The dust from the old road between Hemis and Spituk monasteries was whirled up on July 19th as 108 runners set out for The Great Tibetan Marathon 2008. 46 runners signed up for the full marathon, while the remaining was spread out on the half marathon, 10km & 5km distances.
After a ceremonial blessing at Hemis monastery performed by the lama monks, the race started.
The first 5km of steep down hill running saw Maricruz Lopez from Mexico taking the lead of the full marathon group, but as the route flattened out Trausti Valdimarsson from Iceland took the lead. From then on he never let anyone get close enough to pass him and after 3 hours and 44 minutes Trausti crossed the finish line at Spituk as winner of The Great Tibetan Marathon 2008. Behzad Rajabian from the USA and Petur Helgason also from Iceland came in as 2nd and 3rd.
In the womens competition Maricruz Lopez was unbeatable and crossed the finishing line in 4 hours and 27 minutes. She was followed by Australias Julia Hutchinson and Kristin Magnussen from Norway.
As if running in an altitude of 3500 meters (11500 feet) wasn't hard enough the temperatures reached 35 degrees celsius (95 degrees F), but still no runners gave up or got pulled out by the medical team.
For a full result list please go to www.great-tibetan-marathon.com
Next year The Great Tibetan Marathon will take place July 18th. We hope to see you there!