2:09 Events Limited

Thunder Dragon Marathon & Half Marathon, Bhutan

Date: 23rd May, 2021

Bhutan, the land of the Thunder Dragon, is known for its stunning landscapes, legendary ancient temples and fortresses, spicy yet delicious food, colourful festivals and most of all its authenticity. Squeezed between Tibet and India, this beautifula mountain Kingdown is the high Himalaya in its natural state where some of the world's rarest sepecies, like the Royal Bengal Tiger or Golden Langur, still roam freely untroubled by human interaction. If you looking for a unique running and cultural …

Bhutan, the land of the Thunder Dragon, is known for its stunning landscapes, legendary ancient temples and fortresses, spicy yet delicious food, colourful festivals and most of all its authenticity. Squeezed between Tibet and India, this beautifula mountain Kingdown is the high Himalaya in its natural state where some of the world's rarest sepecies, like the Royal Bengal Tiger or Golden Langur, still roam freely untroubled by human interaction.

If you looking for a unique running and cultural experience, Bhutan is the place for you! The charms of this isolated Himalayan Kingdom are knitted strong within its cultural realms and you'll a chance to sample much that the country has to offer on one of our Thunder Dragon Marathon trips. The race itself, which offers full and half-marathon options, is organised in conjunction with our Bhutanese partner, Blue Poppy Tours. 

 

The Thunder Dragon Marathon highlights all of the aspects of Bhutan that make it so special. Running through the beautiful Paro Valley the route takes in fantastic scenery and passes many iconic landmarks, like the Tigers Nest Monastery, Paro Dzong and many religious Chorten - a true mountain and cultural experience.

Mostly on trails and mountain paths with some road sections, the route has a number of climbs but with an altitude variation that stays between 2,200m and 2,530m, there are no tremendously difficult sections although it remains a challenging event.

The Route

From the start at Udumwara, under the cliff that the Tiger's Nest is built on, the first few kilometers are downhill on the road before crossing a metal bridge festooned in prayer flags. It then follows the Paro Chu River downstream where runners are at 2200m altitude. The route remains undulating along the Wang Chu tributary - going up one side for several kms, crossing a bridge and returning down the other side.

Arriving back on the road near Paro you will then climb steadily up the side of a valley passing above Paro Dzong, and up to Zueray Dzong at the highest point of the race (2530m) on a 4km road climb followed by 1km uphill on single track forest trails. From here you start to drop to the valley. 

Crossing a beautiful wooden bridge by Paro Dzong at 31.5km, the route crosses the valley below Paro Town. Once across the valley the marathon route then rises up on the road for a short distance then opens onto a wide trail from 33km to 41km, where there is an amazing section through paddy fields bringing you close to rural Bhutan before a final drop with a view of the Tigers Nest to the finish at Udumwara.

The half marathon follows the marathon route to 8k before turning off and making a short climb up to Paro Dzong. From here it drops back to the river and rejoins the marathon route at the wooden bridge with the final 10km on the same route as the marathon.

ROUTE MAP

GARMIN CONNECT ROUTE MAP WITH PROFILE

 

 

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