Bhutan > Marathon Bhutan
Sunday, September 7, 2008
One of the world's most exotic locations for a running event anywhere
is on display in the Marathon Bhutan, which takes place for the first
time in September 2008 in this landlocked nation in the Himalaya
Mountains between India and
China. From the starting line at the National Stadium in
Changlemithang, the race's very high elevation
course (over 7,800 feet above sea level) will follow the Thimphu River
and head north to the southern boundary of Bhutan's Jigme Dorji
The race, which is limited to 300 total entrants, will include a full
26.2-mile marathon and a half-marathon, and prospective runners from
outside the country must obtain a visa in order to travel to the
country for the race (information on how to obtain a visa is provided
below). The extra hoops you have to jump through in order to get there,
however, will be more than worth it in order to see and travel among
one of the world's least developed and most remote countries anywhere,
which race organizers describe as the "first ever internationally
sanctioned marathon in the Last Shangri La."
Rich in geographical diversity as well as animal species -- Bhutan is
home to tigers, snow leopards and red pandas, to name a few -- the
country offers some of the most rugged terrain in the world for runners
who compete. Along the course and after the race, enjoy sights such as
century-old monasteries perched precarious on the cliff faces and the
ringing of the prayer wheel bells as you soak up Bhutanese, Nepali and
Hindu culture along with age-old Bhuddist traditions.
Due to the race's extremely high elevation, race organizers caution
prospective runners to make sure to drink sufficient fluids and get
adequate rest before the event, and to avoid drinking alcoholic
beverages at least 48 hours before the starting time.
Weather & Climate
Altitude plays a large role in weather conditions in Bhutan, as the
climate varies from subtropical weather in the nation's south to
year-round snowfall in the northern areas. The country experiences five
seasons each year -- winter, spring, summer, monsoon and fall. The
western parts of the country see heavier rainfall, while the south
experiences hot summers with lots of humidity and cool winters.
$175 if registered before January 1, 2008
$200 between Jan. 2 - April 1
$225 between Apri l2 - August 25
To register for the 2008 Marathon Bhutan, register online.
To obtain a visa application for travel to Bhutan, download this application form.
Your Race Story
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