When it comes to trail runs, India has plenty of variety to offer – from desert runs to mountain runs to runs through forests. With its natural diversity, India can cater to trail runners in all seasons – whether it is pouring down or during winter. And you are likely to find one or the other trail run that suits your level of fitness and training. Here are our picks for the best in India!
Sandakphu 70 Mile Himalayan Race
Organized by The Windchasers, this 70-mile race course takes competitors across a wide variety of terrains and includes approximately 3,636 meters of ascents and descents over four days. Runners will tackle cobblestones, gravel, loose rocks, hard packed earth and even semi-paved paths during the event, which is a fully supported race. Stunning views of the Kanchenjunga range and other towering peaks including Makalu, Lhotse and the great Mt. Everest keep you company, even as Himalayan hospitality makes each day’s run worth your while.
Run the Rann
Set in the Rann of Kutch, this race has become iconic to Gujarat’s developing endurance sports culture. The race completes it’s 3rd successful yeah in 2016. This is Gujarat’s first athletic event to have brought to light both the historic and the sporting spirit of the great Rann of Kutch. Run the Rann has four different races (21 kms, 42 kms, 101 kms and 161 kms) and it has a strict policy of 150 runners.
A North Face UTMB qualifier, the Nilgiris Ultra has separate categories for men and women for distances of 25, 50 and 100 kilometers. Set in the misty Nilgiris of the Western Ghats, the course is both picturesque and challenging. The longer categories start post midnight giving runners an opportunity to catch a glorious sunrise halfway through. In its fourth year now, the Nilgiri Ultras starts from the outskirts of Ooty, with the 100K ending at the Upper Bhavani Reservoir.
Mount Abu Trail Marathon
Rajasthan’s only hill station, Mount Abu, sits on the state’s highest mountain at the south-western end of the Aravalli Hills. The ancient town is surrounded by the Mt Abu Wildlife Sanctuary, which provides sparkling green relief amidst the state’s sandy and dry vistas. In historic times, Mount Abu was leased by the The East-India Company and used as a sanatorium for troops.
Organized against this charming backdrop, the Mt Abu International Trail Marathon gives runners from all walks of life a chance to experience trail running in the mountains.
Kaveri Trail Marathon
Started in 2007 with 150 runners, KTM claims to be a brutal run, which starts in Srirangapatna. It has since become quite popular with a 10k, half marathon and full marathon trail. KTM is also an interesting trail to be on since it’s neighboring areas have a lot of history and culture. So after completing the race, runners can take some time out for R&R.
Bhatti Lakes 100
Bhatti Lakes 100 focuses on runners who cannot travel long and arduous journeys for a race. The Bhatti lakes are old mines, which over time turned into lakes. The entire area is a 20-mile loop. It is a beautiful lake area close to Delhi with a fairly gradient trail. That said, it is a tough run. Heat, humidity are part and parcel of the weather, but add to that a trail with changing terrain and you have your work cut-out for you.
Uttarkashi 135 Ultra Run
The scenic mountain route from Rishikesh to Uttarkashi will play host to an adventurous bunch of ultra-runners this weekend, as they gear up to run 135 miles through the lower Himalayan course. Now in its second year, the Uttarkashi 135, organized by Globalracers, is one of the more challenging mountain trail races in the country with a cumulative 34,000 feet of uphill and downhill stretches. The route itself crosses several charming Himalayan villages as it runs parallel to the Ganga before finally terminating at the holy town of Uttarkashi. All through the challenge, there are hills and forests to negotiate, as the participants (and their crew) chase the trails for 48 hours day and night.