekking through nature, an Asian trail running race could be your next challenge.

    We’ve rounded up five of the best on the continent below – all you have to do is book those flights and start training. 

    Lantau 2 Peaks Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Lantau 2 Peaks

    Credit: Getty Images

    Lantau 2 Peaks

    Hong Kong

    Hong Kong’s biggest trail race Lantau 2 Peaks takes you over some of the city’s steepest mountains on Lantau Island. For those committed to the tough 23km race, the route will have you chasing the crystal cable cars over Lantau Peak and towards Sunset Peak – navigating lush greenery and spectacular views of Hong Kong along the way. If you haven’t had the time to train extensively, the gentler 15km race swings around Nei Lak Shan, taking racers past Tei Tong Tsai’s ancient monasteries before ending in Tung Chung.

    The next round of the Lantau 2 Peaks race will be held this 8 October. Participants are required to register online here .

    Yeti Marathon Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Yeti Marathon Credit: Getty Images

    Yeti Marathon

    Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal

    This aptly named trail race is one of the toughest and most beautiful on this list, with its mammoth 42km race spanning five days. Hosted in the Himalayan Annapurna Natural Park, runners can choose from the 42km, 21km and 10km Yeti races which are designed to take you through stunning natural scenery and charming mountain villages. Its longest race begins 5,000m above sea level at the tranquil Tilicho Lake and takes runners down the mountain, with various lodges set up to allow participants to acclimatise to the change in altitude – alongside sightseeing activities, temples and hot springs. 

    The next round of the Yeti Marathon will take place this 23 October with registration online available here .

    Fuji marathon Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Fuji marathon Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Mt Fuji International Marathon

    Honshu, Japan

    Although this race doesn’t take you up Mount Fuji, Japan’s iconic landmark will watch over runners as they race through Honshu’s autumn foliage. With a 42km marathon, 29km race and an 11km charity fun run, the Mt Fuji International Marathon takes participants around the gorgeous Lakes Kawaguchi and Saiko. Beyond stunning views, there’s another reason to get involved as the event’s participation shirts are undoubtedly the most stylish, with woodblock-inspired Mt Fuji scenes and a Kanagawa wave print on the back. Those who manage a trail time of below six hours can also score a beautiful finishers’ medal, inlaid with enamel autumn scenery. 

    With a limit of 2,000 participants in the 42km race, you’ll want to register early here for the next race on 26 November this year. 

    Angkor Wat. Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Ultra Chiangmai

    Credit: Getty Images

    Ultra Trail Chiang Mai

    Chiang Mai, Thailand

    Skip the beaches and head straight up to the mountainous rice paddies of Chiang Mai, where its verdant scenery hosts trail runners of all levels. Whether you’re running 13km or 160km, it’s one of the most stunning Asian trail running races on this list with a course weaving through rice fields and past waterfalls. Designed to take runners through remote jungle trails and past ancient temples, the longest Ultra Marathon course runs over two days with first aid stops along the way. 

    This year’s race is set to be held between 1-3 September and registration is open here

    Chiangmai Credit: Getty Images

    Credit: Getty Images

    Chiangmai Credit: Getty Images
    Chiangmai Credit: Getty Images

    Ultimate Trails of Penang

    Georgetown, Malaysia

    Challenge yourself with steep mountainous climbs over the course of Ultimate Trails of Penang, a Malaysian race spanning up to 171km. With a total elevation gain of nearly 10,000m, trail running participants will race past vivid botanical gardens and make their way across various mountains and heritage trails which have been trekked for centuries. With just 100 spots available, it’s a more intimate experience for serious runners and has a cut-off time of 48 hours – meaning you’ll have to move fast to finish in time. 

    This year’s edition will be held between 6-8 October and registration is open online here .

    Hero image: Getty Images

    More inspiration

    Find the best fares to
    Asia