Manuel Ruiz Quilez managed last August 3 to complete The Great Himalaya Trail and become the first Spanish to perform alone and without assistance the 2,175 km of travel.

It is one of the longest and tallest trails in the world. In addition to passing along the highest peaks in the world and visiting some of the most remote communities on Earth, it also crosses lush valleys, deserted high mountain plains and other incredible landscapes.

The trail runs through the entire Himalayas in Nepal, from the Taplejung district in the East to Humla and Darchula in the West.

The Great Himalaya Trail
I invite you, Documentary presentation, colloquium.
(The Great Himalayan Trail)
In Solitaire – Self-sufficiency. Ultra trail
Total kilometers 2,175Km.
Elevation + 93.503m.

CEY – Yecla Excursionist Center
From March 9 to 12 – Auditorium
Yecla – Murcia – Spain
Manuel Ruiz Quilez
The Great Himalaya Trail – Youtube
Piccadilly Yecla

Khiji Demba Marathon 2nd edition

See the event listing here. Call +977 984-9598213 for details.

About OTDC full Ultra Marathon 2020 (Second Edition) 

“The OTDC ultra Marathon” is a challenging multi-stage trail race passing through some of Nepal’s most beautiful Himalaya landscapes with Mt. Everest & Mt. Gaurishanker as a backdrop. Mt Everest is the highest mountain in the world and Mt Gaurishanker is considered as a holy mountain for Hindus and Buddhists. The event will be divided into male and female solo races.

Trail Racing has been an emerging trend in Nepal whether that is in cities or remote areas of the country. Trail Races in the Everest and lower Everest regions have been especially successful and trendy both among foreign and local (professional) runners due to the immediate highlight they bring and the new sense of achievement and experience they offer to the participants and organizers both. Inspired by all these successes, we are eager to organize the second OTDC Ultra Marathon.

Runners from all walks of life can take part in this event. “The OTDC ultra Marathon” is not just a running event, but it is also a truly a once in a lifetime experience and it will support the local community by organizing various different programs such a health camp, education, awareness program to public and homestay program right after the Trail Race.

The Ultra Marathon Event itinerary 

1st March – Runners from outside the region drive from Kathmandu to Khiji palate and overnight in tea house

2nd March – Trekking from Jhapre to Pikey Peak Base camp(5 hours), the local runners gathering in Pikey too. Overnight in tents in Pikey

3rd of March – Wake up early in the morning and light breakfast. The start of the Trail run after breakfast. Starting point Khiji Palate, finish in Khijee Phalate. Overnight in Khijee Phalate for the runners outside the region.

5th of March – Runners from outside the region drive back to Kathmandu

The OTDC 42 km Ultra Marathon

The route of the race follows the beautiful pastures between Khiji (2500m) and Demba (3150 m) of the Okhaldhunga District. We can see the splendid scenery of the Himalayas (such as Mt Everest, Mt Makalu, Mt Kanchenjunga, Mt Lhotse, Mt Nuptse, and many others) on our race trail.

Demba is a newly inaugurated trekking trail with great potential to be a popular lower Himalaya trekking trail. The trail leads us to the remote and unexplored Sherpa village of Okhaldhunga. We can witness beautiful different species of Rhododendron trees that bears our national flower. The area of the trail is home to the endangered species of Red Panda and also our national bird Danphe.

Last time we organized the race in the Pikey-Demba Trail in April 2019. The marathon was a successful program with the participation of more than the expected number of people. We saw both national and foreign participants. People also came from remote areas of neighboring districts. The enthusiastic participation of people made the marathon a grand success. Organizing the marathon has also been a great step to promote local tourism. The success of the previous marathon has made the organizer community excited for the new program. We hope to organize Taklung Demba race with even greater success with the well-managed team.

About the organizers:

Okhaldhunga Tourism Development Committee is a non-profit organization, led by tourism entrepreneurs and social workers with the motive to promote local-level tourism in Okhaldhunga region.

The Prize Amounts for Winners:

First NRs. 60,000/- NRs. 70,000/-
Second NRs. 50,000/- NRs. 50,000/-
Third NRs. 40,000/- NRs. 40,000/-



2020 full Khiji Demba marathon 2nd edition

Reposted via: Mira Rai initiative organises cleanup of Champadevi hiking trail.

Mira Rai Initiative (MRI) organised a clean-up and awareness campaign along the Champa Devi Trail on Saturday.

MRI mobilised 65 volunteers who hiked the trail and picked up the litter and debris that had been left behind. The volunteers also placed 30 dokos (organic bins,) 20 sign-boards and notices that prohibited tossing of any waste throughout the trail.

Mira Rai Initiative also coordinated with the local authorities such as Dakshinkali municipality and local recyclers (kabaadi) to ensure the arrangement for proper management of the waste that are collected from the bins. Altogether, the volunteers were able to collect 80 bags of trash that comprised of glass, paper, papers from food wrappers, beverages, and straws.

Founded in 2017, Mira Rai Initiative (MRI) is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) committed to supporting trail-running and trail running community in Nepal. The organization was founded by the ultra-trail runner Mira Rai whose story continues to inspire trail-runners all over the world. Ever since her debut in the trail running scene in 2014, Mira has won numerous races and titles both nationally and internationally. She is one of the most celebrated athletes in the world who has won several accolades, awards, and recognition such as the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, 2017 and the Asia Game Changer Awards, 2018.

sunmaya budha oman by utmb 2019

Nepali runners reach podium at Oman by UTMB

Congratulations to Bhim Bahadur Gurung and Sunmaya Budha for their first places in the 50 km race at Oman by UTMB. Mira Rai came in third.

sunmaya budha oman by utmb 2019

Nepali athlete Bhim Bahadur Gurung ranked first in the 50-kilometre ultra race in the desert landscape of Oman on Friday, November 29 in 05:26:22, twelve minutes clear of the second-placed runner from Germany.

