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Rat Race – Mongol 100

Run 100mi
Event details


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Mongol 100 – the most surreal, audacious and hauntingly beautiful adventure challenge known to Man. The objective is to traverse the entirety of the lake from north to south, by any means Foot, skate or bike. It is also the inaugural journey in the brand-new Rat Race Bucket List Series of global adventures.

This challenge is open to all comers. It is hard; make no mistake. Perhaps the hardest thing you will ever take on. Not just because of the physical challenge. It is cold. Very very cold. That cold will test everyone; whoever you are and however capable you are. But our mantra is for you to get to the start line and we will help you get to the end. And in so doing achieve something extraordinary.

Rat Race is the UK’s largest and most respected adventure event operator. We have catered to over 1 000 000 customers in nearly 15 years of operation. ‘The 100’ will, of course, unfold with typical Rat Race flare, expert event management and unwavering commitment to safety throughout.

How to enter the Rat Race – Mongol 100

  1. 100 Miles

    Run 100mi
    Event passed

Rat Race – Mongol 100 route

In a remote corner of North-Western Mongolia lies Lake Khovsgol: One of 17 ancient lakes in the World over 2 million-years-old and which contains the World’s purest fresh water. The shores are lined with ancient stands of boreal forest and packed with Wolves. It is serene, hostile, stunning, intimidating. In winter, the ice freezes across its entire near-100-mile length to a depth of over a metre thick, creating for Rat Race the ultimate adventure challenge course.

It is a one-way solo crossing of Lake Khovsgol from north to south. Choose to do it on foot, by skate or by bike. The route is entirely on the ice of the lake. That ice surface varies in style and terrain, although of course it’s also entirely flat. Those running garmins and the like will see around 4m total height gain per day (mostly where you step over ice rubble patches!). The route is not an exact 100 miles, (it will probably be a little less) as it will ebb and flow with the safest established route passage across the ice, set by the Mongolian Authorities and our local team of guides.

Event Details

You can Run or Walk, Skate or Cycle. The Challenge is ‘By Any Means.’ This is the choice you will make and we welcome all 3 disciplines.

You will note that we have not included ‘other’ means like skiing and kite-skiing (or kite-skating). You are welcome to ski, but there is normally hardly any snow and as such, the ice is hard, flat, smooth and terrible for x-country skiing on. Using kites could work, but you’d need to use them in conjunction with a buggy or skates.

We are not geared up to accommodate the former and with the latter, frankly, we don’t fancy the risk profile, given the skating surface is not uniform throughout and a kite could take you into some decidedly un-skatable terrain too quickly for you to correct – risking falling injury. So the choice is Foot, (run or walk, or a bit of both), skate or bike.


  • Register before 1st April 2018: The outstanding payment of $3250 can be paid in 2 instalments:

1. Deposit- $1500 due within 60 days.

2. Final balance- $1750 due by 1st Nov

  • Register before 2nd Sept 2018: The outstanding payment of $3450 can be paid in 2 instalments:

    1. Deposit- $1500 due within 60 days.

    2. Final balance- $1950 due by 1st Nov

  • Register after 2nd Sept 2018: The outstanding payment of $1950 must be paid within 1st Nov

An admin fee of 1.99% will be added to all payments. Your deposit is due 60 days after you pay your Registration Fee. If you register after the 2nd September 2018 your Registration Fee and Deposit is due in one payment.

All payments are non-refundable, if you wish to withdraw and lodge your request prior to 1st Nov you may transfer your registration fee to another Rat Race Bucket List event or exchange it for entry into a UK Rat Race Event of your choosing.

Entries are non-transferable to another person. Once the 100 spaces are full we will operate a waiting list and we will work through it chronologically to offer any places that become available.

