Marathon

Sikkim's first high altitude trail run!

The Kanchenjunga Marathon is a unique opportunity for runners from India and around the world to run with local Sikkimese through mountainous region. For family and friends supporters who would like to visit in support, Sikkim is one of the last Shangri-las of earth. You get to travel with fellow runners and experience a world culture that is truly unique. 

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Itinerary 

Day 1: 31st Oct – Arrive Bagdogra, NJP or Kakarbita (Nepal border) – Yuksom, 1780 m.

On arrival to be met by marathon representative and a scenic drive to your hotel in Yuksom. After check in, you will be briefed and handed over your race packet. Yuksom is the base of West Sikkim’s most popular trekking region, Dzongri and is also of historical importance to the Sikkimese. Yuksom literally means ‘meeting place of the three lamas’.

In the beginning of seventeenth century a rift between different factions of Buddhist sects in Tibet forced the Red Hat Sect to seek refuge in Sikkim. Lama Lhatsun Chempo, on his journey to Sikkim, arrived at Norbugang in Yuksom, where he met two other lamas, Sempa Chempo and Rinzing Chempo and began converting the people into their faith. Sacred texts had revealed that the ruler designate of Sikkim would be a man named Phuntsog of Gangtok, so the lamas sent an envoy in search of him. The party returned with Phuntsog Namgyal, whose ancestry could be traced to the legendary prince Guru Tashi, founder of the Kingdom of Miyang in the Chumbi Valley. In 1641 Phuntsog Namgyal was crowned as Sikkim’s first king, the Chogyal.

Meals: Dinner
Hotel:

Day 2: 1st Nov – Trek to Tshokha, 2946 m. 7 hours

We walk gently uphill, following the Rathong river gorge, through dense mixed jungle with magnolia, rhododendron, ferns and several varieties of orchids, brightly coloured birds, and the occasional monkey. After an hour or so we cross the Paha Khola bridge, (1,733 m.). There is a swimming spot by a waterfall (for those who dare!) after two hours, and we can stop for lunch by a bridge over stream. Passing by sweet smelling viburnum we cross the Prek Chu River and then ascend steeply for two or three hours to arrive at Bakhim. A little higher up is the picturesque Tibetan refugee settlement of Tshoka where we set up camp. This is a long trekking day and you should expect to be pretty tired by the time you arrive at the camp.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Camp: Tented camp

Day 3: 2nd Nov – Dzongri, 4020 m. 5 hours

A fairly steep climb above Tshoka takes you into beautiful rhododendron forests, and you continue along a well-defined uphill path to Phedang. From her we start treading above the 4,000-meter mark. We will be setting up camp by lunch time and suggest that you spend a relaxed afternoon acclimatising. A brief climb beyond brings you to a meadow (Deorali Danda) with views of Koktang, Rathong, Kabru, Kanchenjunga, Simvo and Pandim.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Camp: Tented Camp

Day 4: 3rd Nov – Thangsing, 3639 m. 5-6 hours

Today we ascend gradually over open hillside for a mile or so to a low ridge visible from the campsite, 4,115 m. From here, chortens and prayer flags overlooking fabulous views of Kanchenjunga and Pandim make ideal photo-compositions. We then descend, at first traversing down towards Pandim on the far side of the valley, and then dropping steeply down on a good path through rhododendron forest to the Prek Chu River at 3,749 m. for lunch (3 hours). We then cross the river and ascend gradually for one and -a-half-hour, through pinewoods to reach a grassy campsite, beneath the shapely unclimbed peak of Pandim. Trekkers huts has been built here, which we use for cooking and sleeping.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, Dinner
Camp: Tented Camp

Day 5: 4th Nov - Lamuney, (near Samiti Lake), 4298 m, 3 hours

Today’s walk is fairly short to give you plenty of opportunity to rest before tomorrow’s big day. You begin by continuing your walk parallel to the Prek Chu River. Sacred Samiti on the opposite side is a beautiful emerald green lake nestled in the midst of brightly coloured wind-torn prayer flags.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, Dinner
Camp: Tented Camp

Day 6: 5th Nov – Goeche La (Pass) and back to Samiti Lake

We get an early start today to beat the inclement weather conditions that are common during the latter part of the day. We climb the hill behind the Lake before traversing the moraine and then descending to the sandy bed of an empty lake. The whole area above Samiti Lake is called the Zemathang Plateau. We cross this under the shadow of Pandim and then ascend a moraine to a height of about 15,700 feet where you rest above a glaciated lake mottled with snow and icy pinnacles. The Goeche La (Pass) is another hour away. We traverse the lake and proceed across a slope, and then on a well-trodden path to our objective, which is festooned with brightly coloured prayer flags. The views of the east flank of Kanchenjunga and the mountains and valleys in the distance are stunning. We then return to our campsite at Samiti Lake.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Camp: Tented Camp

Day 7: 6th Nov – Goeche La – Race Day

Today is the big day! After an early breakfast, we set of early in the morning to the base camp for the start of our marathon. The measured distance of the course is 42.195 kms (26.2 miles). (Aid stations are manned at regular intervals, and refreshments, energisers and help can be availed there. The timeout period of the race is 8 hours, for more details please refer here.) Once you complete the race you can retire to your hotel to rest. Our help desk is there if you require any assistance. Your baggage will only reach late at night so you can collect this in the morning.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: 

Day 8: 7th Nov – Sightseeing, Prize giving and celebratory dinner

After breakfast trek to Dubdi monastery, ‘the hermits cell’, which is situated on the top of a lofty hill one thousand feet above Yuksom. The fir-clad mountains behind provide a dramatic background. Founded by Lhatsun Chempo in 1701, it is the oldest monastery in Sikkim. After visiting the monastery we descend to the site where the first King of Sikkim was crowned in 1641 by three lamas. From here time permitting we can the visit the Kathok lake or back to our hotel for a hearty lunch. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to roam this quaint village and do some souvenir hunting. Later in the evening, a festive dinner and awards ceremony will lead up to an all-night party, with cocktails, life music, culture program and dance.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Cocktails & Dinner
Hotel:

Day 9: 8th Nov – Departure transfer

After an early breakfast our marathon representative will help you for your transfer to Bagdogra, NJP or Kakarbita to catch you connecting flight back home. If you are interested in an extension tour of Sikkim or our neighbours, NE India, Bhutan or Nepal, do let us know.

Meals: Breakfast

Important!

  1. The race organisers reserve the right to change details of the race.
  2. Participants “SHOULD NOT” book their flight out of Bagdogra earlier than 1500 Hrs.

SAARC:

Rs. 45,000 per person

Foreign Nationals:

US$ 680 per person

Single Supplement (Room only):

Rs. 5,000 / US$ 80

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  Costs includes

  • Tourist comfort hotel accommodation in Yuksom 3 nights on double share
  • 5 nights tented camp during the trek
  • All meals as per itinerary
  • Sikkim RAP Permits
  • Race entry fee
  • KNP Park Fee
  • Kanchenjunga conservation Fee
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees (as per itinerary)
  • All ground transfers as per itinerary
  • Refreshments and aid stations during the race
  • Race packet
  • Celebratory Cocktails & Dinner

Cost excludes

  • India Visa fee
  • International and domestic airfares and train fares
  • Personal expenses like phone calls, gratuities, laundry, personal porters, room services, etc.
  • Any other services not mention in our includes clause