Likewise, Sunmaya Budha of Jumla was ranked first among the female runners clocking 06:12:26, twenty minutes clear of the second runner. She was placed 6th in the overall ranking.

Mira Rai, who came third in 06:43:08, said, “This was a wonderful race in an amazing landscape with very great athletes competing from so many different countries. We are happy to race here and it is especially great that Bhim and Sunmaya won. My training is increasing slowly and I am very happy with the third position today.”

Bhim Bahadur Gurung

UTMB by Oman. Al Hambra. 29th November 2019. Bhim Bahadur Guring , TheWinner of the 2019 edition 50km race, runners pictured here crossing the finish line. Credit Lloyd Images / Kelvin Bruce

Mira Rai from Nepal racing in Oman

UTMB by Oman. Al Hambra. 29th November 2019. Mira Rai finishing the 50km race, pictured here crossing the finish line. Credit Lloyd Images / Kelvin Bruce



Kilian Jornet running in Nepal


2 min recap video

NEPAL – Kilian Jornet and Judith Wyder are the 2019 Golden Trail World Series (GTWS) champions after both won the Grand Final race at the Annapurna Trail Marathon on Friday in Nepal.

For Kilian, it was business as usual. The Team Salomon athlete from Spain finished nearly 15 minutes ahead of 2nd place finisher Davide Magnini (Team Salomon), winning the 42 km race in 4:46:05. Davide finished in 4:59:59. In the women’s race, Judith (Team Salomon) bested Italy’s Silvia Rampazzo (Team Tornado) in a time of 5:42:03. The victory was Judith’s third of the GTWS season.

The top-10 men and women in the overall points standings after the first six races of the year earned a trip to

Nepal and a place in the Annapurna Trail Marathon, which included 3,560 meters of elevation gain and climbed to 3,753 meters. The overall final standings of the GTWS were determined by the runners’ three best finishes during the season, plus their result at the Grand Final.

In the men’s race, Davide managed to keep pace with his running idol for half the race, but the 22-year-old eventually faded to 2nd, securing 2nd place in the season-long standings as well. Kilian had not run a race since winning at Pikes Peak in August. He spent parts of September and October on a Himalayan adventure and family vacation, part of which included an ascent to more than 8,000 meters on Mount Everest.

“I am really happy to finish the season in this way, with four races and four victories,” Kilian said. “It was a hard, demanding race, but also beautiful, as the landscape was constantly changing, combining sections of forest, woodland and high mountain. My great unknown was how I would feel after the expedition. I had been away from running for a month, but in the end my legs responded well, and the altitude didn’t bother me.”

The always-consistent Stian Angermund-Vik (Team Salomon) notched his first podium of the Golden Trail World Series season, finishing 3rd behind Davide in 5:08:18. After three 4th place results during the season, the Norwegian’s performance in Nepal vaulted him into 3rd position in the final GTWS standings. He won the Golden Trail World Series title in 2018.

France’s Thibaut Baronian (Team Salomon) was 4th in Nepal and finished the GTWS season in 4th as well. Marc Lauenstein was 5th in Nepal behind Thibaut and 8th for the season. He came into the race in 10th position overall, narrowly qualifying for the final after a 3rd place at Pikes Peak and a 2nd place finish at the ring of Steall in Scotland. Italy’s Nadir Maguet (Team La Sportiva) entered the race in 3rd place in the overall standings, but did not finish the Grand Final on Friday. His DNF left him 5th for the season.

IN THE WOMEN’S RACE, it looked to be a three-woman race coming in, with Judith, fellow Swiss Maude Mathys (Team Salomon) and New Zealand’s Ruth Croft (Team Scott) a cut above the pack for most of the season. Judith, a former orienteering star, won at both the Dolomyths Run and the Ring of Steall in record time this season. She was also 2nd at Sierre-Zinal. Together, Maude and Judith had broken course records at every race they ran in the GTWS.

On Friday, Judith was just too fast. Her third victory of the 2019 GTWS delivered her the overall series title. It was the longest race that Judith has ever run. Maude took a wrong turn in Friday’s race and was disqualified. That dropped her to 6th in the GTWS standings for the year.

For Silvia, the 2nd place finish was her best of the GTWS and it capped off a very strong season for the Italian and a 2nd place finish in the GTWS overall standings. Friday marked her third podium finish of the year. She was also 2nd at Marathon du Mont Blanc and 3rd at Sierre-Zinal.

Ruth finished the season in 3rd overall after a 9th place result in Nepal on Friday. South Africa’s Meg Mackenzie (Team Salomon) continued her fantastic conclusion to the season with a 3rd place result in Nepal. By finishing 3rd she vaulted into 5th in the overall standings of the GTWS.

Norway’s Eli Anne Dvergsdal (Team Salomon), regained her early-season form with a 6th place finish on Friday. She began the GTWS season by winning at Zegama in her first marathon distance race ever and then finishing 3rd at Marathon du Mont Blanc. After struggling with two DNFs and then a 10th place finish at the Ring of Steall, her 6th place result on Friday left her in 4th in the overall standings.

