Bhutan Trail & Ultra Event Info

(Looking for Mountain Bike Bhutan instead?)

Overview: 25K and 50K, Saturday, 6 April, 2019

  • Pre-race packet pick up and race briefing are mandatory, and will take place in Gangtey the day prior to the race. All runners must be in Gangtey on this day.
  • 25K and 50K running events both start at 6:30 AM.
  • Finish line is at Gangtey Monastery.
  • Awards breakfast the day after the event.
  • Bhutanese culture festival the afternoon of the event.
  • Novice to experienced trail and ultrarunners are all welcome.
  • Pacers and crew are not allowed.
  • Cut off time for both races is 9 hours.
  • We will be sending out multiple pre-race information emails starting 2 months prior to the race. Please make sure we have your correct email address.
  • For all registration information, please see the Registration page.

See detailed event information below

Travel to Bhutan Sports Festival

  • Experience a unique cultural immersion as well as the first ever endurance sports festival in Bhutan
  • Racing in and traveling to this event through the Bhutan Sports Festival travel package, will directly support the people of Bhutan as well as the endangered Black-Necked Cranes.
  • For information on travel to Bhutan, click here
  • For more information on Phobjikha Valley and Bhutan click here.

Participants Receive

  • Opportunity to participate in the first ever one day trail running and ultrarunning event in Bhutan
  • A picturesque and remote course which circumnavigates the winter migration site of the protected Black-Necked Cranes
  • Finish at the auspicious Gangtey Monastery
  • Technical race t-shirt
  • Finishers medal
  • Awards breakfast the day after the event
  • Bhutanese culture festival the afternoon of the event
  • Bhutanese handcrafted awards for top competitors
  • Aid stations and on-course support
  • A unique opportunity to run in an environmentally protected conservation reserve which exists specifically to host the Black-Necked Crane’s winter migration
  • A unique opportunity to race in the only carbon-negative country on the planet
  • The opportunity to support the Tarayana Foundation and the people of Phobjikha Valley through your race entry fee and travel package
  • Customized travel package when you book travel through the Bhutan Sports Festival

Awards

All awards are specially handcrafted by Bhutanese artists for this event. Each finisher will receive a Finishers Medal and a Finishers Certificate.

25K:

  • Open Division: Top 3 Male and Top 3 Female
  • Masters 50 and over Division: Top 3 Male and Top 3 Female

50K:

  • Open Division: Top 3 Male and Top 3 Female
  • Masters 50 and over Division: Top 3 Male and Top 3 Female

Special Awards

  • Award for the oldest race competitor

Course Info

Note From Organizers: One of our goals is to accommodate trail and ultra runners of all levels and abilities so you can experience this compelling country and culture while doing the sport you love. In that, we have chosen a course that is challenging but quite runnable for new to experienced trail and ultra runners, all through pristine traditional Bhutanese villages and protected lands. Phobjikha Valley is an area that defines Bhutanese culture and their commitment to protecting their environment. For more information on this special area, go to About Bhutan.

Route and Conditions Overview: 25K and 50K

Overview: Both the 25K and the 50K start and finish in the village of Gangtey, at the north end of the Phobjikha Valley. This Valley lies on the west side of the Black Mountains which separate western and central Bhutan. The entire Valley is enclosed by several ranges and is bisected by the Nake Chuu and Phag Chuu rivers. The Valley floor is carpeted with a special variety of dwarf bamboo which is the prime diet of the protected Black-Necked Crane.

Both events will start together, with the 25K runners looping back toward the start point prior to the 50K runners. Both courses are predominantly on single track, double track or fire-roads. Conditions on the course should be quite runnable.

Elevation: The general elevation in the valley is 3000m or 9800 ft. Since the course loops around the perimeter of the valley it rises and falls intermittently due to terrain changes, yet there are no major extended climbs  or descents on either route.

Weather: Though the course is mostly on hard pack dirt with some rocks as well as uneven terrain, the conditions can change up based on the weather. Average rainfall in this area this time of year is minimal, though it is possible to get some rain showers which can dramatically change up the surface conditions. Average daily temperatures this time of year are approximately 60F (15C). Temperatures early morning and at night will drop down to around 40-50F (~10C).

Villages and Culture: The entire race is in rural to remote Bhutan and dotted with intermittent villages. A village can constitute a couple to several homes. The homes in Phobjikha Valley are traditional Bhutanese homes and most of its inhabitants are farmers. The start and finish area is near the Gangtey Gonpa or monastery.

We will be emailing multiple race updates as the event draws near, so please make sure we have your correct email address. In those updates we’ll be offering current course conditions so you can make appropriate gear choices.

Route Map and Profile

Below is the current course route map for the 50K. Due to conditions over the winter, it is possible we will be making some course changes prior to the event. We will keep you apprised of any changes prior to the race.

Cut-off Time

The cut off time for both events is 9 hours from race start.

Aid Stations

Aid stations are located approximately every 10-16k (6-10 miles) apart. Aid stations will feature bottled water, bananas and other products that will be disclosed prior to the race. There will be marker signs at each aid station designating your current run distance.

Runners are required to have their own means to carry water and food in between aid stations. You will be running through environmentally protected areas. Please pack out all your trash or dispose of it at an aid station.

We will be emailing multiple race updates as the event draws near, so please make sure we have your correct email address. In those updates we’ll be sharing updated aid station offerings so you can make appropriate fueling plans.

Toilets

We will let you know at the pre race briefing the location of toilet facilities on the route. We highly recommend you bring some toilet paper with you on the course. You will be running through environmentally protected areas. Please pack out all your trash or dispose of it at an aid station.

Medical

Medical personnel will be available at the finish line or in a roving vehicle. We will have some medical supplies at select points along the course.

Timing

There will be undisclosed check points along the route where your location will be monitored. All runners must pass through all check points. All race results will be posted on the race website after the event is complete.

For information on travel to the Bhutan Sports Festival click here.
For information on Bhutan and the Phobjikha Valley click here.