We’ve had a handful of inquiries about what type of weather and temperatures runners can expect for the race weekend. This is a sign of good traveler and runner habits, the better you know what to expect the better you can plan your trip and train for a strong race. While we hope for good mild weather, it is a good idea to be prepared for cooler weather with cold mornings and evenings just incase. Nothing worse than arriving under prepared and suffering the consequences.
Don’t be afraid of cooler weather, it’s all part of the adventure and we will have a lot of fun together at the race! While we can’t predict the weather for the race weekend, we will be sharing the weather forecast once we get closer to the race date in April.
The Shangri-La region can have significant temperature difference between the daytime and evening. In fact it is not rare to experience “four seasons” in a single day in the mountain area. The average temperature in late April, when the race takes place, is 13°C / 55°F but has been know to go as high as 20°C / 68°F and as low as 1°C / 34°F.
We expect it to be the coldest when getting up on race day around 4:00 AM, most likely hovering around the freezing point of 0°C / 33°F. The start is scheduled for 5:00 AM, it will be cold with temperatures rising with the sunrise, then the day should be nice and mild ranging from 13°C / 55°F to 20°C / 68°F, which is ideal for running. Once the sun sets, temperatures will drop quickly going into the evening. The good news is that most runners often have their best performance in colder weather.
There will be camp fires at the race camp and if possible at the start/finish line area to keep us warm.
On the flip side, the high altitude allows the sun’s solar radiation to strike the earth with unusual intensity. While much of the course trail is running through the cover of trees, it is easy to get sun-burnt if spending too much time in direct sun. Since you will be running outside for several hours we recommend using sunscreen and a running hat or visor. Don’t forget to apply the sunscreen to your nose, ears and lips as well. Speaking of lips, be sure to bring lip balm with you and onto the run. Chapped lips are common in the higher altitude and the lip balm will help.
What kind of running clothes and gear should one wear? It is better to be over prepared than under prepared. We recommend planning going with your normal running clothes and adding warmer layers on top, preferably made of synthetic wicking material, items that can easily be taken off and tied around the waist, tucked into your shorts, or in a small running pack as the temperatures rise into the day.
Here are a few good articles that give excellent tips to prepare for running a race in cold weather:
- 9-Tips for Running in Cold Weather (Active.com)
- Tips for Running Races in Cold Weather (running.about.com)
- Cold Weather Racing Tips (Runner’s World)
Lower Yubeng Checkpoint Station
As an option, runners can drop off items at the Lower Yubeng checkpoint station. We can have items brought back to the race camp in the evening. The Lower Yubeng checkpoint station is approximately the 10k point for all runners, by this point the weather will have warmed up enough to shed off warmer layers. This station is also 20k point for 50k/100k runners, and for 100k runners it will be the 60k and 70k point. 100k runners have the option to pickup items on their second loop as they start on the last 30k. Depending on the pace this might be perfect timing as temperatures start to cool down going into the late afternoon or early evening.
General Camp Clothing
For general clothing at the camp, we recommend warmer clothes to keep you warm, again, layers that you can put-on and take-off. Anything that is fleece is excellent, very warm and light. Keeping your head and hands warm with a beanie hat and gloves can go a long way to keep you comfortable. Everybody will have their own sleeping bag to keep warm through the night as you sleep.
These tips and links should help you be prepared. Regardless of the weather, come prepared to have good time, a great race and an awesome adventure at the Shangri-La Marathon & Ultra. We look forward to seeing you at the race! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.