I have never come across someone who hates travelling. Every time you visit a new place, it opens the mind to new things and lets you experience life in new ways. While most people travel by car or buses, some love to trek and other love to run. Here is a list of some of the most scenic running routes in our country to feed your wanderlust in a new exciting way.
Sohra Cherrapunjee Marathon, Meghalaya
Sohra Marathon is one of the most beautiful marathons in India. The run route starts from Mawdok village, 16km from Shillong and follows across plateaus, rolling meadows up to the edges of a vast canyon. It’s beautiful how the temperature keeps swinging from chilly to warm with occasional raining and mist over the landscape. There are three races, all with different route stretches starting from 42 km and 21 km for adults and a smaller 10 km run for children and the differently-abled.
Chandratal Ultra Run, Himachal Pradesh
While most of us visit Spiti Valley for its picturesque endurance, the Chandratal Ultra Run is a very good idea to discover the arresting beauty of the Chandra Lake and its surroundings. The run routes include one with a 50km track starting from the village to Chatru and ending with an exciting overnight camp at the Chandratal Lake. The other one is 100 km and route starting at Sissu on the Leh-Manali Highway and ending at Chandratal via Batal and Kunzum Pass.
The WindChasers Sandakphu 70 Mile Himalayan Race, West Bengal
If you are a pro-runner, this four-day run to the highest point of Sandakphu Peak is for you. Located at the height of 12,000 ft, the run covers harsh terrains and rocky landscape that may even require months of training. But once you start, there is no holding back from reaching the gorgeous Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and Makalu and Lhotse.
Corbett Running and Living XC Marathon, Uttaranchal
This is a cross country marathon around the edge of the Corbett Tiger Reserve with four races to choose from- 5 km, 10.55 km, 21.1 km and 42.2 km. All the routes follow different loops and might just be far more exciting than the regular safari.
Go Heritage Run – Udaipur, Rajasthan
If you are bored of the mundane sightseeing, this is going to be an interesting way of exploring the royal city of Udaipur. The route covers the famous Lake Pichola and Jagdish Mandir and ends at the City Palace. With different routes, this event offers three stretches – 5 km, 10 km and 21 km.
Ladakh Marathon, Jammu and Kashmir
This is the world’s highest marathons covering some of the most breath-taking landscapes, valleys, rivers and monasteries. The marathon route is at around 11,500 ft that makes the run twice as tough. There are four runs to pick from – the 07 km Race, Half Marathon, Marathon and the arduous 72 km Khardung La Challenge.
The Nilgiris Ultra, Tamil Nadu
If you take the Nilgiris Ultra, you will pass by a number of hills, tea estates, forest roads and even waterfalls. The marathon starts at Ooty and stretches up to 70 km taking you through small villages and towns like Coonoor and Kotagiri and along the captivating Coonoor-Ooty heritage railway. You can also choose routes of the 26 km or 52 km.
Go Heritage Run – Hampi, Karnataka
Aptly named, the marathon routes meander through a UNESCO World Heritage Site, covering a number of ruins and monuments on its way. There are three races of 5km, 10km and 21 km all with different routes. These routes also cover the famous 14th century-structures like the Virupaksha and the Vittala temples.