The course passes 5-ish monasteries and one hermit’s cave. The trails are very runnable and not so technical. It’s possible as a speed hike and doable as a first trail 50km as most of the trail contours around the hills rather than climbing over the top (with the exception of the first hill).
Fabulous starting location (Swayambu aka The Monkey Temple) and fabulous finish location (Bodnath Stupa), two of the most important locations for Tibetan Buddhism pilgrims. As good a start and finish location as any ultra race anywhere in the world. That was at least last year, on April 4th before the earthquake 21 days later. Still, despite damage to the temples, a great running route.
The long way around
This is not to much a race as an aesthetic challenge. It is around 50km and at a steady 5km walking pace it can be completed in 10 hours.
- Start 6am at Swayambu Stupa.
- Then the toughest and only serious climb of the day to the Jamacho Gomba.
- Then there is the long, steady downhill through the amazing old trees of the Nagarjun jungle.
- Follow the ridge from Mudkhu to Tinpiple.
- Then climb towards Tarkeshwor Mandir, maybe saying hello to the Sadhu living there.
- Continue here to pass the army camp and to Gurje Bhanjyang. There is a water tap here.
- Continue on jeep road to Dandagaon
- Continue to Nagi Gumba and the checkpoint there, first on a small foot trail, then jeep road.
- From Nagi, all downhill on the ridge to Kopan Gumba.
- The last 2km are going to be stinky running with traffic on small roads. Hold your breath.
- Arrive at Bouddha Stupa. It is about to be packed so do your best and be careful of others. Complete three koras.