Discover the Adventure of Trail Running in Nepal
Running is a popular sport around the world, with keen runners traveling to distant locations to compete in races. For trail running enthusiasts, Nepal has some spectacular and challenging terrain to explore and a number of trail running events take place each year, including the Himal Race, Manaslu Mountain Marathon, Mustang Trail Race, Annapurna Mandala Trail Race, Annapurna Ultra Marathon, Everest Trail Race and Everest Sky Race – the latter two likely being the most well-known internationally.
The Himal Race stretches from the Annapurna Base Camp to the Everest Base Camp, covering a distance of 900 km in 26 stages, with the option of competing in a shorter version ending after the eleventh stage at Arughat Bazaar. In 2013 is the fourth time the Himal Race is taking place, starting on 6 October through to 11 November, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953.
Taking place in November each year, the Manaslu Mountain Trail combines running and trekking with the cultural experience of sleeping at a monastery, getting a glimpse of neighboring Tibet’s wilderness regions and meeting the local people along the way. The race starts at Arughat, heading for Manaslu Base Camp via Machhakhola, Deng, Hinang Gompa and Sama. Competitors then trek to Tilje via Rui La on the Tibetan border, before resuming the race between Tilje and Sirichaur. This exciting multi-stage race takes seven days to complete.
The Mustang Trail Race takes place in April covering a distance of close to 200 km through the awe-inspiring landscapes of Upper Mustang, with competitors making their way through fertile green barley fields, small farming settlements and along the foot of magnificent canyons. Following the success of the inaugural event in 2012, the Mustang Trail Race has been placed on the National Geographic’s Ultimate Adventure Bucket List for 2014, which is likely to bring this new event to the attention of the international trail running community.
The Everest Trail Race takes place in November in the Solukhumbu region of the Himalayas and is one of the most well supported of the trail running events in Nepal. Runners are required to cover a distance of around 160 km in six days, while carrying their personal equipment. Organizers provide meals and other supplies. Altitudes along the trail range between 3,000 and 5,950 meters, with views of Nepal’s iconic mountains being an added bonus to an exciting event.
Certainly, trail running in Nepal provides a challenge to the most experienced competitors, many of whom return every year to enjoy this exhilarating experience. You may want to consider joining them.