By Tayte Pollmann for the American Trail Running Association, reposted for posterity!
Original article posted on October 4, 2019
Trail runners from around the world are turning their attention to Nepal this Friday, October 25, for the final of the 2019 Salomon Golden Trail Series. The series consists of six iconic races: the Pikes Peak Marathon, Colorado, USA, Zegama-Aizkorri, Spain, Sierre-Zinal, Switzerland, Marathon du Mont-Blanc, France, Dolomyths Run Skyrace, Italy, and the Ring of Steall Skyrace, UK. The top 10 female and male runners from the series are invited to compete at the final in Nepal. Some of the world’s best trail runners will compete in the final, including Kilian Jornet, Maude Mathys, Sage Canaday, and Ruth Croft.
The media surrounding this Golden Trail Series finale is focused on capturing the compelling race among elite trail runners in dreamy Nepalese mountain landscapes, but there is another behind-the-scenes story going largely untold. For this article, I’d like to share with you a story about the amazing Nepalese people who are organizing this final event and who grow trail running as a sport in their country. For insights into what Nepalese trail running is really like, I include an interview with Nepalese trail running legend, Jagan Timilsina, who will also manage race logistics for the final this Friday.
My Trip to Nepal
In October 2018, I had the opportunity to travel to Nepal and meet the race organizers of the Annapurna 100, the same group that manages the Annapurna Trail Marathon for Salomon’s Golden Trail Series. See the video below to watch speedy Nepalese trail runners set up the Annapurna 100 course the day before the race.
Photos from the 2018 Annapurna 100 races can be found on Facebook.
One of my good friends from my trip to Nepal, Jagan Timilsina, Nepalese trail runner, mountaineer, managing director for Freedom Adventure Treks, and head of race logistics for the Annapurna Trail Marathon, shares with us in the following interview a little about himself, how he discovered trail running, what trail running looks like in Nepal, and his plans for future trail running adventures.
TAYTE: Hi Jagan. Could you tell us a little about yourself? How did you discover your passion for running mountains?
JAGAN: I was born in a remote village in the Annapurnas near Pokhara, a tourist city, and was introduced to a trekking culture from a young age. I began my career as a porter for a world-renowned trekking company, Himalayan Encounters. With every trek, my passion for mountains grew. I have since then forayed different adventures in the mountains as a trekker, mountaineer, outdoor instructor and ultra trail runner. So far, I have climbed 25 glaciated peaks, including Mount Everest. In 2017, I won the Great Himal Race.
Read the rest of the article on the ATRA website.