The final 2019 GTWS standings look like this after the Grand Final at the Annapurna Trail Marathon:


  1. Kilian Jornet (Team Salomon)
  2. Davide Magnini (Team Salomon)
  3. Stian Angermund-Vik (Team Salomon)
  4. Thibaut Baronian (Team Salomon)
  5. Nadir Maguet (Team La Sportiva)
  6. Aritz Egea (Team Salomon)
  7. Sage Canaday (Team Hoka)
  8. Marc Lauenstein (Team Salomon)
  9. Bartlomiej Predwojewski (Team Salomon-Suunto)
  10. Rémi Bonnet (Team Salomon)


  1. Judith Wyder (Team Salomon)
  2. Silvia Rampazzo (Team Scarpa/Tornado)
  3. Ruth Croft (Team Scott)
  4. Eli Anne Dvergsdal (Team Salomon)
  5. Meg Mackenzie (Team Salomon)
  6. Maude Mathys (Team Salomon)
  7. Yngvild Kaspersen (Team Adidas Terrex)
  8. Elisa Desco (Team Scarpa/Compressport)
  9. Amandine Ferrato (Team Hoka)
  10. Holly Page (Team Adidas Terrex)

For latest Golden Trail World Series standings click here.

Gosaikunda Helambu trek trail race_6306

Race report by Hannah Straw who took part in this race. Find race results here, and race information here.

Gosaikunda Helambu trek trail race_6306

Nepal is famous for its mountains. Some of its mountain ranges are famous for their lakes. Gosaikunda lake is a sacred place nestled in the Langtang National Park. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims ascend to the lake at 4380 meters to receive their ‘sacred thread’ during Janai Purnima festival in August. The rest of the year, the lake lies still and calm, visited by trekkers, fewer in number than those found on the main trails such as Everest Base Camp. On 10th May 2019, 25 trail runners made a pilgrimage of s(p)orts to participate in the inaugural edition of the Gosaikund-Helambu marathon.

The fun began before race day – an event of this altitude requires a day or two to acclimatise, so many of the participants arrived at the start line in Cholong Pati, 3330m, by Thursday evening, having hiked together from Dhunche, via Sing Gompa. We enjoyed a communal dal bhat together in Cholong Pati before getting an early night. Friday was a ‘rest’ day – many of the group decided to use the time to hike to Gosaikund to acclimatise and to view the jewel of Langtang Lirung.

The race started on Saturday morning at 6am from Cholong Pati and immediately began with an ascent towards Lauri Binayak. The sun rises late above the mountains, so the power-hike up was a welcome warm-up, although I was glad of my gloves to keep my fingers comfortable. After topping Lauri Binayak, the path down to Gosaikunda lake (and the first checkpoint of the race) was enjoyably runnable. The atmosphere at the first checkpoint was supportive, and tourists, getting ready for their day of trekking after sleeping at Gosaikunda, were there to cheer us on, too.

Drinking in the views of Gosaikund lake in the early morning light provides ample spiritual energy for scaling Lauribina pass at 4610m, although leaving the first checkpoint with a belly full of biscuits and a Snickers clutched in your fist is advisable. It’s not a particularly tough pass to climb, you just need to keep on stomping up. In 2019, there was a little bit of snow on the pass, but not enough to warrant use of micro-spikes, just a little caution. No checkpoint at the top of the pass, but volunteers perched to monitor runners’ progress and offer assistance if necessary. After Lauribina pass, there is opportunity to switch your muscle usage up as you dance down a slightly technical trail towards Phedi, the second check-point.

I examined the race route prior to race day and decided that the only ‘serious’ climb of the day was Lauribina pass; after that it was all downhill or ‘mountain flat’ to the finish line at Meramchi. However, the route is slightly technical for most of the duration – which requires quite a lot of concentration and careful footing. This doesn’t seem to slow down the amazing Nepali runners at all, but for those cautious of accruing large dental bills through face-smashing rocks, progress was slower than I expected. Also, after putting my all into getting up the first climb to Lauri Binayak and then the second, tougher climb to Lauribina pass, my uphill leg muscles were spent.

As a result, progress to the third checkpoint was slow for me – it took me about 4 and a half hours (I think) to get to the 21 km mark at Thadepati. Incidentally, this is also where I spent the night whilst trekking the same route a few years ago, after overnighting at Gosaikunda. So, there were some mental hurdles here -pushing on beyond what I had considered at the time to be a ‘tough day’s hiking’. I overcame these stuffing biscuits into my mouth and looking around at the scenery – such a privilege to be ‘racing’ in these mountains, and the slower the pace, the more time to enjoy the rhododendrons in full bloom, right?

Revived by noodle soup and the humble pie of being slow, the 4th checkpoint at Ghopte seemed to come around much faster than expected; mostly flat and reasonably runnable, with some small stretches requiring some caution due to rockfall etc. Ghopte features lodges decorated by debris from the ill-fated Thai Airways 311 flight, which crashed into the mountainside in 1992. If the wide open skies and soaring mountains don’t remind you of your own mortality and the need to live life in the present, then drinking reviving, sweet tea amidst mementoes from a plane wreckage will.

The trail continued with ‘mountain flat’ – a little up, a little down, runnable if you’re confident on rocky terrain. My progress resembled more of an inefficient dance, but it’s not a competition (unless it is a competition) and I enjoyed the descent from exposed mountain paths into forest, passing stupas and the remnants of civilisation: earthquake devastated lodges.

