First-ever 300km ultramarathon run on The Pekoe Trail completed in 59 hours
On 27 January, ultramarathon trail runner Hyun Chang Chung crossed the finish line at the Ceylon Tea Museum in Hanthana, cheered on by new fans from the surrounding local community and his elated family. He had just achieved the superhuman feat of becoming the first person to run the entire 300 km length of The Pekoe Trail non-stop in two and half days.
The Pekoe Trail is designed as a 22-day walk from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya via Ella, Haputale, and Horton Plains, but Chang completed it in 59 hours. The Pekoe Trail is part of the European Union’s 5.7 million Euro (LKR 2.2 billion) support for Sri Lanka’s national tourism strategy. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) also provided approximately USD 787,000 (approximately LKR 283 million) to support the trail.
IESC implements the EU and USAID-funded Tourism Resilience Project, which is developing the trail, the first in a collection of destination-based walking trails to be developed under the Serendipity Trails banner for Sri Lanka Tourism. The interconnecting trail network will allow visitors to discover the varying terrain, history, culture, food, and local communities by foot, in short sections or as part of a multi-day experience. The Pekoe Trail will be open to travelers by summer 2023.