Dholavira, Gujarat 370165, India
GREAT RANN OF KUTCH
The majestic Rann of Kutch is a sprawling 2897-square-mile salt marsh located in the Thar Desert, spread over Kutch and south Pakistan. A land of extreme temperatures, the Great Rann of Kutch is one of the most isolated deserts in the world, sought after for its scenic white-carpet landscape by travelers and filmmakers alike.
In migratory season, the Rann’s vast silvery sands dotted with hundreds of striking pink flamingos make for a vision hard to forget. The Rann is home to several wildlife sanctuaries and forest reserves, and also plays host to the legendary desert festival Rann Utsav.
A must-catch sight at the Rann is the unexplained dancing-lights phenomenon called Chir Batti that shows up on a clear night quite randomly. With the mystifying city of Dholavira at the heart of the desert, the lure of the Rann becomes doubly magnetic.
INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION
A hundred hectares of an unbelievably advanced city shrouded in five thousand years of mystery – and that’s just the beginning of the Dholavira epic. One of the five largest metropolises of the Harappan civilization, Dholavira is a site of immense archaeological interest. It’s located on the Khadir Bet island in the Great Rann of Kutch. Being in India, it is also the most accessible of the major Harappan sites. Older than the Egyptian Pyramids, Dholavira displays remnants of a highly sophisticated urbane culture. It was inhabited as early as 2650 BCE by a tribe way ahead of its time. These ancients had mastered hydraulic engineering and water conservation, built ingenious systems of streets, reservoirs and defense, and crafted a variety of stone and metal antiquities. A tour of the Archaeological Museum and Fossil Park reveals many such incredible discoveries. The most intriguing find here is the famous Dholavira signboard – in all likelyhood the world’s earliest – carrying a cryptic ten-letter inscription. These strange symbols have stunned not just scores of archaeologists and historians worldwide, but also inspired the insignia of Run The Rann.
The people of Kutch are a colorful breed, and not just by virtue of what they wear. Kutchi artisans skilled in weaving, embroidery and handicrafts are applauded across the globe for their exquisite craftsmanship. Run the Rann will utilize and showcase this creativity by employing the artists to design medals and headwear for race participants and winners.
As people, the Kutchis are delightful hosts, resourceful workers and a genuinely heart-warming community. Run the Rann will involve these people in several on-ground activities, providing them new platforms to work and learn while being part of an event of international scale.
Their bonds with the past unsevered, the Kutchis still sing folk songs that speak of four historic cities, including Dholavira. Undoubtedly, this cradle of the ancients remains even today a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of the diverse culture of Kutch.
161K (100 MILES)
The 161 kms race segment poses extraordinary challenges. You will start off with everyone else and when 51 kms runners turn around to sprint towards Dholavira, the base camp, you head further along with the 101 kms runners.
The north side is remote and almost never been explored except by Border Security Forces and our race explorers when selecting the route. Very few other human beings have been there, except some local shepherds from time to time. You will run more or less 50 kms on this side. It’s not much but it won’t be easy. You’ll spend your time going up, and down, up and down and up again.
Away from human intervention, the area is only explored by the Border Security Forces. Very few humans have been here, except for the team to chart the race course and local shepherds who wander here from time to time. There are rocks and sand, marsh land and craked desert, thorns and picturesque landscape. It will not be easy, but we never said it would be.
You will create history as you pass through the pages of history when you run through the ruins of ancient Indus Valley Civilization. While you may want to sit back and take in the overwhelming expanse of nothingness, do not forget to run. You have only 48 hours to finish the 161 kms of run!
This is a test of endurance and survival. Tremendous physical and mental strength is required to Brave The Desert.
While you start the race with everyone else, when the 51 kms runners sprint their way to the finish line, you move forward. We promise that the trail gets harder, the terrain harsher. The route takes you near the Border Security Force outposts where the friendly BSF soldiers have got your back. The trail will take you uphill and downhill and just when you think you have reached a flat surface, you will be climbing cactus covered rocks again.
After the wilderness, on your way back to the finish line, you will be thrilled to see even the buffaloes! The cows and goats will look at you curiously as you run past them. After kilometers of nothingness you will finally see some life again. Welcome back to civilization.
Throughout the trail, the view is breathtaking. You will see the beauty of nature amidst the unforgiving dryness of the desert. You will be out in the wild, through the ancient ruins of the Indus Valley Civilization. The unchartered territory will take you on one exhilarating adventure and only the strong will Brave The Desert.
We have upped the challenges. This trail run is not for the faint hearted. The salty sand and mud flats on one of the most brutal terrains will show you the evil beauty this island has to offer.
Our team has made it their mission to leave you breathless. It will get dustier, hotter and harder with each passing mile. The thorns will leave you with marks that will always be a reminder of an epic journey.
You will start your race with the 161 kms and 101 kms runners and turn around for the sprint back to the finish line as they move forward to explore the uncharted territory of the Great Rann of Kutch.
Even if you have never participated in a trail run, you should try this one out. To see if you have what it takes to Brave The Desert!
The race information has been found on the official website of the event or through publicly available sources. Always refer to the official website the latest race information. Please let us know if any data is wrong or missing, by emailing us.