Bananas awaited at Kutumsang, the 5th checkpoint, where villages gathered to place a khatta around participants’ necks. Kutumsang marks the return to ‘civilisation’ after being on the high trail all day. After Kutumsang, the trail veers off from the standard Helambu trekking route, through villages and rice paddies towards Meramchi. The final stretch of the race is mixed terrain and very enjoyable to run on. The last 2 km are downhill on jeep road. I was glad I had refilled my 2 litre bladder at the 5th checkpoint as the final section of the race descended quickly and as a result, the temperature increased dramatically.

Traditional Nepali dance

A real festival atmosphere awaited in Meramchi – where practically the whole village was out to celebrate the runners finishing. Many were decked out in traditional Tamang attire. I declined the invite to join in the dancing as my quads were wrecked. Instead, I enjoyed some delicious home-cooked bean soup (two bowls – thanks, it was tasty and I had an appetite), a shower and clean clothes from my finish bag, which was sent directly to the finish line from Kathmandu.

If you enjoy the challenge of flying down slightly technical trails, this is the race for you! Or, if you like a full day out in the mountains. An excellent way of participating in this race would be to use it as a ‘finisher’ by combining it with another trek in the Langtang national park, for example the Tamang Heritage Trail or a hike up to Langtang village. Some participants did this and joined us the day before the race at the start line in Cholong Pati. Depending on speed, Tamang Heritage Trail takes around 3-4 days and Langtang village about 5-6 days. You could also extend your time in the mountains after you finish by hiking from Meramchi back to Kathmandu.

This was a really well organised race with a ‘local’ feel – the finish line festivities were really something special. If you are keen on running and want to visit a lesser-trekked part of Nepal, this could be the event for you.

Sunmaya Budha Durga Budha nepali athletes with flag

This year three runners competed compared to last year, 2018, where two full Nepal teams (of three or more) competed. Here is a report from 2018. This year limited resources meant Nepal was not represented in the team event.

Aita Tamang is living in Portugal and joined the others, Sunmaya Budha and Durga Bahadur Budha, both from Jumla, who travelled from Nepal.

Here are the final results and an image of each of the Nepali runners stolen from the race’s facebook page!

Huge congratulations to each of the athletes competing in this extremely competitive race – it’s the world championships after all!

Sunmaya Budha Durga Budha nepali athletes with flag

Aita Tamang and Sunmaya Budha held their positions throughout the race finishing in respectable 67th and 47th places in their category.

Durga Bahadur Budha, the winner of the 2018 Annapurna 100 50 km event, went for glory. The flat start suited this marathon runner and he was with the leading pack for the first half of the race, in 5th position at best. As the pack chased the breakaway runner from Switzerland, and as the sleep climbs started to bite, Durga dropped away from the front but held on enough to keep in the top 20, less than 3 minutes behind last year’s champion LUIS HERNANDO and a few seconds before Italian legend Marco de Gaspari.

For a summary of the race overall, read this TWC 2019 summary at


Durga Bahadur Budha Male 17th

03:50:25 (14:51 behind the winner)

durga bahadur budha twc aubutres 2019 photo

Aita Tamang 67th Male


AITA TAMANG TWC 2019 photo

Sunmaya Budha 46th Female


sunmaya budha twc aubutres 2019 photo

Congratulations to all three athletes. Great thanks for their support crew of Paul and Danielle for steering Team Nepal on this race journey, and Jimi Oostrum who spent days on the visa paperwork and submission with Mira Rai helping. Thanks to all others who lent a hand to help this project come to fruition and I am sure you are very happy that these athletes where able to represent Nepali at the Trail World Championships 2019!

Trail Race winners in Nepal

Here are the results of the inaugural Gosaikunda to Helambu Marathon. The race route covered almost exactly 42 km crossing the Laurebina La above the Gosaikunda and associated small mountain lakes, connecting the trekking areas of Langtang and Helambu.

The race organiser was Helambu Trail Running Club along with great support from numerous talented volunteers.

The results are as follows:

Ranking Time Family name Name
1 5:07:07 Gurung Bhim Bahadur
2 5:18:08 Kulung Suman
3 6:11:00 Tamang Kalsang

Ranking Time Family name Name
1 / 6 6:15:08 Budha Sunmaya
2 / 10 7:25:28 Rai Priya
3 / 12 8:07:37 Sherpa Chhoki

Ranking Time Family name Name Gender F Rnk M Rnk Nationality
1 5:07:07 Gurung Bhim Bahadur M 1 NEP
2 5:18:08 Kulung Suman M 2 NEP
3 6:11:00 Tamang Kalsang M 3 NEP
4 6:12:40 Lama Gyalshang M 4 NEP
5 6:12:46 Tamang Phurpa M 5 NEP
6 6:15:08 Budha Sunmaya F 1 NEP
7 7:02:32 Tamang Bikash M 6 NEP
8 7:16:00 Syangbo Purnesh M 7 NEP
9 7:23:04 Thapa Mahesh M 8 NEP
10 7:25:28 Rai Priya F 2 NEP
11 8:07:37 Tamang Nor M 9 NEP
12 8:07:37 Sherpa Chhoki F 3 NEP
13 8:41:00 Pradhan Tajendra M 10 NEP
14 9:11:30 Manandhar Rakesh M 11 NEP
15 9:46:11 Syangbo Ashok M 12 NEP
16 9:56:18 Karki Rabi M 13 NEP
17 10:13:11 Cams Yves M 14 BEL
18 10:40:00 Gurung Bibek M 15 NEP
19 11:06:00 Lama Lambutti F 4 NEP
20 11:11:00 Straw Hannah F 5 GBR
21 11:14:00 Prajapati Rakesh M 16 NEP
22 12:24:00 Lama Khendo F 6 NEP
23 12:34:00 Bartlet Amy F 7 GBR
24 13:33:00 Bartel Robert M 17 GER
Communication and transportation

The nature of fastpacking and key considerations when planning for a fastpacking trip in Nepal.

