2024 Event opens registration on 30 May

The 2024 edition of the Xiwuqi King of the Grasslands Challenge is scheduled from 12 to 14 July and will thus be a 3-day event again for the first time since 2019. Building further upon the event’s redesign introduced last year with a focus on road cycling rather than mountainbiking, now the ‘KOG’ competition in itself has been completely overhauled. The King and Queen of the Grasslands will no longer be crowned on the basis of accumulated race times, but on points scored across the entire weekend. A long weekend that starts with – new – a sprint duathlon on Friday.

The sprint duathlon of just under 5km adds extra spice to the KOG competition and gives an opportunity to another kind of athlete to race for a win or podium. The other competitions during the weekend are typically catering for pure endurance athletes. With start and finish at the traditional ‘Culture’ square in the heart of Xiwuqi town, the duathlon consists of 2,5 km cycling, followed by 1,3 km running inside the EcoPark and another kilometre of cycling back to the finish. The competition will be held in road bike and MTB categories, and in heats of which the fastest six male and female per category qualify for the Final in the late afternoon. The heats are scheduled to begin on Friday morning and continue after lunch. Between the last heat and the final will be a ‘Kids KOG’ duathlon for our youngest participants.  Consult the competition details and regulations on the sprint duathlon to answer all your potential questions.

The winners of the sprint duathlon will score 80 points for the KOG Ranking, according to the points overview table that has been created for this year’s event. On the basis of this table, every finisher scores KOG points in each race on our event programme. Races are categorised, though, in A, B and C categories, of which A and B offer significantly more points than a category C race such as the 11k fun run and the short distance MTB race. Note that for the KOG ranking, there will be no distinction made between road bikers and mountainbikers. In other words, there will again be just 1 King and 1 Queen, as it used to be from 2013 to 2019.

There’s five A-races: the aforementioned Sprint Duathlon, the Route 99 Xiwuqi Marathon run, the two road bike races Speedy Xiwuqi 58km and Cyclo Xiwuqi 123km and the Genghis Khan MTB Challenge 79km. The half marathon run is categorised as B with 50 KOG points for the male and female winners.

In order to be ranked as a KOG finisher, participants must complete a) sprint duathlon, b) one of the running races and c) 2 of the cycling races .

The Route 99 Xiwuqi Marathon replaces last year’s 50k semi-offroad run and will be held for 99% on tarmac with start at Culture Square. The only offroad bit now is at the famous Mongolian Yurt Camp, finish site of the half marathon. Marathon runners will continue from there on Route 99 – the magnificent road that cuts through the lush green grasslands. Participants should be aware this is a tough marathon, especially between km 23 and km 36, and should enjoy the scenery rather than aiming for a personal best time on the marathon. The finish is at the ‘Genghis Khan Horses Statue’ , symbol of a Xiwuqi legend that has survived throughout the centuries.

Speedy Xiwuqi is a 58km cycling race on tarmac and concrete roads with basically no elevation to speak of. This can be a very fast race – unless the wind picks up in the afternoon, which does happen quite often around Xiwuqi. People who took part in last year’s Cyclo Xiwuqi race will remember that. Also Sunday’s 123km race – which includes the entire Route 99 – looks easy on paper, but the wind can make things much tougher than expected. Regardless of this technicality, both courses are very beautiful and a cyclist’s dream. So, if you’re not aiming for any top result, just enjoy the ride!

Mountainbikers get a chance to compete on a 79 km course, which is 60-65% offroad. We do want to give mountainbikers a proper grassland racing experience in the spirit of the Genghis Khan MTB Adventure that we organised from 2007 to 2019. Unfortunately but also understandably, places change and current conditions no longer allow for a genuine grassland stage race.