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.
The course: Runners start from Rishikesh and make their way through forest area, bypassing the city of Dehradun, followed by the Suvakoli hill, Tehri Dam and up towards the hills of Uttarkashi. The weather is expected to be cool (16–22 degrees Celsius) with the possibility of light showers.
Race format: Uttarkashi 135 is a crew-supported, solo, single-stage race. No runners are allowed to participate without a vehicle and crew members.
Schedule: August 28, 2015 (6am) – August 30, 2015 (6am) (48 hours cut off)
Race eligibility: One 160K finish and one 100K finish in the past one year.
The course is a challenging one and runs through the night, which is why organizers insist that every runner registers up to 4 crew members for pacing and support, with a minimum of two crew members. All support vehicles must have two licensed drivers, and it’s mandatory for runners to carry night running aids such as headlamps or torchlight, reflective vests or armbands and whistles, from 6pm until 7am. Participants can also choose to run for charity and register their cause with the organizer in advance.
The Uttarkashi 135 is an amazing way to experience the Himalayan foothills at their best, and a satisfying test for your endurance and mental will. For those who’ve set their sights even higher, this race is also a North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc qualifier for 2015 with 4 qualifying points. For more information about the event, check out the official website.