Here is a list of all the planned fastpacking trips and running tours in Nepal coming up.

What is fastpacking?

What on earth is fastpacking? Check out the definition by Peter Bakwin, a fastpacking pro:

“The term fastpacking was first used by Jim Knight in an article he wrote for UltraRunning Magazine in 1988 about a 38-hour, 100-mile traverse of the Wind River Range with UD founder Bryce Thatcher. Knight didn’t explicitly define the term, but gave a good sense of it: “We were wilderness running. Power hiking. Kind of backpacking, but much faster. More fluid. Neat. Almost surgical. Get in. Get out. I call it fastpacking.” Later, Knight used the same techniques to complete the 211-mile John Muir Trail (JMT), from Mt Whitney to Yosemite Valley, in just four and a half days. To me, as Jim implies, fastpacking means that your focus is to cover whatever route you have set for yourself as quickly as possible, and you use the best techniques and equipment to that purpose. This definition makes no distinction between running and walking – the distinction is in your goals, your methods follow from your goals. Fastpacking is different from backpacking because your objective in fastpacking is to get it done as fast as possible.” – Peter Bakwin, holder of several Fastest Known Times (FKTs)

For simplicity, let’s say fastpacking is a marriage between trail running and backpacking. The idea is you move light and fast, carrying only essential items, without sacrificing safety. One reason people are drawn towards fastpacking is its non-competitive nature. Unlike trail running events where runners are timed and are under a competitive microscope, fastpacking offers a non-competitive setup where the participants can stop, smell the flowers, or talk to local people without the need to constantly check their watch.

Fastpacking in Nepal on the Annapurna Circuit

A waterfall or a giant shower head?

Fastpacking in Nepal

In Nepal there are hundreds of thousands of trails.  From one day to four months, there is something for everyone in the Himalayas. Most of the trails in Nepal are made by locals to commute from one village or a region to another, and can be connected by trekkers to form longer routes. The abundance of trails and remote regions make Nepal a paradise for backpacking, trail running and fastpacking. If you want to cover big distances in short number of days while exploring multiple ecosystems, people, cultures, then fastpacking is for you. Take our word, the views will keep you moving.

Fastpacking running tour Nepal

Picture speaks for itself. At Sagarmatha National Park

Before you set off on a fastpacking adventure, it is critical to know the region you’re going to and what facilities it has. How will you get to the trail head: flight, bus, jeep, donkey, or on foot? Will you be sleeping in a tea house or in a tent? How long will your adventure be? This will determine what gear you need to pack and the logistics behind your travel. Many logistical issues can be handled by a guiding company, but there are a few things you should know before you go:

10 things you need to know about fastpacking in Nepal

1. How fit do I need to be?

If you do some form of exercise involving legs and cardio, and know the basics of hiking/backpacking, you can do fastpacking. Make sure you try gear before the trip especially shoes and backpack (loaded), and practice moving with them to get a sense of how challenging your fastpacking adventure will be.   

2. How do I train for fastpacking?

Walk/jog/run with a backpack weighing at least 5kgs. Simulate multiple days ideally on the trail by carrying your pack for several days in a row so that your legs and body know what’s coming. You can alter distances as you like. Mix it up with longer and shorter distances, and make sure you find some hills (or a stair-stepper) to practice on!  

running tour group in Nepal

Let’s go find some hills

3. Guide or no guide

If you have done good research of the region where you are going, and have paper maps, gpx tracks, and/or a compass, you can explore many places in Nepal without a guide. However, having a guide can be helpful to get to know the local culture, flora and fauna, booking lodges or just for an added safety if you get injured or sick.

Some areas of Nepal are restricted, and foreigners are required to have permits and a guide for going into these areas. Please check requirements for the area you are going (more on next point).

4. What permits are needed to fastpack in Nepal?

Nepal requires a fair number of fees and permits for trekkers and fastpackers, but these  can be easily obtained if you plan ahead. As a non-Nepali, most regions require at least two documents; 1) Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS Card) and 2) national park fee. Special Trekking Permits are needed for restricted/controlled areas, which include most trekking destinations besides Annapurna, Everest, Langtang, and Helambu. If you are contracting with a guiding company, they can help obtain permits for you, but it is possible to do on your own in Kathmandu. To learn more about different kinds of permits click here and here for fees.

5. What to carry

We recommend buying your gear from your favorite local outdoor store! You can buy lots of different gear in Kathmandu; there are tons of shops. However, the quality can vary widely and sizes for women might be difficult to find.  It is helpful to arrive early in Kathmandu so you have time to walk around Thamel to get last-minute gear, change money, and complete some final errands.

