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Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race
by Running times, USA

Women's Health Magazine,
South Africa

Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race
by Fiona Bugler, UK


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Detailed Itinerary

DETAILED ITINERARY FOR HIMALAYAN 100 MILE STAGE RACE

October 27 – November 03, 2017 (Friday to Friday), 7 Nights / 8 Days

Note:

  1. Please check the notice board for timings for all the activities on your arrival.
  2. If there are any changes in the timings, the same will be notified to you.

Day 1:- Arrival day October 27, 2017 (Friday) MIRIK (DARJEELING AREA)

Fly to Bagdogra airport. Passports must be collected and stamped before leaving the airport. Several buses will transfer the group and all baggage to Mirik Lake Resort, near Darjeeling. It is about 1.5 hours drive by bus. Upon arrival, there will be room key ready for you. If traveling alone, you will be sharing with another person (men with men, women with women). You will find your room keys by locating your ID number. Indian staff can have difficulty with foreign names so value using your ID number which will become quickly obvious. Everyone receives ID number to be used for identification on luggage, room lists, and to be worn during the race. You will be provided with an ID tag for all your bags upon arrival at Race HQ. A buffet dinner will be served in the dining room. Personal baggage to be used during the 5 day Stage Race should be packed in locked bags and ready for pick up. You should organize and pack majority of your clothing and baggage in advance before arrival in Mirik with all items needed on the Stage Race. The clothes you wore to India can be left at the hotel laundry if you wish. You may leave a bag in private storage room with items that you do not need during race. Baggage should always be locked while in storage or in transit. Meals at Mirik Resort are included in the package but drinks of any kind are not included. Please stick with bottled drinks without ice and hot drinks. Race briefing will begin before dinner in the dining room for about 1 hour plus question time. Please keep PDI ready with you for reference.

* For baggage movement information, kindly refer PDI.

* Starting time will be announced to the group.

Day 2:- October 28, 2017 (Saturday) MIRIK (5500 ft)

Breakfast. Today, there will be Darjeeling sightseeing (optional).

Those who are not participating in Darjeeling sightseeing will have rest of their morning free. Lunch will be at around 12:00-1:00 pm. After lunch there will be guided sightseeing around Mirik to see the monastery, viewing spots, a tea estate, and shopping markets.

An optional day trip to Darjeeling (7000 ft) will depart early in the morning. It is a 2 hour drive to Darjeeling. Lunch on your own and will be available at your convenience at local restaurant in Darjeeling. The guided tour will include a ride on the famous Toy Train (subject to its operation and availability and visits to the Himalayan Mountaineering Museum and Ghoom Monastery. Shopping is an added attraction in Darjeeling. Dinner at Mirik will be at 7:00 pm. You must carry your passport with you on the Stage Race because there are several check points where it may be required.

* For baggage movement information, kindly refer PDI.

* Starting time will be announced to the group.

