Bhutan International Marathon 2018


Bhutan International Marathon 2018 – The Fifth (5th) Edition is one of the Toughest Marathon held in Bhutan for both Nationals and International Participants. The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is a land of high mountains and deep valleys where compassion and wisdom are the benchmark against which all things are measured, and where the King rules by ‘Gross National Happiness’. Come and take part in Bhutan’s prestigious Bhutan International Marathon 26.2 mile – 42kms run and make a difference!

On your 26.2mile (42km) journey through stunning rural countryside and villages, before finishing at the historic Punakha Dzong, you’ll discover the geographical and cultural wonders of a country naturally designed to be a tantalizing destination for adventure and spiritual seekers. Come and be part of the Bhutan’s Epic Event.


2017 Bhutan International Marathon Update

Tour Facts

Duration: ONE DAY Level: Super Challenging Distance: 26.2 Mile – 42Kms Districts Covered: Punakha and Gasa When: 4th MARCH 2018 International Registration Fee: USD 150  


The marathon route is mostly rural and approximately 50% on hard pack dirt and 50% on pavement.

The marathon will start at 8:00 AM. The elevation at the start line is 6700 feet. We recommend you wear warm clothing over your running clothing and bring any other personal items you might need. These will be transported for you back to the finish line. Do not bring any valuables to the start line.

From the start line runners will descend into a few shallow rollers before the course mostly flattens out while proceeding toward Punakha. The route follows the Mo Chhu (river) through rural Punakha Valley. After leaving the rain forest area the valley will open up and you will have stunning views of the Khamsum Yulley Temple, monasteries, rice paddies, rain forest, villages and Chortens. Route is mostly rural and approximately 50% on hard pack dirt with some rocky and uneven surfaces and 50% on pavement.. The terrain is flat to rolling with many gradual down hill sections and with an overall elevation loss of over 1000 feet.

Approximately .5 mi(.8km) before reaching the Punakha Dzong, runners will turn left off the main road, cross a bridge onto a paved road and then and take a hard pack dirt track through a small village bypassing the cremation site. At the cremation site you will have approximately 7 miles(11.27km) to go to the finish line. You will climb over a cattle barrier then up a short hill, before crossing a stunning 300 foot long suspension bridge across the Pho Chhu. Make sure you take a moment to enjoy the view! This is a very stable suspension bridge and quite runnable.

You’ll descend a short steep hill off the bridge area before continuing on hard pack dirt for about 3 miles(4.8km) while following the Puna Tsang Chhu south from the suspension bridge. You’ll reach your last aid station on the course just before turning into pavement for the remainder of the event. Runners will then cross the Puna Tsang Chhu on a standard vehicle bridge and head north back toward Punakha Dzong via Khuruthang town and past the Khuruthang Monastery and Chorten. The finish is at the picturesque Punakha Dzong.

Runners must reach the Pho Chhu suspension bridge (18.6miles/30km) by 1:30 PM and the finish line by 3:00 PM.


Aid Stations and Mile Markers

Aid stations are located approximately 2-3.5 miles(3.2km-5.6km) apart. Aid stations will feature water, bananas and sports nutrition products. There will mile marker signs designating your current run distance, at each aid station.

All runners are encouraged to carry a water bottle and any other necessary personal food supplements between aid stations as needed. Aid stations are designed to provide aid to those within the 6.5 hour cut off time.


Traffic will be open to vehicles, but will be monitored by local police and transportation officers. Most of this route is in rural Bhutan, so the quantity of vehicles on the road is minimal.


Toilet facilities will be set up at each aid station along the route.


Medical personnel will be available at the finish line as well as roving on the course. There will be an ambulance on standby.


There will be intermittent and undisclosed check points along the course where you will check in with timing personnel. You will be given your finish time at the Awards Ceremony. Runners shall cross Punakha Suspension Bridge by 1:30 pm. If not, they will be picked up by the sweep team. Cut off time at the finish line is 7 hours from the start line.



