All endurance athletes of the country unite! It's time to truly test yourselves amidst the serene, but challenging Himalayas at Bir-Billing in Himachal Pradesh. The Hell Race is a series of endurance races featuring mountain biking and running, and the first event – a Half Marathon – is taking place a month from now, from April 16, 2017.
What is the Hell Race?
It's a series of races including biking as well as running. What makes them unique is obviously the Himalayas, because the beautiful ranges are otherwise known for their trekking expeditions. The event is organised by a "team of adventurers, racers, mountaineers and outdoor photographers with a knowledge and background in endurance races," says their website.
Although there are many competitive races to be participated in, namely, MTB Challenge Dharmashala (Cycling), the Great Himalayan Running Festival, Skyrunning, MTB Chapter Dhauladhar and the entire series is kicking off with the Bir Billing Half Marathon on April 16, 2017.
Bir Billing Half Marathon
Just as the name suggests, the distance of the half-marathon will be 21 km and the terrain will be a mix of tarmac and jeep track on rolling terrain. What will probably be the most fascinating aspect of the race is the sublime locations runners will cross. They will get to experience the true essence of a quaint Himalayan valley steeped in Buddhist culture, while running past small settlements, fields, meadows, streams, rivers, and monasteries. The highest altitude during the route will be 1,598m and the total elevation gain will be 670m.
Since it is open for everyone to participate, there is also an easier 10km category for those who just want to soak in the natural bliss around.
Watch this video to get a whiff of what to expect:
What about those who don't want to run?
Honestly, this is where the fun starts. There is so much to do for those who are either accompanying their participating friends and family members or are just there to spend a night in nature. For this unique experience, the organisers have set up an entire Runners' Village where everyone including participants and non-participants can spend the night and indulge in a variety of extra curricular activities since the place isn’t just about living, but about co-living. To celebrate the spirit of running and camaraderie, there will be campfire, dance, folk music, adventure activities, local treks, and on-spot competitions.
Get more details here.
While there you should definitely treat yourself to a bird's eye view of the entire valley. Paragliding facilities will be available at the village itself. Bir is the world's second best paragliding destination and even hosted India's first Paragliding World Cup in October 2015, so you know that you're in for the treat of a lifetime.
Meditation and Monasteries
There are a dozen monasteries in the area around the village and hence spiritual emancipation will be easier to attain. Just switch yourself off from the world for a while and experience the tranquility of Bir.
There are separate registration fees for participants and non-participants. Click this link to register for the race as well as to book an accommodation at the Runners' Village.
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