So far...Thanks to: NataliaAnonLizzy HawkerDelaney NyeMatthew IngramAngela AldrichAnonBhupal AdhikariMustang Trail RaceSteph SStephanie LNitish ZuidemaBrendan QuirkKatherine PlichtaLoren CraryHolly BuiKatherine PlichtaJulia JezmirKatherine Plichta, for donating a total of ~US$2,020.

I can’t remember now how Manikala Rai got into running, but it has changed her life. I remember her running on the 2011 Sky Race organised by the French group Les Chevaliers du Vent, pioneers in mountain running in Nepal who’ve always invited one or two girls to join their multistage races. On the first day she was a bit red faced and embarrassed, and towards the finish said something like, “I’m sorry, I don’t know much about this kind of thing.” By day 6, running over the 5500m Cho La and into Lobuche, she was a dot in the distance, uncatchable, by me at least. Right now she is in France with her partner running races and enjoying life there. In between she has won several 100km races in Nepal and Hong Kong. She wears the smile you see below quite a lot.

manikala rai nepali runner

Running is not explicitly important as such, but it can be a catalyst for many things. If you are reading this, you probably have a good idea what running means for you. It can be a gateway to get fit and strong, to challenge yourself in a measurable way, to travel and discover new places, to get into nature, to meet new people, and to have fun. Probably a lot more that than too. Not so many girls partake in trail running events in Nepal, and certainly not in the ultra distances.

My friend Ola says:

I think when you list things that running does (challenge yourself in a measurable way, to travel and discover new places, to get into nature) in this context it is worth adding that it increases self esteem and confidence. Because so many Nepali girls have low confidence and low self esteem and it’s super important. 

We’re certainly not going to force people to run long or hard races, but do have to do more to open the door to trail running and help those who show interest to partake, and allow them to flourish. This should also be coupled with assistance for education or vocational training where possible. We’re open to advice from people who know better here! We’re looking at setting this process up with help from some registered non-profit organisations used to working with this kind of project. In the mean time, for small donations, you can use the form below. We’ll also detail when and how payments are made out of the fund and how things are progressing. Thank you!

Worth watching

Current project status

mira rai kathmandu 50kmAs of June 2014, we’ve selected one girl, Mira Rai from Bhojpur. Thanks go to Anuj Adhikari, Narayan Acharya, Her Turn and the donors above for getting us this far. We’re helping Mira afford to stay in Kathmandu, improve her English at English For All school, develop a training program to help prepare her for races later in the year, and also some mentoring to help her progress with her education while training. It also turns out she’s got talent at climbing. Let’s see where it goes. We’re looking for other talented girls who want to run and need help to do their best.

Sarah Ryan – from  Trail Running magazine (UK) recently asked Mira some questions:

  1. Why do you love trail running? I grew up in a remote village and walking on trails, collecting fodder for animals, or wood, or to walk to friends houses and school was normal. To collect water was 30 mins straight downhill and more coming back up. When I was younger, there were no shops. My mum had to walk for two days to get salt and other basic things. She needed someone to go with her so I went with her. I recently found there was a sport like this, running on trails like I did at home – wow! So trail running is like home for me, it’s natural.
  2. How does it make you feel? Really good. I like being in nature and trying to do my best. I’m learning and improving and enjoy the challenge and hard work.
  3. + 4. How have things changed for you since the sponsored started? What is your trail running ambition? Life is short, I want to do something good and earn a name for girls in this country, and hopefully race internationally so people will know about Nepal. Since I was small, I wanted to be in sports and reach national level. Before sponsorship I had no opportunities. Now my confidence gone up a lot and I can work on doing my best.
mira-rai-from-nepal-at-bouddha

Mira Rai

The donations and expenses list has been moved to a spreadsheet – a bit easier handle.

Click: Donations / expenses spreadsheet.

Contribute to the fund

how-to-donate-with-a-credit-card

How to donate with credit card.

EUR:

USD:

Don’t have PayPal? Look out for the link shown to the right.

Incoming donations!

Natalia31.03.2014Cash-US$360 0
 For Mira Rai maintenance fund
Anon01.04.2014PayPal€75-€ 2.25
 For Mira
Lizzy Hawker19.06.2014PayPal-US$50$ 2.25
 For Mira
Delaney Nye21.06.2014PayPal-US$20$ 1.08
Matthew Ingram22.06.2014PayPal-US$50$ 2.90
Angela Aldrich22.06.2014PayPal-US$50$ 2.25
Anon25.06.2014PayPal€100-€ 5.55
Bhupal Adhikari25.06.2014PayPal€100-€ 3.75
 Great initiative... Keep it up.
Mustang Trail Race25.06.2014Cash-US$100 0
 :)
Steph S26.06.2014Cash-US$20 0
Stephanie L28.06.2014PayPal€10- 0.69
 via Everest marathon photos
Nitish Zuidema04.07.2014PayPal€50-€ 2.05
Brendan Quirk12.07.2014PayPal-US$15$ 1.08
 via Everest marathon photos
Katherine Plichta14.07.2014PayPal-US$100$ 4.20
Loren Crary16.07.2014PayPal-US$20$ 1.08
 via K Plichta
Holly Bui21.07.2014PayPal-US$50$ 2.25
 via K Plichta
Katherine Plichta21.07.2014PayPal-US$600$ 23.70
 Katherine Plichta's many friends
Julia Jezmir28.07.2014PayPal-US$25$ 1.23
 via K Plichta
Katherine Plichta28.07.2014PayPal-US$150 0
 Katherine Plichta's many friends
Total donated

€335

US$1610

NRp0
Fees

€14.29

US$42.02

 Total fees =$ US61 PayPal must be delighted!
Total after fees 

~US$2,020

  

Huge thanks to all donors! You're lovely people!'

How it is being spent...

19.06.201430 hours English classesUS$ 90
19.06.2014Monthly living expense contribution for 1/2 year @ $3 per dayUS$ 550
20.06.20142nd hand heart rate meterUS$ 30
25.07.2014Flight EuropeUS$ 1410.78
28.07.2014InsuranceUS$ 46
28.07.2014Schengen visaUS$ 98
29.07.20145.5 weeks small daily expensesUS$ 460

So that is about US$ 2684.78 in total

  1. Kris says:

    Struggling with everyday life, Nepali girls and boys are not able to compete with other ultra runners on equal terms. A bit of financial and organisational support is all they need to take the world stage by storm. They are the rare breed of natural born ultra runners. In the last couple years pretty good guys like Kilian Jornet or Xavier Thevenard finished first in the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (“the most competitive 100-miler ever” according to some people) but the 2003 Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc record time of 20 hours and 5 minutes held by Dachhiri Dawa Sherpa remains unbroken.

  2. Ashish Lohorung says:

    You have huge guts to go through the pain of enduring such difficulties to participate in the race and win. You truly deserve the trophies you have got and I wish you will get even more success in the future. Our loves and support are with you.

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