Half Marathon

Sikkim's first high altitude trail run!

The Kanchenjunga Half Marathon is a unique opportunity for runners from India and around the world to run with local Sikkimese through mountainous region. This is the first edition of the half marathon to encourage more locals participate. 

The race takes place in the Kanchenjunga National Park, near the Mt. Kanchenjunga, 8586 m. 3rd highest peak in the world and India’s highest peak, and offer runners stunning vistas of mountains, rivers and valleys and will leave you with lifelong memories and a chance to say you ran the Kanchenjunga Marathon, the world’s most spectacular heritage marathon. We explore all the way to the highest point, Goeche La (Pass) at 5002 m. befoer descending down to Phedang, which is the start point of the half marathon. 

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Itinerary 

Day 1: 31st Oct – NJP / Bagdogra / Kakarbita – Yuksom, 1780 m.

Arrive at Yuksom and report at our help desk. 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, Kangchenjunga, 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 virgin 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. Goeche La  (Pass) and back to Thangsing

Today’s walk is fairly short to Lamuney. 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. 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. From the pass we trace our route back to Thangsing. 

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, Dinner
Camp: Tented Camp

Day 6: 5th Nov – Phedang 

We retrace our route via the Prek Chu, to emerge at Phedang. Rest & medical check.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Camp: Tented Camp

Day 7: 6th Nov – Phedang – Race Day

Today is the big day! After an early breakfast, get ready for the start of our marathon. The measured distance of the course is 21.01 kms. 

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 Yuksam. 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, our celebratory cocktail party, with live music, culture program and prize and certificate distribution.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Cocktails & Dinner
Hotel:

Day 9: 10th Nov – Departure transfer to NJP, Bagdogra or Kakarbita (Nepal)

After an early breakfast departure transfer to catch your connecting flight back home. If you are interested in extending your trip to explore other parts of Sikkim, our NE neighbours, Bhutan or Nepal, let us know. Check out some sample travel package offered which can be added prior or after your trip.

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. 2,000 / 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
  • Celebratory Cocktails & Dinner
  • Race Packet
  • T'shirt

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