The Birth of a Big Event in a Wee Known Country

Terri Schneider - Bhutan 4I kinda figured from past experience that this post-big trip post would be about some personal epiphany or novel experience that went down during my recent trip to Bhutan. But because I spent most of my six weeks there this time around focused and working on birthing a new event, I’m coming off this journey a tad like a mother post delivery—fatigued, looking forward to a lot of more rewarding work—and REALLY excited!

After shaking my attitude crushing jet lag and making lots of to-do lists for moving forward, what I really want to share is the best part—the ‘REALLY excited’ part. So I’m psyched about offering some stunning ‘baby pictures’ and event details for the inaugural Bhutan International Marathon, as well as introduce a unique opportunity for a lucky few of you to train and race with me in the peaceful Land of the Thunder Dragon. (Tears well up as I write that last bit!)

As I’ve shared through my posts via Expedition Bhutan and here on Athleta Chi, I’ve been volunteering as an advisor to the Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC) on several projects since our Expedition in 2011. One of the big ones we’ve been working on for over a year now is this race which will not only support their Olympic efforts, but allow a cultural and international sporting exchange within a prolific endurance sport—running.

So after way too many formal meetings while hot and sweaty in the ten yards of thick fabric that is a Kira, and several trips to secure the course and logistics, the Bhutan International Marathon and Half Marathon are a go! We’ve chosen a venue that not only showcases the beauty of this ancient culture and dramatic landscape in a region of the country that will roll out the red carpet for you, but will be on a course that won’t leave you gasping for air at high altitude.

Terri Schneider - Bhutan

So February 23, 2014 the BOC will host the first running event in Bhutan that has a specific focus on inviting international competitors. They want you to meet and race with Bhutanese who have never had the opportunity to do an event alongside foreigners. Wow! And I want to personally invite you to be a part of this history-making experience while training and traveling with me.

One of the ways I’m supporting this effort is by offering a Travel and Training Package that I created and will be your coach and host for, and that is a fundraiser for youth and Olympic sport in Bhutan. This package is wrapped around the event while geographically and culturally showcasing iconic Bhutan and while catering to the slightly more adventurous traveler. This is an opportunity to travel to Bhutan with someone who intimately knows and loves the country and people. If Nepal has always been on your bucket list, I say take it one short flight further and visit their pristine, shy, gracious and gorgeous neighbor, Bhutan.

Terri Schneider - Bhutan

Yep, this is a huge, shameless plug. But heck, I’m excited! Come and meet our new baby! Running through peaceful rural Bhutan while exploring this ancient traditional culture could be the memorable sporting exchange of a lifetime.

Editor’s Note: The photography shown in this article were taken on or near the race course.


September 20, 2013 at 6:24 am

What a fantastic dream trip!

Terri Schneider

September 20, 2013 at 10:28 am

Carri – it will be amazing. Join us!


September 21, 2013 at 8:13 am

Kudos to you for work on creating what promises to be an amazing event! I love that it’s a fundraiser for a great cause too, can’t wait to see some event pics 🙂

Terri Schneider

September 21, 2013 at 9:39 am

Thank you Carly! Perhaps you should come to Bhutan and check it out for yourself 🙂


September 23, 2013 at 8:35 am

My friend and I are heavy contemplating this fantastic opportunity, but so very expensive ($7,000 each w/air). Can you tell us how much of the fees would be going to charity, and does the Bhutan Olympic Committee operate as a NGO or non-profit? Thanks so much!

Terri Schneider

September 23, 2013 at 8:42 am

Thanks for your inquiry. And yes, traveling to Bhutan is not an inexpensive trip for anyone because of their tourist tariffs. This is also how they regulate tourism to prevent themselves from become an overcrowded Nepal and to preserve their traditional culture. This type of regulation is also why our trips there as outsiders are so special and unique. They are very smart in doing this, it just means that tourists have to pay more to experience it. Email me directly and I’d love to discuss this with you and get you all the info you need –


September 24, 2013 at 8:58 am

Thanks for the reply, but unfortunately the trip is just too excessive for our piggybanks. Good luck with the race.

Terri Schneider

September 26, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Thanks for your reply. I wanted to let you know that due to some change ups on my end I’ve had to shorten this trip buy a couple of days, which significantly drives down the cost. If you are still interested, check out the new info and see if it might work for you! Would love to have you experience Bhutan!

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