What’s included

  • Fully supported including 4x4s, sweeper crews, professional medics, full race safety comms network, safety evacuation and event extraction system, professional campsite crews
  • Fully way-marked route checked for ice depth and constantly monitored and patrolled by our experienced local guides
  • 3 Pit stops per day whilst on the route – featuring energy foods, hot and cold drinks
  • Catering provision including some breakfasts and overnight food provided, plus a wilderness camp reindeer feast plus hot water provision throughout
  • 7 nights accommodation: Permanent ger camp (4 nights), wilderness ger camp (3 nights) with mattresses, wood-fired heated gears and toilets (thunder boxes or long-drops)
  • All in-country air and road transfers from Ulaan Baatar International airport and back
  • High-value finisher’s mementoes including T-shirt, medal and other secret items
  • Satellite-tracked for safety and supporter interaction and provision of flares for emergency assistance.
  • Overnight bag transfers from camp to camp
  • After event party, slap-up feast, beers, vodka and access to the Khovsgol International Ice Festival


Sunday 3rd March

Arrive Ulaan Baatar International Airport. (Most international flights arrive early morning). Be met by our team and transfer for our internal flight to Murun. There is the opportunity to leave non-essential kit (casual clothes etc) at the airport in secure storage. See more about mandatory event kit in the ‘KIT/EQUIPMENT‘ tab. We then transfer to Murun by air (2 hrs) flying over hundreds of miles of mountain and forest wilderness. Upon arrival at Murun, we will transfer by road to Khatgal, on the southern shore of Lake Khovsgol (1.5 hrs). Accommodation is in a permanent cosy ger camp at Khatgal. A slap-up meal and drinks are provided to welcome you to Mongolia after your long journey, plus some local entertainment.

Monday 4th March

Enjoy your stunning and surreal new surroundings and get used to life at between -20 and -40. After a hearty breakfast, we will complete kit checks today, plus provide safety briefings. For those biking and skating, you will be asked to complete a small proficiency test on the ice. There is also the opportunity to view the incredible sculptures of the local Ice Festival. You can also stretch those legs on the ice itself and ‘feel it for real.’ Accommodation will again be in our cosy permanent ger camp at Khatgal and we will again provide meals.

Tuesday 5th March

We will rise at first light and board our transports for the journey from Khatgal to Khank at the northern end of the lake. This journey is an adventure in its own right as we ride in convoy over the entire length of the frozen lake. Today will allow you to see the route itself and will give you immense confidence in what lies ahead. We will stop for lunch ‘al fresco’ on the ice and continue towards our toasty permanent ger camp at Khank, arriving in mid to late afternoon. A hearty dinner awaits before you hunker down in preparation for what lies ahead.

Wednesday 6th March

The Mongol 100 begins! From the start line metres from your gear, you will strike out south down the lake, heading for our first overnight camp on the eastern shore. Distances will always be approximate, due to the route is taken to provide a safe passage.3 pit stops will be provided each day, at approximately 10km intervals and you will cover (approx.) 40km today to reach your first wilderness camp. You’ll also likely spend a good bit of time today ‘sorting’ your clothing in this first stage of the challenge and managing temperature – layering particularly. See the ‘KIT‘ tab for more info on the kit. Accommodation will be in gers in the first of 3 true wilderness camps, with a log burning stove in each one and a roaring communal fire around which we will congregate in the evening to share tales from day 1.

Thursday 7th March 

Day 2 sees us aim for the island in the middle of the lake and to our second wilderness camp. By now you may be getting used to your mode of travel and to the endless bangs, rumbles and crashes emanating from underneath your feet. Pinch yourself every now and then and remember where you are – running, riding or gliding across a frozen lake in Mongolia! Accommodation is again in one of our stunning wilderness camps, nestled on the edge of the island with views over the lake towards both shores.

Friday 8th March

Another long day on foot over (approx.) a marathon’s worth of icy terrain – by now the legs will definitely be feeling it but hopefully, you’ll be in a good rhythm. The route will provide safe passage to our third and final wilderness camp on the shore of the lake, amidst the ancient boreal forest which envelops the whole World at this latitude. We will serve up an amazing feast of reindeer meat and livers around the huge open fire.

Saturday 9th March

The fourth and final stage brings you across another 30 – 40km stage and right back to where it all began at Khatgal, at the southern end of Lake Khovsgol. The finish line will be established amongst the ice sculptures of the Ice Festival. You will feel astonished at your achievement as you sail through it, having completed quite probably the most unique, memorable and emotional event you’ve ever done.

