Join Badwater for a Brand New Vision of Stage Racing and Adventure Travel in the Republic of Artsakh!

In the first week of September, 2022, AdventureCORPS / Badwater will host a six-day, point-to-point, 160-mile (260km) trail running stage race in Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh!

Formerly known as Nagorno-Karabakh during the Soviet era, Artsakh is a fascinating, wonderful country that few people have even heard of, and even less have visited. We aim to change both of those facts by bringing runners from all over the world to Artsakh! In 2022, we hope to have 50 runners representing at least ten different countries participating.

Will YOU join us for the first running race ever held in Artsakh?

See the announcement video with race director Chris Kostman here.

Read the full press release about the Artsakh Ultra™ here.

The race will be organized in a “stage race” format, in which runners will run a certain section of the Janapar Trail each day. Each day’s “stage” will be timed separately, and overall results will be calculated by adding all six days’ times together. The first stage will be 22mi (36km); the next four stages will vary from 26 to 34 miles (42 to 55km), while the final stage will be 16mi / 26km. With a total distance of 160km (260km), there is a total of 26,000 feet (8000m) of elevation gain along the route. See the Route & Schedule tab for all the info about each stage, and the Route Gallery tab for images of the entire race route.

Racer check-in and gear check will take place in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, while runners will enjoy restaurant dining that night and an overnight at an excellent Yerevan hotel. The next morning we will board buses for the three-hour drive across Armenia to our start line.

Beginning in the northeastern Armenian city of Vardenis at the start of the Janapar Trail, after 15 miles (24km) and at the top of a 9000-foot (2743m) pass, competitors in the Artsakh Ultra will leave Armenia and cross into the Republic of Artsakh. From here they will follow the Janapar Trail – with a few side diversions to see ancient sites – and transect the majority of this magnificent country. The six nights on the trail will include tent camping the first three nights and hotel stays the final three nights.

Because we want you to focus on the running and the overall experience, luggage transport will be provided each day.  Also, all breakfast and most dinner meals will be provided. (Runners will provide their own energy food while running, and will be on their own for restaurant dining on two nights: in Vank and Stepanakert.) Runners will stay in large tents the first three nights, enjoy natural hot springs on nights two and three, and will stay in hotels on the fourth, fifth and sixth nights of the race, plus the night before the race in Yerevan, Armenia.

While the route will be incredibly beautiful and challenging, the race itself will also be a culturally immersive experience. Each day’s route will pass through one or more villages, while the overnights will be in or near villages and cities. Runners will eat the local, super healthy, incredibly fresh food. They will enjoy Armenian music, dance, and culture. Along the way, the runners will visit – sometimes “off the clock” – 1000-year-old Armenian churches, monasteries, and archaeological sites. Also, other than the race director, the entire race staff will be Armenians. And while each competitor will run as part of an international field of runners, they will be embraced, surrounded, and supported by the people of Artsakh and their Armenian food, music, language, and culture.

This event is supported by the Government of Artsakh and AdventureCORPS’ local charitable partner is Trails For Change NGO, the organization which is developing and signposting the trail.

The race will start in Vardenis, Armenia and cross into the Republic of Artsakh during the first day’s stage, which will conclude in Tsar, Artsakh:

Leaving Tsar, the race route will follow the Janapar Trail and pass through the Artsakhian villages and towns of Karvajar, Zuar, Dadivank, Vank, Gandzasar, Kolatak, and Patara during the first five days.

Stage five will finish in the gorgeous capital city of Artsakh – Stepanakert – at the “We Are Our Mountains” sculpture affectionately known as “Tatik-Papik.” Created in 1967 (like your race director), this is the symbol of Artsakh, and will also be the symbol of this race, featured in the race logo, t-shirt, hat, race magazine, and finisher awards.

Stage 6 will finish in the historic city of Shushi:

This final stage will include an out-and-back leg through fabled Hunot Canyon, one of the world’s most beautiful places and home to the awe-inspiring Umbrella Waterfall:


After a turn-around at the waterfall in the bottom of of Hunot Canyon, the race will finish back in Shushi with an overnight in hotels and a celebratory evening with Armenian food, music, and a final deep immersion in Artsakhzi culture. Buses will transport runners back to Yerevan the next morning for flights back home that evening.

The Mountainous Republic of Artsakh – formerly known as Nagorno Karabakh during the Soviet era – is a democratic, Christian, Armenian homeland located just east of Armenia itself. It’s an absolutely gorgeous place, covered almost entirely in pristine, green, forested mountainous with trails and pathways dating back literally thousands of years. Artsakh is home to beautiful, fascinating towns and villages, ancient sites, natural wonders, Christian churches dating as far back as the 4th Century AD, the history city of Shushi, the gorgeous capital city of Stepanakert, and much more.

Artsakh is a must-see for any serious traveler, adventurer, and runner!

Artsakh is just a short flight from Europe and easily reached from anywhere in the world. (International flights arrive through Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, which is just a few hours drive west of Artsakh.)

For more information about visiting Artsakh, visit

For more information about the Janapar Trail, click here.

Trail marking and development is primarily performed by Trails For Change NGO, a non-governmental organization which we support. Click here for their website and click here for their Facebook page.