On November 11, 2011 at 11:11 am, a field of Bhutanese and international runners will participate in the inaugural Bhutan Himalayan Marathon. This event offers athletes a unique opportunity to experience the Kingdom of Bhutan on a 26.2 mile course in the shadows of the highest mountains in the world. The country fiercely regulates inbound tourism in an effort to protect its culture and environment, and international registration is only open to 150 runners.
Here are the course details, as posted on the official marathon website:
The marathon begins and ends in the heart of Thimphu at Changlimithag Stadium, the scene of a battle in the early 20thcentury that lead to the rule of King Ugyen Wangchuck and the establishment of the current monarchy.
The route circles Thimphu, passing the Memorial Chorten, honoring the third king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, Tashichhoedzong, a combination Buddhist monastery, government center and fortress, India House and the royal residences.
Leaving the city, runners head north along the Thimphu River toward the Himalayas, with water prayer wheels and prayer flags sprinkled throughout the Blue Pine forest. At the base of the high Himalayas and with a stunning view of the Chargi Monastery, the route turns back toward Thimphu. The return portion of the route is on trails and passes through several small villages. Returning to Thimphu, the route circles the town again and ends back at Changlimithag Stadium.
Interested in joining this inaugural event? Our Bhutan tour packages can include the marathon registration, based on availability, so please contact us to register!