Tonight is now all about the party. Those who know Rat Race will know this is as much a part of the event as the event itself. Enjoy a cracking local meal, event video highlights on the big screen, presentation of your finisher’s medals, special edition finisher’s T-shirts and other very secret and special mementos before partying the night away with local music, local food and perhaps the odd vodka and beer, all laid on by us in tribute to yourselves and your mighty achievement.

Sunday 10th March

After a morning sorting kit, viewing the ice sculptures once more and saying goodbye to our warm Mongolian hosts, we saddle up for the return trip to Murun by road, to connect with our internal flight back to UB. Upon arrival at UB, the event itinerary finishes but if you wish for onward transport into UB city to perhaps stay for a night or two or to delve deeper into Mongolia for other adventures, speak to us and we can arrange extension itineraries.


Mandatory Kit List and advice/ guidance on kit for this event

Items that you cannot live without

These items are common to all participants and have been put in bold at the top of the list as without them, you will simply suffer in this environment. With them, you will be comfortable.

  • A 4 season down sleeping bag with a comfort rating of at least minus 25C
  • A foam roll mat will do but the much better choice is a therm-a-rest or other self-inflating sleeping mat
  • Balaclava (and spare)
  • Spiked shoes or spiked/ studded attachments for shoes.
  • Heavy-duty down jacket
  • Good gloves of varying thicknesses

Mandatory kit for all participants


  • Base layer(s) Multiple base layers for top and bottoms, plus spares
  • Mid layer(s) Multiple mid layers for top and bottoms, plus spares
  • Outer layer Good insulating outer garments for top and bottoms. These do NOT need to be waterproof (in fact, it is better if they are not). Precipitation is negligible in this area, so insulation is king, not waterproofing. For moving on the ice, lightweight down and loft-style outer layers are best. Windstopper-style and soft-shell trousers and tights are recommended for bottoms
  • Socks* Minimum of one-liner sock and a thicker sock. Plus pares.
  • Liner gloves – fingered
  • Outer gloves – fingered
  • Over mitten or down/ loft mitten
  • Hat (plus spare)
  • Balaclava (plus spare)
  • Neck gaiter, Buff, Rating, snood or fleece tube (plus spare)
  • Goggles
  • Sunglasses
  • Underwear: A good pair of wicking underpants or sports knickers/ bra. Plus at least one change of underwear
  • Footwear with spiked/ studs embedded in the soles OR a spiked/ studded attachment that can be fitted to the shoe or boot, like these.
  • Daypack: A small daypack (15 – 30l) to carry spare clothing, med kit and mandatory safety gear plus food/ drink. NB items like gels and energy bars are best kept in pockets close to your person, so they do not freeze. As is water.
  • Sleepwear kit: Baselayer top and leggings, gloves, hat and socks. This should be kept just for sleeping ensuring you always have a comfortable, warm and dry layer.

No Spectators on the course. We have a convoy of 4x4s supporting this trip and there is no space to take passengers. We can, however, provide seats on the aircraft charter, extra beds at supporter rates in the ger camp in Khatgal (our basecamp at the beginning and end of the trip), together with catering so you can eat and stay together pre and post ice phase. For more information on this please email us as we can only offer this on a limited basis.

Yes, you can. We welcome support from across the Globe and if you do decide you want to come and work with us on this very special event, we will make sure we look after you. Plus you will be rewarded with an unbelievable experience in a phenomenal part of the World, of course.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have to complete each stage?
There are cut-offs, although this is basically the amount of daylight available each day. We want everyone to finish and the amount of time available is genuinely the amount of daylight available to complete the job, from the published start time until nightfall (the start time always being after first light). If you do end up lagging behind and you really cannot make it in time, we will pick you up in an event vehicle (or horse and sled) and transport you to the overnight camp. You can re-start the next day if you wish. There is none of this ‘if you miss a cut-off you’re out’ stuff on this event.If I am biking,
do I need my own bike?
Yes. We do not have any hire bikes available for this event.
Do I have to carry all of my kit with me?
No. This is a supported format, which means that we transport gear for you. You will need to carry a daypack, which will have food, water, emergency gear and spare clothing in it, so you will have to carry something. But not all of your kit. We will do the hard yards on your overnight supplies by carrying a bag for you from camp to camp, plus all of the camping gear. This is a large logistical operation and is part of the value offered in this very special trip.

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