Beginning in 2020, AdventureCORPS - hosts of the Badwater race series in Death Valley and across the USA - will host a six-day, point-to-point, 160-mile (260km) trail running stage race in the Republic of Artsakh, the democratic, Christian, Armenian homeland located just east of Armenia itself. Formerly known as Nagorno-Karabakh during the Soviet era, this is a fascinating, wonderful country that few people have even heard of, and even less have visited. AdventureCORPS aims to change both of those facts by bringing runners from all over the world to Artsakh!
The race will be held August 30 through September 4, 2020.
Artsakh Ultra will be organized in a “stage race” format, in which runners will run a certain section of the Janapar Trail each day. Each day’s “stage” will be timed separately, and overall results will be calculated by adding all six days’ times together. The first stage will be 22mi (36km); the next four stages will vary from 26 to 34 miles (42 to 55km), while the final stage will be 16mi / 26km. With a total distance of 160km (260km), there is a total of 26,000 feet (8000m) of elevation gain along the route.
Because we want you to focus on the running and the overall experience, luggage transport will be provided each day. Also, all breakfast and most dinner meals will be provided. (Runners will provide their own energy food while running, and will be on their own for restaurant dining on two nights: in Vank and Stepanakert.) Runners will stay in large tents the first three nights, enjoy natural hot springs on nights two and three, and will stay in hotels on the fourth, fifth and sixth nights of the race.
While the route will be incredibly beautiful and challenging, the race itself will also be a culturally immersive experience. Each day’s route will pass through one or more villages, while the overnights will be in or near villages and cities. Runners will eat the local, super healthy, incredibly fresh food. They will enjoy Armenian music, dance, and culture. Along the way, the runners will visit – sometimes “off the clock” – 1000-year-old Armenian churches, monasteries, and archaeological sites. Also, other than the race director, the entire race staff will be Armenians. And while each competitor will run as part of an international field of runners, they will be embraced, surrounded, and supported by the people of Artsakh and their Armenian food, music, language, and culture.
This event is supported by the Government of Artsakh and AdventureCORPS’ local charitable partner is Trails For Change NGO, the organization which is developing and signposting the trail.