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Singapore runners. Handy guide to the Bagan Marathon
The Temple Run through the historic town of Bagan in central Myanmar must surely be one of the world’s best in terms of backdrops and atmosphere.
The number of ancient temples and stupas you will pass will distract you from the aches, pain and blisters and, as the number of runners is severely restricted, this race really makes you feel part of the place.
Full marathon, half marathon or 10km.
Not many races can claim a 46 metre high temple dating back to 1211 as its start and finish line, but the ancient Htilominlo Temple is where the runners gather before dawn.
More than 2 000 pagodas and temples are dotted in the trees and forests of the 26-sq-mile area that makes up the Bagan Archaeological Zone. You will run past a fair few of these ancient buildings during the race.
Race numbers are restricted to around 300 participants across the whole three distances. The atmosphere feels small and friendly. An opportunity to get up close and personal with history, architecture and fellow runners!
Running is mainly on sandy tracks through the countryside, by peanut fields and through ancient temples and pagodas. The full marathon takes you running past ox carts, villages with cheering children and farmers working in fields. Locals wearing their traditional longyis and mothers carrying children turn out to cheer you on.
The race starts early so you’ll see the sun rise over the monuments, plus a number of majestic balloons that rise every day with the sun. Ballooning is a highly recommended way to spend the day after the race.
Hotels are located very near the race start and buses are laid on to take you back at the end or, if you’re still standing, you can walk.
The Bagan Temple Marathon is run by the same company as the Great Wall Marathon, Albatros Adventure Marathons. Early registration is recommended, as numbers are severely restricted.
Registration is part of a package that includes accommodation, race dinner, transport and the race itself.
Cold at first as you’ll arrive before sunset, warms up but never as hot and humid as Singapore.
Who can take part?
You must be over 18 to take part in the full marathon, half marathon runners must be 16 years, 10km runners must be at least 12 years old on the race day. Runners under the age of 12 can complete in the 10km but must be accompanied by a runner aged 16 or above.
25 November 2017
An easy flight to Yangon, then change to the domestic airport next door for around an hour flight to Bagan.
If you’re a serious runner, or you just like to challenge yourself, why not take part in one of Asia’s great runs? Go for it! Next up, our handy guide to the Angkor Wat Run.
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