The event is a part of the Snowman Race

Tashi Dema 

Commemorating the 10th Royal Wedding, 20 women representing the 20 dzongkhags in the country will run 17.5km from Gasa tshachhu to Gasa dzong on October 13.

The women are aged from 19 to 51 years.

The Snowman Race Secretariat is organising the event to bring about bold and transformative changes through climate action, with an emphasis on mountain ecosystems and gender.

According to officials from the secretariat, dzongkhag officials nominated the women after they sent a letter on September 1.

However, because of the Covid-19 protocols, Sarpang, Samdrupjongkhar, and Samtse dzongkhags could not nominate representatives. “However, we have runners from the dzongkhags who have volunteered to represent those dzongkhags,” an official, Damcho Rinzin, said.

The one-day all women’s trial run is called the ‘Women’s Race for the Climate’ to ensure engagement of women in addressing climate change causes, impact, and actions.

Officials from the secretariat said the event is expected to help raise the awareness of climate change and its issues, particularly natural disasters such as the landslide in Ri-Druzhi in Laya and the recent flash flood at Gasa tshachhu that washed away all the tshachhu ponds and other infrastructure.

They said the participants will be addressed as the climate ambassadors of their respective regions.

The chairperson of the secretariat, Kesang Wangdi, said climate change impact is disproportionate and it impacts the vulnerable more. “This run is to ensure there is local action after taking the global perspective.”

At a technical meeting conducted for the run yesterday, the chairperson emphasised the importance of conducting the run safely, smoothly, and efficiently.

The run is a part of the Snowman Race, which was conceptualised by His Majesty The King and will be the world’s top international event, which will encourage the greatest athletes, world leaders, and the global community to take bold and transformative action that will avert the greatest crisis humanity has ever faced.

Although the main Snowman Race, covering more than 300km from Gasa to Bumthang, was scheduled on October 13, it had to be postponed to 2022 because of the pandemic, as international runners would not be able to participate in it.

Meanwhile, the women’s run will route through a maximum height of 3,150m above sea level and a minimum of 2,220m.