Day 3:- October 29, 2017 (Sunday) SANDAKPHU (Stage Race Day 1) 24 miles

Depart at 0530 hours and 1.5 hour drive to Maneybhanyjang (6600 ft) for the start of Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race at 07:30 hours. All your personal baggage not left at Mirik Resort will already be in Sandakphu at your bedside awaiting your arrival. After a Tibetan blessing ceremony, all participants, runners proceed 24 miles to Sandakphu (11815 ft). Expect trail running conditions over a cobblestone surface; aid stations on the average every 2 miles; jeep support for runners and walkers. The jeep road is easy to follow and well marked as needed. Constructed in 1948, this road is the boundary between India and Nepal. The course starts up steeply, then goes gradually down and rolling for a few miles before turning up again. Terrain becomes rolling, but turns steeply up on the last miles to Sandakphu. The fastest running time has been 4:00 hours; the fastest mountain biking time has been 7:00 hours. See race time sheet and altitude profile in the PDI. Walkers have their own guide and start after runners depart. They take short cuts and catch rides on the support vehicles as available. Walkers will have transport from Garibas (9480 ft) to Sandakphu as this last hill is quite steep. Walkers are advised to ride. Additional jeeps will be available depending on the size and make-up of the group. Aid stations will be stocked with bottled mineral water, bananas, biscuits and glucose powder. If you have access to a supply of energy bars, drink mix, or other sponsor donated food items, you are encouraged to bring them for use by all runners. Our staff will help while you are at the aid station. You are responsible for packing and labeling all your stuff with your ID number containing special foods or clothes for aid stations. All runners should obtain drinking water at each aid station and fill their own water bottles. Runners must carry a water bottle as nobody is allowed to drink directly from water bottles at the aid stations. If you have a favorite fluid replacement drink or energy bar, it would be wise to carry some or send it up in a drop bag. Fluid replacement will be monitored during Stage day 1 and 2 to reduce the effects of altitude sickness and dehydration. Details will be discussed at the Race Briefing. On arrival in Sandakphu, hot soup, bread, and snacks will be available. A complete dinner will be served by our staff about 5:00 pm. A brief menu of all meals is included in the PDI. Bringing personal snacks, favorite freeze dried meals, and other personal food items are encouraged because at 11,815 feet most food looses it’s familiar taste. Runners and walkers will stay overnight together. There are about 5 tourist bungalows at Sandakphu. Everybody needs to bring own sleeping bag. Beds have cotton mattresses, pillows, and blankets. Dining will be organized in a large communal tent or in one of the bungalow. It is not large enough to fit everybody in at one time however. No showers are available, but hot water will be provided in washing tents or in bungalow. Out-house toilets are available in Sandakphu and a few places during the day. A food menu and listing of aid stations and toilets are in the PDI. Weather changes very quickly in the mountains. If it is a sunny day, expect day time temperatures 50-70 degrees; night time 25-50 degrees. If cloud appears, weather may drop to zero during night time. If weather is cloudy, rain can be expected.

* For baggage movement information, kindly refer PDI.

* Starting time will be announced to the group.

Day 4:- October 30, 2017 (Monday) SANDAKPHU (Stage Race Day 2) 20 miles.

Wake up at about 5:00 am for the panoramic sunrise views with back drop of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga. These are the four out of five highest mountains in the world, except K2 (which is located in Pakistan). Sandakphu National Park is the only place in the world where 4 of the 5 highest mountains can be seen at one time. Breakfast starts at 5:30 am. See the menu in the PDI. Generally, mornings will be clear and crisp as the sun rises to warm us up. Aid stations are at about every 4 miles out to Molle (11655 ft). There will be an early start at 6:30 am means there is more time to see the views before mid-morning and clouds may roll in. This is an out and back day. We follow a well marked jeep track again today so there is no chance of getting lost. We may see yaks, wild horses, and small Red Panda today. The area is part of Sandakphu National Park so there are no villages. After the last runner leaves Molle, jeep will return and pick up walkers and support crew. Walkers can stay around Sandakphu all day or walk to Molle. They can walk or ride back. It will be usually sunny with temperatures warming to mid-60 range, but feels warmer due to the thin air at 11000+ feet. Food and accommodations will be the same as of the previous night.

* For baggage movement information, kindly refer PDI.

* Starting time will be announced to the group.

Day 5:- October 31, 2017 (Tuesday) RIMBIK (Stage Race Day 3) 26.4 miles.

Simultaneous with the Mt. Everest Challenge Marathon

Expect another bright and sunny morning. Runners retrace the previous day 10 miles to Molle, continue 4 miles to Phulet (11380 ft) where they turn around and return 4 miles to Molle before turning down hill toward Rimbik. At Molle, the jeep track stops, aid stations are not as frequent, and no portable toilets can be found. The trail gets steeper and becomes a grid of ruts, some several feet deep. Runners pick their own line and speed for the next few miles. As the trail drops 4,000 feet, the treeless ridge line is replaced by dense tropical vegetation and beautiful flowers. There will be 13 water stops today. As you enter the upper parts of the hill village of Siri Khola, the trail becomes a maze of paths zig-zag down to the bridge crossing the big river. Smiling villagers waive greetings as you pass by. With no roads, they see few foreigners passing this way. After crossing the river, the trail becomes more populated with the houses of farmers until reaching Rimbik (6350 ft). There are several lodges we use in Rimbik. Accommodations are allocated based on the final make-up of the group. The Sherpa Lodge is the finish point on Race Day 3 and starting point for the 4th Race Day. Do not expect personal luggage before late afternoon. The Nepalee lodges we use have just a few hot showers and toilets each. We supplement their facilities with our own gas burners to heat water, washing tents, and portable toilets. There are some 2 person rooms and some communal dormitory rooms at the lodges. Food has been pre-ordered and will be served upon request when you arrive. It is normally warm and sunny at Rimbik. Walkers leave Sandakphu anytime after the runners. Walkers follow a shorter route to Rimbik as it is not advisable to attempt walking from Sandakphu to Molle to Rimbik in one day. Runners can check the race time sheet in PDI. Darkness falls early in the mountains and everybody running long route must be capable of reaching Rimbik by 4 pm at the latest. Walkers retrace 2 miles of the first day, including a sizable hill, then turn down a steep 6 mile trail which leads down to the village of Rimbik (6350 ft). This is a very pleasant walk passing through jungle and small farming communities. The scenery is virtually the same as the runners see on their downhill leg. The jeeps will haul all personal baggage to Rimbik except for a change of clothes for the runners. Porters / mules will carry all these items in one or two bags on the short route followed by the walkers. Some runners will arrive before the walkers and the porters. Some cooking staff will walk to Rimbik to help in food preparation. Beer is available for sale in Rimbik. This is the only place where you may want some money to spend. Stage Race Runners also complete Mt. Everest Challenge Marathon on this day.

