When we started this blog site a major objective was to promote Nepal as a trail running destination.
For iRunFar we wrote a country guide to highlight Nepal’s potential, wondering why so few spotted it. We also contributed a column to Himal magazine with some thoughts on what makes for that blindness to Nepal’s running opportunities.
Has anything changed since we started in March 2010? Yes, there has!
The Himal column lamented a total lack of attention to trail running as an adventure sport very suitable and actually existing in Nepal. For the first time ever as far as we are aware of the official Nepal tourism promoters have explicitly mentioned trail running as an adventure sports activity. OK, the Annapurna 100 was called the “Annapurna marathon”, but it was recognized at least.
When we started and googled for reports on self-organized trailruns in Nepal we only found one, yes one, report. In the mean time more has appeared, like Dax Ross report of his run from Namche to Lukla, and the reports from our friend Moire on her exploits in Langtang (make sure to click through to the other postings of this adventure!).
Also the number of trail races has increased with some really adventurous trips into the remote Himalayas.
And some of the races beyond the Everest marathon are starting to attract quite some local and international attention. The Himal race (October-November 2010) got a center spread in Republica, and widespread coverage in the European Francophone press, the Annapurna 100 was filmed by Reuters. Dawa Dacchiri Sherpa’s Solukhumbu Trail also starts to be a feature on international calenders.
The exploits of Nepali runners overseas should also help bring attention to their home country. We’ve started a Meet the Nepali runners series that you might check out. Dawa Dacchiri, one of Europe’s biggest names in trail running, is not alone anymore, with Phu Dorjee winning big races in Nepal and outside, Ngima Yangjee, yes a female runner! doing the same, and Sudip Rai blasting onto the scene with his wins in Malaysia and Nepal.
So it’s heading in the right direction. Let’s hope that in the next update on the development of trail running in Nepal that we will publish after the sixth edition of the Annapurna 100, 1st of January 2012, has taken place, we can report that this encouraging trend has continued!