You can visit this Gear Page on Himalayan Adventure Labs’ (HAL) website for comprehensive list of gear, specific recommendation for Annapurna and Langtang. Note that the gear choices we list on the website are not recommendations; they are simply a statement of our own personal experiences and feedback from past participants. Ultimately it is your choice what to bring. The page also has a custom gear list (with non-affiliate links) by Jason and Heather, graduates of Annapurna Fastpack 2017 and Langtang Fastpack 2018.

6. When to go fastpacking in Nepal?

Nepal is open for all seasons. Spring lasts from March to May with warm temperatures and clear skies (mostly). Summer, from June to August, is the monsoon season when the hills turn lush and green. Temperatures can get quite warm, up to 30°C and more during heat waves. If you have to travel long distances in monsoon do ask your local operator to check on road conditions, or alternatively you can check with local traffic police by calling their hotline (dial 103).

Fastpacking running tour in Macchapuchre/Mardi region, Nepal

Autumn, from September to November, is cool with clear skies and is the most popular season for trekking — which means you will also see tons of trekkers on popular trekking trails. In winter, from December to February, it is cold at night with temperatures sometimes below zero. However, the maximum temperatures can still reach up to 20°C.

7. Daily distances you can expect to cover…

Well, it depends on your training! If you are fastpacking, anywhere from 10 to 30+k is ‘normal’. However, as you go higher your pace will decrease due to change in altitude.  

Fastpacking running tour in Annapurna region, Nepal

8. Altitude rules

If you feel unwell at altitude, assume you have altitude illness until proven otherwise. Never ascend with symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). If you are getting worse (or have HACE or HAPE), go down at once.

At altitudes above 3000 meters (10,000 feet), your sleeping elevation should not increase more than 300-500 meters (1000-1500 feet) per night. Every 1000 meters (3000 feet) you should spend a second night at the same elevation.

Source: International Society for Mountain Medicine

Many trekkers choose to take Diamox (Acetazolamide) which is used to prevent and reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness. Please check with your physician before considering taking diamox or any major medicine on the trail.

9. Food and hygiene

If you are doing a tea house fastpacking then you don’t have to carry food (apart from snacks). Dal bhat is ubiquitous, a staple food of Nepal which consists of rice, curry and lentils.

Fresh roasted peanuts

Ask for local food. We never miss local peanuts and popcorn when we are in Ghasa for Annapurna Fastpack

Despite their best efforts, many trekkers in Nepal experience gastrointestinal issues at some point during their stay. M Avoid this by washing your hands with soap before and after you eat (especially under your nails). It is understandable that washing hands in sub zero temperature is hard. In that case carry and use hand gel at all times. If you run out of hand gels you can buy it at major trekking towns on the trail.

It is also important to be careful about what you eat and drink. Be sure to purify your water with chlorine or iodine tablets, a SteriPen, or a filtration system of some kind. We have had positive reviews for Katadyn: Water Filters from our clients. You will see Nepali people drinking straight from the tap, but don’t try that unless you want to spend the night in the bathroom! Also be careful to eat foods that are hot and cooked (dal bhat is usually safe), and if you are eating raw fruits or veggies, rinse well with purified water. Packaged foods like cookies and candy should be fine!

10. Safety

In the Himalayas you should be responsible for your own personal first aid kit. Always bring a small blister kit, some bandages, and at least one elastic bandage. Carry prescription medicine as necessary, and be sure to have antibiotics and altitude medication in case of sickness. Carrying an inhaler can also be helpful for those with breathing issues that might worsen at altitude. It can also be helpful to carry vitamin C pills, as fruit can be hard to come by in the mountains.

Fastpacking running tour Nepal

Communication and transportation

Most of the places and people are not lucky like this guy with a cellular coverage. So, we recommend to carry either a sat phone (Thuraya) or a sat communicator like inReach®. If things go south you will be relieved to have a sat device to make a crucial call to ask for help. Also, get heli evacuation and medical insurance. We recommend World Nomads.

– Written by Sudeep Kandel. Sudeep is an ultra marathon runner, a registered trekking guide and a co-founder of Himalayan Adventure Labs’ (HAL). He has a (proud) DNF for East-West Nepal run (850/1027 kms), the FKT on Manaslu Circuit with Seth Wolpin (co-founder of HAL) and many adventures under his belt. When not in woods he is busy planning/organising trips and working on tourism development related projects.

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Himalayan Adventure Labs (HAL) is a pioneer in fastpacking events in Nepal. HAL adventures are designed for trail runners and ultralight backpackers who want to cover big distances in the mountains and get off the beaten track. This non-competitive format also means they can stop and visit temples and smell flowers along the way. Check out Himalayan Adventure Labs for more information. Trail Running Nepal members get a 10% off on HAL trips with the discount code ‘TRN-HAL2019’!

Fastpacking trips by HAL in Nepal

More photos from fastpacking trips in Nepal!


Attending the Bhojpur Trail Race and tour was an eye-opening and fulfilling experience for me.  I was impressed by the local talent that made up half the men’s and women’s podium at the 36 km trail race, beating out other well known nationally accomplished athletes.  The children’s 8 km and 3 km events were equally exciting, showcasing a wealth of present and up and coming talent in this remote, little known area of eastern Nepal.  As a volunteer helping with registration at the start line and timekeeping at the finish line, I was pleased to offer what experience I had to help contribute to the great success of this event.

I also enjoyed the tour very much and highlights for me were the visit to Mira’s home with homecooked dinner by Mira’s mom and the 29 km hike from Bhojpur to Sano Dumma guided by our excellent and attentive local guide Prathiva.  It was also great to see Prathiva take 2nd place at the women’s podium at the 36km two days later.

