Woman and sol­dier win first Snow­man Run

Bhutan Times - - Home - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

Gopa San­gay Wangchuk from Royal Bhutan Army (RBA), Ten­chol­ing, com­pleted the Snow­man Run clock­ing at 4:46:34 in the male cat­e­gory. He was fol­lowed by Chuma Dechen Ugyen from RBA at 4:48:37, and Chuma Tsh­er­ing Wangchuk, RBA, from Lungten­phu.

In the fe­male cat­e­gory, Yang­den, a mother of two from Laya, who com­pleted the race within 7:12:41, se­cured the first po­si­tion while Chimi Dema, 19, from Royal Thim­phu Col­lege stood in the se­cond po­si­tion com­pleted the race within 7:39:10, fol­lowed by Lhamo from Laya.

The two-day Snow­man Run from Gasa Tshachu to Laya, span­ning 53 kilo­me­ters, is one of the most dif­fi­cult in Bhutan and tough­est in the world.

The open cross-coun­try race as­cends from 2,231 me­ters (m) above sea level to 4,000 m.

Criss­cross­ing high moun­tain passes, jun­gle, and nar­row Hi­malayan tracks, the race is per­haps the tough­est cross-coun­try in the world. The trail starts by de­scend­ing to the bank of Mo Chhu.

The Snow­man Run was launched as part of the Royal High­land Fes­ti­val. The race starts from Gasa Tshachu and ends af­ter 28 km at Pun- zhithang on the first day.

The 25 km se­cond leg of the race starts from Pungzhithang which ends at Lan­gothang, Laya, at the fes­ti­val venue.

The win­ners of the race were awarded cash prizes of Nu.150, 000 and Nu. 130, 000 and 100, 000.

The high el­e­va­tion trails were wet and muddy dur­ing the mon­soon sea­son, mak­ing them vul­ner­a­ble to degra­da­tion from run­ners.

Chimi Dema, a good marathoner, beat the women team on the first day. How­ever, the se­cond half of the race turned into a tire game. “The area has many trails and the next day trail was dif­fi­cult,” she said, adding that the muddy con­di­tions and up­hill trail made her race tough.

More of­ten, the trail was drenched in heavy rain and run­ning to a high al­ti­tude des­ti­na­tion for a race, she said, was dif­fi­cult. How­ever, she com­pleted the trail without al­ti­tude sick­ness. “Suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion brought me much hap­pi­ness,” she added.

Ex­cept for a man and two women who gave up on the se­cond day, other par­tic­i­pants made it to the fes­ti­val ground.

An of­fi­cial from Bhutan Ath­letes Am­a­teur Fed­er­a­tion, Tsh­er­ing Cho­den, said it was not without chal­lenge to the run­ners. How­ever, she said the first ever snow­man run was without any al­ti­tude sick­ness and prob­lem.

The first edi­tion of The Snow­man run has re­ceived over­whelm­ing re­sponse from the run­ners across the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to the or­ga­nizer.

The snow­man run saw 107 par­tic­i­pants out of which 26 were fe­male in­clud­ing 19 for­eign­ers, 11 of them male.

The Snow­man Run is one of the ac­tiv­i­ties of the three-day royal high­land fes­ti­val held in the coun­try. The two-day cross-coun­try race or­ga­nized at an al­ti­tude of 4,000 m above sea level.

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