  1. General Guidelines
  2. Conduct of Runners
  3. Punishable Offenses

1.1 This is a 26.2 mile – 42KMS running event. Participants are allowed to walk or run only. We request that you run at least half of the total marathon course in order to make the cut off times.

1.2 The briefing for all runners is compulsory. This meeting will take place the day before the race in Khuruthang. You will also need to pick up your race packet and check in, just prior to this meeting.

PLEASE BRING A PICTURE ID TO CHECK IN. You will be given further details via email.

1.3 Once registered, participants will not be given a refund of their entry fee, under any circumstances.

1.4 All runners must be at least 18 years on event day.

1.5 All runners will be transported to the starting line area by the Bhutan Olympic Committee. You must report to the Damchen Resort Parking Lot on race morning in order to catch the bus to the start line of your event. The time you must report will be announced at the pre-race briefing.

1.6 Support vehicles are not allowed on the course. Family and friends may not follow the runners during the event, but may spectator from designated spots that will be disclosed at the pre-race meeting.

1.7 Runners are allowed to take support only from official aid stations, race personnel, or from other participants. You are not allowed to leave items on the side of the road to be picked up along the way.

1.8 Runners are not allowed to litter or leave personal items along the route. If you must discard trash or personal items, please do so at official aid stations.

1.9 No runner may be on the course during the race if he/she has not registered for the race, unless approved by the organizing committee.

1.10 The start line will be on a narrow one-lane road. You may position yourself on the start line as you wish.

1.11 The aid stations along the event route will be 3-6K apart and will have water, bananas and Coke. You will need to bring a means to carry fluids and any additional food choices of your preference during the event.

1.12 First Aid services will be available at the finish line as well as on roving course Marshals. There will be an ambulance available as needed.

1.13 Runners shall cross the Punakha Suspension Bridge by 1 pm. If not, they will either be picked up by the sweep team, or can proceed ahead with no support. Cut off time at the finish line is 6.5 hours from the start line.

1.14 Our awards ceremony and celebration dinner will be the evening of the race, in the Punakha Dzong area. The specific location and time will be announced at the pre-race briefing.

1.15 Participants are allowed to use, wear or carry a headset, radio, headphones, personal audio device, but for your safety, we advise against it. Participants are allowed to bring their mobile phone.

1.16 At the end of the race, results will not be announced until all the checklists are crosschecked and verified by the Chief Marshal.

1.17 Race numbers must be worn on the front of the runner at all times.

1.18 Race numbers must not be altered in any way except at the finish line when a race official will take the bottom tear tag off of your race number. Please allow them to do so.

1.19 No participant, after leaving the course, shall be allowed to rejoin the race either for the purpose of gaining a place or to pace or to assist another participant.

1.20 A hands-on medical examination during the progress of an event by officially designated medical personnel shall not be considered outside assistance and will not result in disqualification if participant is deemed medically fit to continue.

1.21 Participants are responsible for recognizing and understanding event signage, symbols and colors relating to participant maps, facilities and direction.

1.22 Event officials reserve the right to delay, cancel, or suspend the race due to inclement weather or severe emergencies.

1.23 There will be intermittent and undisclosed check points along the course where you will check in with timing personnel.

1.24 Under the rules of IAAF, BAAF, BOC, IOC, doping is strictly forbidden.

1.25 The age of a participant on the day of the race determines his or her Masters classification. If age verification is requested, only a birth certificate, ID or passport will be acceptable proof of age.

1.26 Bring appropriate layers to remain warm prior to the race. You can leave those items in your race bag which will be transported to the finish line.

1.27 Local toilet facilities and toilet paper will be provided at each aid station. We recommend you bring some of your own toilet paper as well, just in case.

1.28 Event officials reserve the right, to modify, supplement or waive all or part of the event rules.


Any misconduct on the part of any runner, in breach of any of the guidelines given below, will result in penalties specified in Section 3. The decision of the organizing committee will be final and binding.

