Last week the technical team of Nordic Ways redesigned the course of the 2018 edition of the Shangri La Duathlon Challenge following the announcement by local authorities that the old route would be partially unavailable due to pending highway road construction works. The new race course, however, is even more exciting than the original one and is a rather unique A to B to C course of 10-35-5 km, a total of 50 km!
The race will now begin at the entrance of the majestic Tibetan Songtsanlin Temple complex with a 10 km run. After 1 km participants will run left off the car road onto a pedestrian lake path with great views of the Temple. If you are not gunning for victory, take your mobile cameras along! The temple and lake views will make you forget that those first 10 km are initially quite challenging. It goes slightly uphill after the start – pace yourself – and after 4km there is a proper climb of 1km long. After that, however, it is 5 km mainly downhill and flat to the transition zone. You will be warmed-up quickly, in other words.
The bike leg again goes around the beautiful Napa Hai, aka Napa lake. However, this year’s loop is shorter as we enter the loop already from outside town instead of the unavailable olympic stadium. Also, you will be cycling in the opposite direction of last year. The bike leg has a few moderate slopes but in general it is a fast course where you can develop quite some speed. Triathlon handlebars and specialised time trial bikes are allowed, but remember that drafting (following closely behind another rider) is not allowed. We follow the standard duathlon and IronMan triathlon rules!
When after 35 km of cycling you arrive back at the transition zone, there’s another exciting 5 km of running waiting for you. Instead of turning right onto the Napa Hai loop, you will now turn left towards the Old Town of Shangri La. After 2,5 km you enter it, and you will be running under applause of inhabitans and all the people in the Old Town to conclude your Shangri La Duathlon Challenge at the Yuegang Square with an incredible backdrop of the temple and the park.
As the finish is on the main square of the Old Town, you will have plenty of possibilities to relax and cheer on the next athletes coming into the finish.
In the next days, the event timetable and regulations will be updated on this site following the new course development.
This is a duathlon at high altitude, and one that you will never forget for its beauty and the natural flow of the course. No loops, no artificial kilometre add-ons, just a race from here to there, using the bicycle where possible and using your feet where you can’t.