Slept through geography classes back in the day, did we? No worries. In addition to keeping you in the loop about upcoming marathons, events, personalities and lifestyle topics, consider us your window on the world and take us up on our recommendation to run a one-of-a-kind marathon in Bhutan, a nation guaranteed to leave a big impression on your body, mind and soul.
A few years ago, Britain’s “The Telegraph” published “10 unusual facts” about Bhutan that are so fascinating, if you weren’t already curious about this remote nation, reading them may be all you need to justify a journey there. Too busy to read? We synthesized these facts just for you:
- There were no TV broadcasts in Bhutan until 1999. What were you doing that year?
- Bhutan was unified under a Tibetan warlord and lama who fled the country in the 17th century.
- Bhutan’s “strong sense of identity” comes from its isolation so it was impossible to colonise or invade.
- Bhutan not only measures its Gross National Product annually, but its “Gross National Happiness,” too.
- Bhutanese and Hindus live in harmony, even respecting ancient superstitions each society holds dear.
- At one point, tourists were banned and citizens were forced to wear national costumes during daylight hours.
- Britain never attempted to colonise Bhutan but India’s influence remains unbroken since 1947.
- Bhutan is home to one of Asia’s newest constitutions, written and enacted into law in 2005.
- Bhutan’s national sport is a unique style of archery. Competitors shoot sharp arrows at each other. And you thought leg cramps hurt!
- Bhutan has been named “happiest country in Asia” and “8th happiest country in the world,” so if you seek bliss and a good run, you could snag a medal and the secret to happiness simply by signing up for this exotic event.
Why run the Bhutan International Marathon?
- The nation’s hospitality is unprecedented, surpassing only the beauty, mystery and ambiance of Bhutan.
- You’ll find out for yourself why this country has garnered so many “happiest places in the world” kudos.
- Glimpse breathtaking mountains and valleys comprising this lush land during your visit to Bhutan.
- Choose between a full (42km) or half (13.1km) marathon in men’s or women’s Open and Veterans categories.
- Spring through lush, remarkable countryside, finishing your journey at the historic, sacred Punakha Dzong.
- Get in touch with your spiritual and cultural side by exploring temples, tasting foods and visiting cultural sites.
- Salute organisers intent upon donating 100-percent of run profits to Youth and Olympic Sports programs.
- Registration is a breeze: Visit Bhutan Scenic Tours and you’re done.
Why just compete when you can experience the truncation of your dreams?
How do you feel about “one stop shopping”? If you’re crazy busy 24/7, just the idea of taking care of business with one action may make your heart sing. For folks like you, Bhutan Marathon organisers have an answer: book a “full marathon experience” by leaving the travel, planning and associated arrangements to others.
Bhutan Scenic Tours will not only sort out your arrangements; they’ll also see to your sightseeing desires by putting together an itinerary you would have to work weeks to arrange if you did it on your own.
In addition to economy class air tickets to/from Bhutan, the package includes assisting you with your visa, 3-star accommodation in the country, meals, drinking water, registration fee, entitlements, an English-speaking tour guide plus chauffeured private transport from the moment your plane touches down to the moment you depart Bhutan.
You’ll land in Paro on 28th February so there’s enough time to orient you and your body to your environment courtesy of your human hosts and the majestic Himalayan Mountains that provide a backdrop for all of your comings and goings.
As part of your itinerary, hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery or go horseback riding, visit the capital city of Thimphu and on Day 3, take a morning drive to the sub-tropical Punakha Valley and Punakha Dzong (the castle of happiness) that orients you to the area and includes a mandatory pre-race briefing and race pack collection.
The big day arrives at last
It’s going to be an early morning for you, regardless of which distance you plan to run, because things kick off at 6 a.m. at the Gasa foothills staging area. Your job is to make the most of your training, conditioning and the attention you gave to your nutritional needs so you run your best race. Exceed your own expectations and you could be a recipient of honours at the awards presentation and dinner that night.
To get your body and head back to “business as usual,” your hosts will continue to show off their homeland by taking you to myriad points of interest that wrap up your stay in the happiest place in Asia while your body recovers from your run. Don’t be surprised if you feel sad to say goodbye to this heaven on earth. But, not to worry; soon as you get home, you can begin to make plans to return to Bhutan for the 2019 Run!
What makes you happiest? Is it the simple act of running a marathon or the travel perks you enjoy that are associated with the world’s expanding marathon scene?