2.1 All runners must at all times respect the existing road traffic rules and regulations.

2.2 All runners shall demonstrate proper sporting spirit and shall, participate in the event in a fair and sporting manner. They shall all endeavor to contribute fairly to the sporting success of the race.

2.3 No runner shall be disrespectful toward the organizers, officials, other runners or spectators.

2.4 No runner shall use foul or abusive language or conduct during the event.

2.5 Carrying and using glass containers is forbidden.

2.6 Runners must respect the environment and must make sure that they do not pollute the course.

2.7 Runners may offer assistance to other runners such as lending or exchanging food or drink. No assistance is allowed from anyone other than a race official, or a race participant.

2.8 If any runner wishes to file a complaint he or she must contact the Race Director with a written complaint within 24 hours of completion of the event.


The following offenses shall result in disqualification in the current race and suspension from the next edition of the Bhutan International Marathon, or as decided by the organizing committee. The decision of the organizing committee will be final and binding:

3.1 Acts of unsportsmanlike conduct in conjunction with the event.

3.2 Entering the competition under an assumed name or falsifying documentation at the time of registration.

3.3 Assaulting or committing a violent injury on official or Marshal.

3.4 Failing to run the entire course, by taking a short cut, riding in a motor vehicle, or by any other means.

3.5 Taking aid from anyone other than an event official, official aid station, or other participant.

Marathon: Saturday, March 4, 2017, 8:00 AM
  • Finish line and parking at Punakha Dzong
  • Start line in the Gasa Dzongkhag
  • International Registration Fee: $150 US
  • Runners must report at the Damchen Parking Lot: 5:30am
  • Race starts at 8:00 AM

Marathon Participants Receive

  • Pre-race briefing in Punakha
  • Festive race start with officials from the Gasa Dzongkhag
  • Transportation from the finish line at the Dzong to the start of the race
  • Transport of any personal items from the start line to the finish line
  • Technical running shirt with BIM logo
  • Special gift for all finishers
  • Special awards given to top competitors
  • Awards Celebration with Traditional Entertainment
  • Aid stations, medical support
  • There will be a raffle prize drawing at the Awards Ceremony with a chance for ALL participants to win prizes!


Event Week Itinerary

Friday, March 3, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Packet Pick Up and race check-in inside Damchen Resort in Khuruthang. PLEASE BRING A PICTURE ID TO CHECK IN. You will receive your race number at this time which will need to be pinned to the front of your running shirt. If you have not yet paid your registration fee, you can do so at the BOC office PRIOR to the event, or at the Packet Pick Up. March 3, 2:00 PM. Our mandatory pre-race briefing will be right after Packet Pick Up on March 4, at 2:00 PM, also inside Damchen Resort in Khuruthang.

March 4, 8:00 AM Marathon runners must report to the Damchen Resort Parking Lot and be on the bus by 5:30 AM on race morning in order to catch the bus to the start line of your event.

8:00 AM. Marathon Race Start 1:30 PM. All runners must reach the Pho Chhu suspension bridge. 3:00 PM. Race cutoff time. 5:00 PM. Awards Celebration in Punakha. The specific location will be announced at the pre-race briefing. [Event week itinerary will be likely to be changed in the last minute by the technical director]  


Full Marathon  Cash Purse to top male and female marathon winner

  • 1st Male & Female Nu.40,000 (Each)
  • 2nd Male & Female Nu. 30,000 (Each)
  • 3rd Male & Female Nu.20,000 (Each)
  • 4th Male & Female Nu.10,000 (Each)
  • 5th Male & Female Nu. 5000 (Each)
Special awards are given in the following categories:
  • Top 5 Open Men
  • Top 5 Open Women
  • Top 3 Masters Men (masters is designated as 50+ for this event)
  • Top 3 Masters Women (masters is designated as 50+ for this event)
  • Medals for all finishers
  • T-shirt for all Participants
  • There will be a raffle prize drawing at the Awards Ceremony with a chance for ALL participants to win prizes!