Above all, it was most valuable for me to experience first-hand the spirit and talent of the people from Sano Dumma.  Living with much less than I am accustomed to, very modest living conditions, simple food, runners running without good condition athletic apparel, sometimes even barefoot, the local athletes still displayed excellent athletic performance and great positive attitude.  The Bhojpur Trail Race is a meaningful event that encourages this positivity and helps to uncover and showcase local talent to a wider national and international stage.

Keilem Ng

Volunteer and Founder/Director of Exchange & Empower

Congratulations to Jimi Oostrum and his support team for a magical “kora” of Kathmandu on the trails along the hilltops surrounding the Kathmandu Valley. 39:00:00 was the final completion time… think you can do better?

The route

 ktm valley rim 100 mile run ultra route map

The route as measured with a raw GPS track is 181 km. This includes several out-and-backs searching for the trail, and a mistake of missing the trail over the top of Shivapuri, instead passing to the North on the park jeep road through Nuwakot, which adds substantial distance to the route. Download the route for Google Earth below.

Press Release – November 2018 – immediate release

Vlad Morozov completes 1,000 miles solo run across Nepal.

Vladimir Morozov, 35, from Birmingham has just completed an incredible physical and mental test: running 1,000 miles across Nepal solo and unassisted.

Motivated to fulfill his dad’s desire to visit Nepal before he sadly passed away and combining his passions for adventure, nature and helping others, Vlad felt this was the perfect challenge for him.

Vlad completed the run in an incredible 66 days. Whilst he ensured he took a rest day once a week, he pushed himself to run c 30-40km a day and his longest run in one day covered a massive 54km.

The run encountered some extreme lows such as being without food for 30 hours, surviving a mugging attempt in the first week (a real anomaly given his subsequent interactions with the Nepalese people), being faced with leeches 3 times over, and banging his head on door frames on a daily basis (Vlad stands at 6ft tall whereas the average height of Nepalese male is c. 5ft 4in!). His feet took the brunt of the damage in the early days and left him with open sores and an inability to walk for 3 days. However, the lows were vastly outweighed by the highs: The incredible openness, generosity and friendliness of the Nepali people, being the first tourist ever to have visited some of the villages he passed through in the remote regions in Western Nepal and being able to admire the snow capped mountains of the Himalayas throughout days 50-52. Being surrounded by TV crews and adoring supporters who covered him in garlands and appreciated his efforts really spurred him on for the last tough leg.

Vlad’s key motivator to understand first-hand the issues that affected Nepal and see how the country itself, but also NGOs faced these problems, led him to collaborate with Nepal Youth Foundation, a charity offering hope and opportunity to the most vulnerable children in Nepal since 1992. Vlad knew how highly regarded NYF is in Nepal and found they shared similar values. He respected NYF’s programmes and its approach to sustainability, a key element in promoting a more secure future for Nepal’s young people. During his rest days Vlad was able to visit their projects and meet some of their beneficiaries. He comments: ”It was inspiring to see first-hand the amazing work NYF does. I saw children given real opportunities in life – looked after and given a proper education. The smiles on the children’s faces said it all. Having met a lot of NYF staff, I can say they are all very professional, knowledgeable and very kind hearted. They all genuinely want to do as much good as possible. I have a lot of faith in NYF and would love to support them again in the future if I can”.

Through it all he raised £2,000 and hopes more will continue to come in to be able to support some of the most needy children in the world today. And as a keen photographer Vlad documented his journey with stunning images and videos and hopes to use the images to raise awareness about the severe poverty in Nepal, especially in rural areas, that grossly affects children. He would like to put any money raised towards NYF’s nutrition outreach camps in remote locations to help combat child malnutrition.

To find out more about Vlad’s journey or to donate please visit

To learn more about the charity he is supporting please visit:


Guerrilla Trail Marathon was held on 9th June, 2018, Saturday at Bhume in Rukum (East), the youngest district of Nepal, to promote historical importance and war tourism. The total distance of the race was 27 km starting from Mahat in Rukum East to Thabang in Rolpa district said Magar, coordinator of All Nepal Sports Association. In the upcoming year, the event will extend to Jaljala covering around 50 km.

Eleven women and 23 men participated in the event, coming from Rukum East and West, Rolpa and Achham districts.

Among men competitors, Durga Raj Budha from Rukum (West) won top position finishing in 3:03:23. Chet Kumar KC from Sisne Municipality, Rukum (East) came second finishing in 3:06:17 and Gopal Budhathoki from Sisne rural municipality completed the race in third in 3:07:04.

In the women’s race, Rojina Budha got first position completing the race in 4:25:34. Kabita Budha stood second in 4:25:34 and Gita BK from Sisne Rural municipality took third position.

The event was organized along the Guerrilla Trail, a route through Rukum and Rolpa districts where Maoist guerrillas carried out military activities during the 10 year long Maoist revolution.

The Guerrilla Trail connects the villages of Khara, Ratomate, Chunbang, Mahat, Dharmashala,Thabang and Jelbang. It further connects Taksera, Hukam, Maikot Pwang, Pokhara, Bafikot and Athbiskot in Rukum east and west.

The entire Guerrilla trail is a two- to three-week trekking journey that passes through several remote villages of Rolpa, Rukum, Baglung and Myagdi districts in the mid-western and western part of Nepal.  

The trail was officially launched by the Government of Nepal in 2012. The major highlight of the trail are beautiful landscapes, traditional villages, Magar cultures and history of ten year Maoist revolution.

