The marathon was founded by Aleksandr Ushakov, a well-known coach from Ust-Barguzin, who decided to prolong the skiing season by training on lake ice in spring.
The specialness of Baikal Marathon is that it passes on the ice of the deepest lake in the world. The water depth under the track reaches about 200 m. The surface of the ice undermelts forming bigger crystals which allows the skier go at almost 30 km/h and significantly eases the process of mastering skiing skills. This sort of ice even has a special name among the locals – “shah”.
The participants will have a chance to broaden their minds culture-wise as well. Sightseeing includes Ivolga Datsan, the center of Buddhism in Russia, situated 40 km from Ulan-Ude. It is the place of residence of Khambo-lama Damba Ayusheev, the head of Russian Buddhists. Another event that adds local colour to your visit – the shaman ritual before the marathon. It is conducted by Solomon Erdyniev, a local shaman and has a meaning of a pray to Baikal spirits for good sunny weather. It is hardly surprising that it is always sunny on the day of the marathon.
Baikal being the deepest lake on Earth ensures the unique character of the marathon with water depth under the race route reaching 200 m. Baikal itself is a place of marvelous scenery. Its square equals to that of Belgium and it is called “the sea” not only by the locals – stretching for over 600 kilometers from north-east to south-west Baikal has long become the object of sincere admiration for poets and song-writers all over the world. The lake is shaped like a giant crescent, it is 24-79 km wide and 1642 m deep (max) with over 2000 km of coastal line. The place where the marathon is going to be held is Barguzinskiy Gulf – known as “the pearl of Baikal”. Breathtaking views, bright sun and snow of stunning white purity greet the sportsmen. Another unique thing about Baikal – its strong inner energy: once people visit Baikal, they are bound to be back for a recharge.