On the 18th of February, three of Nepal’s best trail runners, the first three placed in the Annapurna 100 2012, will go international at the Vibram® Hong Kong 100 Ultra Trail Race. (Result is here! Wahoo!)
This is exciting! But why?
Simply put, these runners are talented, they’re world class even, and they lack opportunities to flourish. This is an opportunity for them to both prove their talent and to develop by learning from racing against 800+ international runners. It is also a wonderful chance to benefit from their talent and hard work – to travel to the distant, fabled city of Hong Kong, and to run representing their country, and simply to enjoy it. Can you imagine how exciting that is for these three guys? (Read about them here.)
And for opportunities like this to happen, obstacles have to be overcome, and one of them, as always, is money.
While flight tickets have been generously sponsored (see below), the tax on them is not. And so there is a US$1,200 bill quickly needs shooting down. This works out as more than a couple of months salary for each runner, if indeed they all had one. Sudip, for instance, has previously worked as a farmer, shepherd and a porter carrying 80kg loads. None are particularly lucrative roles. This is not intended to be a bleeding heart story, just presenting facts as an attempt to overcome a practical problem. Even if runners win a race, there is often no prize money (as is the case in Hong Kong).
Trail running in Nepal does not yet have a popular following, and so sponsorship is still in the blood-from-a-stone phase. We’re trying to change this but it is a slow process and meanwhile we want to try “crowd-sourcing”. We want to offer the chance for trail runners and adventurers like you, who know what it means to compete in a big race and do your best, to contribute a small amount to a runners’ travel fund. (And so far these people have contributed.)
International travel is something that many of us take for granted. We’d like that finding the cash for runners to travel to pursue their wildest ambitions and fulfil their potential, wherever that might be, would not be an obstacle.
Runner’s travel fund
So here is the idea. If you think it is a great idea for talented Nepali runners to be able to get to compete head to head against the Kilian Jornet‘s of this world, then please contribute the equivalent of a few energy gels to the fund. The first $1200 (NRs. 92,000) will go to pay the ticket tax for the flights to Hong Kong. Anything over that will help Upendra Sunuwar get to the start of the crazy “The High – La Ultra” event in Ladakh this July. Anything over that then… well let’s see.
Close your eyes and imagine being on the start line of a race!
Clicking the donate button will take you to a Paypal page where you can contribute with either your credit card or from your Paypal account. The payee will be “firstname.lastname@example.org” and Trail Running Nepal, Reference: TravelFund. Given that credit card payments cannot be accepted in Nepal just yet, this is the simplest way we’ve found (unless you have better suggestions?). We’ll be transparent about donations and payments on this page. Approximately 3% of your donation will be consumed by Paypal and banks for transferring funds.
If you want to donate Rupees or other denominations, please contact us on email@example.com.
Thanks for the opportunity
Thanks for making this February 18th opportunity happen must go to the organisers of the Vibram® Hong Kong 100 Ultra Trail Race who kindly invited the runners to race, and to Lizzy Hawker for perhaps suggesting that that was a good idea! Thanks to Dragon Air who have lent their support Trail Running Nepal for the last two years and kindly sponsored the tickets for the runners plus coach. And finally to Ramesh Bhattachan of the Nepal Mountain Running Service who has sponsored the bed, board, running gear and training of runners for such a long time now. He has been organising races since the 90s and always been there to give opportunities to aspiring talents. Thanks to the Nepali community in Hong Kong who will look after the runners from arrival to departure.
And thanks finally to you for doughnutting! Helping people to flourish and reach their potential is always worth doing.
If the button is not working for you, please use this alternative link!
Wonderful donor list
Many thanks to the people below for their generosity! Current total approx 98% of $1200!
- Kami Semick, €35
- Richard Bull, NRs. 1000
- Neowave Sdn Bhd, €20
- Grace Clark, €10
- Ngai John Wai Kai, €20
- L’association des Chevaliers du Vent, €200
- Jonathan Boylan, €50
- Jesús & Roberto @ Chismes Himalaya, €50
- Katja Fink, €50
- Russo Niccola, €20
- Moire O’Sullivan, €70
- Becci Lee, €50
- Denise Puah, €25
- Suraj Basnet @ Zen Travels, €10
- Pawan, Maneesh, Rajat @ Himalayan Rush and The High (Nrs. 8000)
- Lizzy Hawker (Yay!), NRs. 3000
- Joop Terwiel, €30
- Shasa & Raj Pradhan, $100
- Sheila Bull, €30
- Tim Dean, €10
- Hisayuki Tateno, €5
- Thapa Magar Shahi Subarna and Laxmi, €51
- Emily Woodfield, €15
- Ogura Shinsuke, €5