Erbil Marathon

Date of the Erbil Marathon 2019

The date of the Erbil Marathon 2019 has recently been announced by race organisers. It shall be taking place on Friday 25th October 2019.

Since its founding in 2015 the Erbil Marathon has taken place annually, including a 5km, 10km and full 42km races. This is the second time Untamed Borders have offered packages for the international event. You can read about the experience of our guests who ran in the 2018 Erbil Marathon on the Free to Run website here.

Further details of our package can be found here.

For more information or to book contact

New Pakistan E-Visa System

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan recently announced the implementation of a new online visa system. Currently, the new e-visa system is only accessible to nationals of five countries; the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, China and Malaysia. There are plans for it to soon become available for a total of 175 countries.

The system makes applying for a Pakistani visa much more accessible to tourists. It enables visitors to see the beauty and many wonders the country holds. Just take a look at some photos from a recent trip we guided to Lahore and Peshawar in March 2019.

Not only are the cities bustling with activity but the Northern parts of Pakistan feature the three highest mountains ranges in the world. The Hindu Kush, The Karakorum and Himalaya.

We shall be running our Hindu Kush & Karakorum trip to Pakistan in September which includes visiting pagan tribes, precarious rope bridges and ancient wooden mosques all in the shadow of the worlds most spectacular scenery.

Contact for further details about our fixed date and private trips to Pakistan.

Somaliland Marathon 2019

On 8th February 2019, the 2nd Annual Dahabshiil Somaliland Marathon brought international runners from Finland, Norway, Sweden, France, UK, Netherlands, USA, Ethiopia and Djibouti. They joined runners from four provinces of Somaliland as well as Mogadishu and Kismayo to compete in the Marathon (42km) and a 10km race in Hargeisa, Somaliland.

Across the two races, there were approximately 300 runners. The 10km race saw 40 Somalilander women compete, a big rise on the 5 that competed in 2018. The increase in female participation is a welcome development and something that hopefully will continue to grow in the years to come.

The winner of the marathon, Osman Elmi Sheikh who had traveled from Borama, Awdal region. When asked about his win by the Horn Diplomat said, “Winning the marathon ahead of Somali and international runners will be etched forever embossed in golden letters on a new page of my athletic ambitions”.

The Marathon started and finished in Hargiesa stadium where entertainment was provided by a Somaliland cultural group, as can be seen in Somailand Today’s video. Overall, the event was a great success shedding a new and positive light on the recreation and tourism opportunities of Somaliland, and in bringing together a global community around the sport of running.


Check out the Somaliland Marathon facebook page or website for more photos.

Contact or check out this link for more details about the 3rd Somaliland Marathon in 2020

The Iraq Ski Rally 2019 features in local news

The Iraq Ski Rally took place for the 2nd year running last week. Despite the unfavourable weather conditions for competitors, there was a great turn out both from locals and international participants.

The festival was hosted in Choman, a 3-4hour drive from the Iraqi-Kurdistan capital, Erbil. Untamed Borders was joined by international guests from the UK, Europe and USA. Not only competing in the Iraq Ski Rally they also visited the region near Choman and Mt Halgurd. For a country more commonly associated with deserts, Iraq plays host to some great mountainous terrain in the northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

If you want to read more about how the Ski Rally went check out this article written by a local news outlet, featuring a clip of Untamed Borders Co-Founder James Willcox speaking about the Rally.

Untamed Borders_Women Afghan Marathon

Untamed Borders Co-Founder joins Free to Run board

Untamed Borders co-founder James Willcox has been invited to join the board of Free to Run. Free to Run is an organisation that uses adventure sports, including running, to create safe spaces for women and develop female leadership in post-conflict regions of the world.

Both Free to Run and Untamed Borders have been involved from the beginning in the Afghanistan Marathon. Free to Run operates in three provinces in Afghanistan and has played a critical role in increasing the number of female participants that run in both the 10km and full marathon races.

Check out this link to see what they get up to.