If you are a trail runner visiting or living in Nepal, Pokhara is a great base for runners. While living in Nepal I competed in two ultramarathons (Kathmandu Ultra and Stupa to Stupa) and one stage race (Mustang Trail Race) which obviously required a good amount of training.
For starters, Pokhara is a quick bus from some of Nepal’s most iconic treks outside of the Everest region including Annapurna Round, Annapurna Base Camp, and Poon Hill. These are great for building endurance and altitude acclimatization. Taking running shoes along is possible but after a long day’s trek most people are happy enough to relax in the lodge with a warm cup of tea.
There are a great deal of running options from the hotels along Lakeside or Damside where most people stay including the paths and roads along the lake. It is possible to run around Fewa Lake but be sure to take water and food as there are not many shops along the way.
My favourite escapes from lakeside are the climbs to the World Peace Pagoda (1,100 metres) and Sarangkot (1,600 metres). Both offer great views of the Annapurna range on clear days.
The pagoda is roughly 7 km each way from lakeside whereas the run/trek to Sarangkot is steeper and longer – between 10 or 12 km each way, depending on the route.
Where I lived, however, was a bit away from the lake and on the outskirts of the city. In order to run these routes would add a few km in both directions. The neighbourhood where I lived, Malepatan, had easy access to the Methlang Forest.
On clear days the mountains would call me from the roof of my house so I would need to run up the nearest ridge for a better look.
It was here were I would do most of my runs. The forest is small but it has a series of pleasant, interconnected trails with runnable ascents.
Another option is to take a quick bus or taxi to Bengas Lake where to run part of the Annapurna 100 course. Lastly, any visit to Pokhara for a mountain runner and trekker would not be complete without a trip to the International Mountain Museum.
Happy trails, everyone!