Gangtok: Gurudongmar Marathon, considered the ‘world’s highest marathon’, is an ultimate test of human strength and endurance. Organised by the Sikkim Mountaineering Association (SMA), the 42.1-km marathon is held around the fabled Gurudongmar Lake at an altitude of 17,800 ft above sea level.
This year, 37 participants completed the track over a period of four days from June 3 to June 6. It was held to coincide with ‘Global Running Day’ on June 5.
While Ganga Hang Subba from Dentam, West Sikkim won the marathon, Ashis Subba and Karma Tshering Bhutia, both from Darjeeling, finished second and third, respectively.
Among the women, Tshering Lamu Bhutia and Prakriti Pradhan — both from Darjeeling — came first and second, respectively.
Karl Furthmaier, one of the oldest runners from Shantiniketan, was also awarded a trophy for his effort. The marathon was a not-for-profit event held to promote active lifestyle through sporting activities.
Bordering near the Tibet-China border, the event was supported by the Sikkim department of sports and youth affairs, Indian Army, Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), NHPC and state police.
Myths around Gurudongmar Lake
The lake is fabled as the site where both Guru Nanak and Guru Rinpoche are said to have paused while traveling through the region. These two men of God, Guru Nanak and Guru Rinpoche, are said to have helped the locals with sourcing water from the lake.