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Bhutan > Marathon Bhutan
Thimphu, Bhutan



Sunday, September 7, 2008

Event Details

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 Wangchuck National Park.

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.

Race 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.




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