* For baggage movement information, kindly refer PDI.

* Starting time will be announced to the group.

Day 6:- November 01, 2017 (Wednesday) PALMAJUA – RIMBIK OVERNIGHT (Stage Race Day 4) 13 miles

The hill village of Rimbik is located at the end of a rough, but with paved road. There is little traffic on the road. This day will favor road runners more than trail runners. Initially, there is a big downhill to 4975 feet, then flat above the river, until starting a climb which takes us to Palmajua at 6560 feet. Temperatures will be in the range of 70 degree during the day. Runners return by bus to Rimbik for lunch and relax or explore the area on their own or with guides. Walkers can do a day walk to visit Siri Khola, a small monastery, and other sights nearby. Local villagers will perform traditional Nepalese and Tibetan folk dances in the evening. As the last night before reaching civilization in Mirik, there will be a festive atmosphere.

* For baggage movement information, kindly refer PDI.

* Starting time will be announced to the group.

Day 7:- November 02, 2017 (Thursday) MANEYBHANJYANG – MIRIK (Stage Race Day 5) 17 miles.

Deart from Rimbik at 6:00 am and drive to Palmajua by bus to the start where runners finished the previous day. After the start, runners continue uphill through lush vegetation and large pine trees. After cresting the hill, the scenery is beautiful along a gradual downhill road to the finish of the Stage Race in Manebhanjang (6600 ft). There are aid stations every 3-4 miles. Walkers can ride from Rimbik past Palmajua to top of the hill at 8555 ft and then start walking gradually down to Maneybhanjyang. Expect the fastest men to arrive in 2 hours, fastest women in 3 hours so this gives plenty of time for all runners to arrive. Walkers can ride or walk as they choose. Food and drinks will be available at the finish line. Buses will carry everyone to Mirik altogether. In the evening, Awards Ceremony will take place. After the awards, you will have time to pack, have dinner, and get a good rest. A bus will take all luggage directly from Rimbik to Mirik so it will be waiting in your room when you arrive.

* For baggage movement information, kindly refer PDI.

* Starting time will be announced to the group.

Day 8:- November 03, 2017 (Friday) MIRIK – BAGDOGRA airport End of trip.

After breakfast, drive to Bagdogra airport to board the flight for final departure transfer. The trip ends at Bagdogra airport.

* For baggage movement information, kindly refer PDI.

* Starting time will announced to the group.

Stage Race (8 days trip) includes shared accommodation at Mirik Lake Resort, mountain huts at Sandakphu, lodges at Rimbik, all meals, aid stations, guides, porters, full race support, Bagdogra airport transfers, sightseeing in Darjeeling, transport to/from Race starting point, guides for walkers, T-shirt, cap, race trophy, race certificate, and Pre-departure booklet.

Price does not include: Air flights, train tickets or transfers in India to connect to Bagdogra, any meals or services outside the Bagdogra – Mirik – Darjeeling area, airport taxes, visa fees, or tipping kitty etc.

Early Arrival (Optional) at Mirik Lake Resort is available at an extra cost. Includes accommodation, meals, lodging, guided sightseeing, airport transfer. Early arrival allows extra time to acclimatize, recover from jet lag, visiting tea estates, monasteries and shopping markets.