India will host its first snow marathon, which will be also the world’s highest event, from March 26 in Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul & Spiti district.
India’s first-ever Snow Marathon will be flagged off from Sissu (near the North Portal of Atal Tunnel). With the average altitude of the marathon track being above 11000 feet elevation, it will be the highest Snow Marathon to be organised in the world.
Snow Marathon Lahaul has been conceptualised by Gaurav Schimar and organised by Reach India. It will see the participation of around 100 runners with the eldest being a 72 years local Himachali enthusiast and the youngest being around 11 years old. The event, which will see around a dozen women runners, is being supported by Lahaul & Spiti District Administration.
The Marathon Track spread over 42 kilometers will meander across towering snow peaks, overlooking hanging glaciers, passing iced waterfalls, a semi-frozen Chandra River, frozen ice lakes with clear blue skies with ample sunshine; and all at an average elevation of above 11000 feet.
“We are surely going to ramp up the running quotient in India with the flagging off of Snow Marathon Lahaul. It has been years in the making and while there are few established snow runs on the planet, the time is just right to introduce this format of running to India,” said Gaurav Schimar, the Event Founder of Snow Marathon Lahaul at the post-match presentation.
“It is not just about running in snow and the inherent trials and tribulations that would test the spirit of any runner. It is also about facing the elements including the high-altitude challenges, which also one will have to endure,” he added.
The event is being organised under the aegis of Colonel Jodh Singh Dhillon, who is the president of the Winter Games Federation of India.
Colonel Arun Natrajan, Chief Event Advisor said, ”While there are about ten such snow, ice or winter marathons across the planet, including the ones which take place on the Arctic Circle, the North Pole and places like Siberia, it is for the first time a Snow Marathon has been conceptualized and being put together for long-distance runners in India.”