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The Snowman Race, The World's Toughest Ultra Marathon, Kicks Off in Bhutan

Grueling High-Altitude Course to Feature 30 Athletes Running 203 Kilometers Over Five Days

New York - October 12, 2022: Starting tomorrow, the tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan will become the home of the world’s most challenging ultra-marathon, the first ever Snowman Race. From October 13-17, 2022, a total of 30 endurance athletes will compete over five days as they span the Snowman Trail: 203 kilometers (125 miles) at an oxygen-sparse average of 4,500 meters (14,800 feet) in altitude.

The trek, which normally requires 20 to 25 days to finish, features athletes from around the world, including 11 from North America, all of whom are professionally acclimatized to the rugged and elevated topography. Among the group are Meghan Hicks, winner of the 2013 Marathon des Sables in Morocco, and Roxy Vogel, a Seven Summits finisher and the first person in history to summit Mt. Everest ‘door-to-door’ in two weeks. The treacherous expedition - which is reported to have seen unusually high levels of rain in the past few days - has been completed by fewer people than those who have summited Mt. Everest. The route will pass through many of the most stunning areas of Bhutan, including the remote Lunana area of nomadic herders, the base of the world’s highest unclimbed mountain Gangkhar Puensum, and two of the largest national parks in the country, the Jigme Dorji National Park and the Wangchuck Centennial Park. The entire event includes a pre-race tour of the flooded Gasa hot springs to showcase the detrimental effects of climate change, and a post-race virtual climate conclave. The Snowman Race is part of an initiative conceived by His Majesty The King of Bhutan, which aims to generate greater awareness about the climate emergency. Bhutan – the first and only carbon-negative country in the world – is home to one of the planet’s most threatened ecosystems: the high Himalayas. ‘‘Bhutan has always championed the fight against climate change and we have globally raised our voice for this cause because we live at great threat from the impacts of climate change,” said Ambassador Kesang Wangdi, Chairperson of the Snowman Race Board. “This run and all that it stands for, is symbolic of the challenges we have ahead of us. The next few years will be vitally important in determining the future of our planet and all of its inhabitants. By raising awareness and much-needed funds for the protection of our natural environment, this is one small step in the direction that we all need to move in, together, before we run out of time.” With the recent reopening of its borders on September 23rd, Bhutan continues to promote results-driven sustainable development initiatives throughout the country as a vocal leader on the fight against climate change. For more information on the Snowman Race, visit PHOTO: Runner along the Snowman Trail; (inset images) 18 of the 30 of Snowman Race runners from Bhutan and around the world, at Paro International Airport

ABOUT THE TOURISM COUNCIL OF BHUTAN The Tourism Council of Bhutan is responsible for the development and promotion of sustainable tourism in Bhutan. It works to share the Kingdom’s remarkable places, people and experiences with conscious travelers, guided by the principles of high-value, low-volume tourism.



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