INFORMATION ABOUT THE ULTRA ISSYK KUL RACE
This document provides a summary of everything you need to know about Ultra Issyk Kul – from the registration procedure to living conditions. It is for reference only and should not be considered legally binding for either participants or organizers, unlike the Contract (Offer) For Participation and the Race Rules.
Race title: Ultra Issyk Kul, or Issyk Kul Six-Day Challenge
Motto: The world’s longest 6-stage foot race
Official website: https://ultra-issyk-kul.com
- May 19, 2024 – check-in and bib number pickup; Pasta Party
- May 20–25, 2024 – stages 1 to 6, each starting at 8:00
- May 26, 2024 – Award Banquet
Start and finish place: Baktuu-Dolonotu (hippodrome); see Route for further details.
Description: Mainly a road race around the world’s second largest mountain lake. Six stages with a total length of almost two Spartathlons take place at an altitude of 1,600–2,000 m above sea level. Time limits: 12 hours for Stages 1 to 5 and 7 hours for Stage 6. There are aid stations at each stage every ~20 km.
REGISTRATION AND ADMISSION
Registration opens on July 1, 2023, and closes on March 31, 2024, or when the 100-participant limit is reached.
Each participant must:
1. Be over 18 years of age at the time of picking up their bib number; that is, be born no later than May 18, 2006.
2. Pay the entry fee, the cost of which is:
- $890 before September 1, 2023
- $990 before January 1, 2024
- $1,290 before April 1, 2024
Payment is made by card from the participant’s personal account on the organizers’ website https://runningexpert.com or by bank transfer using payment details provided by the organizers. In the latter case, the participant must provide proof of payment to the organizers.
3. Fill out the registration form and the medical questionnaire in the participant’s personal account.
4. Be prepared, at the request of the event medical staff, to provide the results of additional examinations, e.g., the ECG stress test.
5. Sign a disclaimer during check-in and bib number pickup.
There are no strict qualification requirements for participation in the Issyk Kul Six-Day Challenge, but we strongly recommend that you enter if you have already completed at least one 6-day race like the Marathon des Sables or a road race over 200 km (such as Spartathlon, Badwater, etc.)
TRAVEL AND STAY
Visa. Citizens of more than 60 countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and all of Europe, do not require a visa to enter Kyrgyzstan. Everyone else can easily apply for an e-visa. Here is where you can read more about entering Kyrgyzstan and check your eligibility for visa-free entry, and here is the website where you can apply for an e-visa.
Traveling. There are many direct flights to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, from Dubai and Istanbul – the world’s largest hubs – as well as other cities. Just 35 km away from the starting point, there is the Issyk Kul International Airport (Tamchy). However, only a few flights from the neighboring countries go there, so the main air gate of Kyrgyzstan is the Manas International Airport in Bishkek. From the capital, you can get to the start of the race by comfortable GoBus coaches. The trip takes 4 hours, and the ticket costs less than $5. Bus capacity is limited, but it is always possible to take a taxi: the trip costs about $50.
Accommodation. Finding a hotel or a guesthouse at the start and upon finishing the race won’t be an issue at all, including a good selection available on Booking.com. The problem is that Issyk Kul is huge, and overnight stay options for tourists are distributed around it very unevenly, so in between other stages camping is perhaps the only viable option. You can consider tents (we can help you rent one; and transfer of tents between stages, as well as sufficient supply of water for camping, are included in the Entry Fee) or buying the All-Inclusive Package.
All-Inclusive Package. Ultra Issyk Kul is too tough a challenge to concern yourself with anything other than running. Take advantage of this “Fly & Forget” package and focus strictly on your performance! Package includes:
- Transfer from/to the airport and between stages
- 7 nights in comfortable hotels and 2 nights in authentic yurt camps
- Full board with customized menu options by request
- Massage and recovery in hot springs
- Support from the Running Expert team
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PARTICIPANTS
Training. As mentioned above, there are no strict qualification requirements for participation in the Issyk Kul Six-Day Challenge, but we recommend considering entry if you have already competed in races such as Marathon des Sables, Spartathlon, or Badwater. In this case, you do not need training advice as you are an experienced ultramarathon runner. Otherwise, when preparing for Ultra Issyk Kul, we strongly recommend reaching weekly limits of at least half the race distance, and preferably 2/3: that is, from 230 to 300+ km. You can also always contact us for help with planning your workouts using the contacts below.
Support. If you have the opportunity to bring friends and relatives to accompany you by car (there are many car rental services in Bishkek), then we strictly advise you to do so. Not only will such support significantly increase your chances of successfully covering the gigantic distance of 460 km, but having a personal car will also greatly facilitate your accommodation issues, as you will have more options to choose from besides camping and the All-Inclusive Package.
Equipment. There are no mandatory equipment requirements, but you will definitely need a running vest with a couple of flasks or a hydration backpack – since the distance between the aid stations is about 20 km. It is also highly recommended to have headwear, sunscreen, and sunglasses at hand – plus extra clothing in case of cold, wind, or rain. Your footwear must work for running on both asphalt and gravel.
Ultra Issyk Kul is hosted by Running Expert™, a coaching service with unparalleled experience in preparing amateurs for the craziest ultras in the world. Our athletes have successfully competed in the Comrades, Spartathlon, Badwater, MDS, UTMB, etc.
I Am Ultra, LLC
40 Manas Ave, Off 208, Bishkek
Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org, +996 700 738721