Scottish ultra-runner Andrew Murray has retained his Genghis Khan Ice Marathon champion title for a second year running.
Braving temperatures of -32°C, 35 year-old Murray took on the ice-cold run through Terelj National Park, Mongolia last weekend. He completed the arduous 42.2km race in an impressive 3:32. He has now returned to Britain as a double champion.
Not only is Murray an accomplished ultra-runner but he is also a Merrell UK ambassador, qualified GP and health advisor to the Scottish Government.
The unique ultra-race in the remote Artic plains of Mongolia is one of the toughest physical feats on the planet that includes traversing frozen rivers and navigating mountainous valleys, home to bitter winds and wild wolves.
In the past Murray has completed a 4,300km run from far north Scotland to the Sahara desert and 7 ultras on the 7 different continents of the world in under a week. On a weekly basis he runs between 130-90 miles, using the cold highland conditions to prepare for the harsh Mongolian winter. Last year 8/11 competitors in the race were Scottish.
He also completed the first run across the uninhabited Namib desert along with fellow adventurer Donnie Campbell. This 500km run was also organised by David Scott, who along with Sandbaggers directs The Genghis Khan Ice Marathon.
Murray currently holds an array of racing titles, including first place in the North Pole Marathon, the Antarctic Ice Marathon, the Gobi Challenge and the Indo Jungle Ultra. In addition to his commitments as a sports and exercise medicine doctor he regularly competes in races back home in Scotland.
When discussing his most recent experience ultra-running through Mongolia he said, “There are many reasons why people run. For me it gets the happy hormones going, and allows me to see parts of the world that blow your mind. The trip is a genuine cultural experience, spending time in remote nomadic gers, before getting the chance to run the Genghis Kahn marathon.”
“The race went as smoothly as any race in minus 32 Celsius can - except for when I put my foot through the ice - fortunately the neoprene gaiters, and the Gore-Tex Merrell All-Out Terra Ice kept my feet dry - otherwise it could have been a pretty miserable last 10 miles. I'd encourage anyone to go out and challenge yourself. Find a race you'd really like to do- get out and enjoy it."
Coming just behind Murray in second place was England’s Chris Heaton, while the women’s winner was Audrey McIntosh.