According to Sunil Kumar Roka Magar, “Guerilla Trail Marathon 2018” was organized in the Guerrilla trail to promote and conserve war tourism history. Kamala Roka  Magar, the member of parliament and chief guest of the event says, Rukum (east) is full of natural beauty, cultural heritage and people war history.

An event like Guerilla Marathon will help to promote the tourism of Rukum, Rolpa districts and province No. 5 as a whole.

“There is great potential for such adventure sports in Rukum East,” said Ramsur Budha Magar, Chairman of Bhume Rural Municipality. “The region is one step ahead in the pro-poor tourism sector. We look forward to organising more exciting sporting events in future,” he added.

Medals and certificates were distributed to all the winners and participants of the event in a closing ceremony with celebratory mood.

The event was supported by Bhume Rural Municipality and co-supported by Triathlon Nepal Association and Pro-Sport Nepal.

Nepal teams 14th and 16th in the world

A little bit of progress was made for Trail Running in Nepal on the weekend of 12th may 2018. This from a simple press release.

If you are reading this and don’t understand the back story, here it is in a single paragraph:

Nepal has athletic talent, just as every country, but being a hilly nation of villages connected by foot trails, it might have a small advantage over other nations*. Trail Running Nepal has been trying to introduce and move the sport forward for the past 8 years with limited resources and give talent a platform. This year we made a big effort to try to have Nepal represented at the Trail World Championships with female and male teams, which means a minimum of three athletes per team. We launched a fundraiser, were stunned by the generosity of Nepal trail running supporters, and two teams did indeed compete at the championships. It was an amazing experience for the runners, they enhanced the event with their presence. It wasn’t a true underdog succeeds story, but it was a milestone moment to participate in a World Championships and receive a world ranking.

The exciting thing about the world championships is that it is a true competition, or at least developing into one. Many big races have only a handful of contenders for the podium and the result can often be predicted in advance. Companies such as Solomon have identified that ‘a race’ is important for media interest and have started to focus (their spending) on developing the depth in races, with the Golden Trail Series.

The Trail World Championships has this automatically with the lure of the “World Champion” title, which for many people trumps the lure of a cash prize. It’s the only competition restricted to athletes designated by the country’s national federation. It’s rare also to have a team event which measures the depth of ability within a nation, at least on the race day, rather than just the individual stars.

A Spanish friend had this to say about the world championships in a conversation:

“The level is really high these days and the front guys are pretty much professional. A guy from Burgos (Spain) won for the 3rd time in a row. But he is in the mountain division of the civil guard and trains full time.”

Given the high quality of the field, and the team competition how did Team Nepal do?

How the race unfolded

The performance of the men’s team fell short of (perhaps unreasonable) expectations. A race preview written on the website contained this paragraph about Nepal:

“Does anyone know if Team Nepal will make it to the Trail World Championships start line? This isn’t the first time they’ve named an all-star line-up for an event like this, but we’ve also seen them run into issues with visas, funding, and travel. If these four men make it to the race start, I think they inherently have the team-podium talent and could potentially put a man in the top-10 overall. Nepali runners race really aggressively, and it’s easy for me to imagine with this course layout that they’ll struggle to save enough energy for late race. Come on, gentlemen, prove me wrong and show the world your talent.”

The gentlemen proved the point about aggressive running!

All of the four of Nepal’s runners are used to being in the lead pack in smaller races, but this race had many elite runners all starting with different strengths and strategies.

At the 8 km water point, Bed Sunuwar was leading and Tirtha Tamang was third. Way too fast. Below you can see Tirtha’s rank vs distance compared to Cristofer Clemente of Spain who placed 2nd overall. Tirtha went off fast, and over time his rank dropped from 2nd to 36th. Clemente was 80th at the first timing point, and overtook Tirtha somewhere near the middle of the race and progressed to second.

Given the team placing was most important for team Nepal, the excitement of the start meant the ‘team strategy’ flew out of the window. It was lucky too that Purna received his visa at the last moment, as Samir Tamang did not have the form needed to compete at this level.

The women’s team

Expectations for the women’s team were not great simply because they have not run together before, and two out of three had not even run the distance (86 km) before. They all finished strongly and so ranked as a team, which itself is an excellent result.

Rojina had stomach cramps early after a fast start which slowed her down but recovered enough to complete the tough second half of the course.

Manikala ran a steady race effectively guiding Chhechee in her first long race. This worked out well and Chhechee found she had reserves remaining and pushed hard to the finish, finishing as 44th female.

Still both the men and women’s teams were selected from a tiny pool of ‘ultra’ experienced athletes compared to the potential hundreds from other nations.

The good news

The additional difficulty for Nepal is getting to the start line. Visa and finances are the two main issues. In terms of fundraising, we had amazing support from some very generous people. From 5 euros to 1200 euros, from individuals and organisations, it all added up to enough to complete the mission and the team members are very grateful for that. It’s also inspired a few individuals in Nepal to work on the fundraiser for 2019 which is fantastic.  

With regard to visas, applications from Nepal are distrusted by default as many Schengen visa holders from Nepal in the past have overstayed to work. Chhechee and Purna had their visas rejected initially as they had not held a Schengen visa before. That was the only difference between them and the four who did get a visa. We spent money to get them to Delhi to contest their visa rejection with additional supporting documents to prove they were genuine cases, and thanks to the Spanish consul for looking favourably on their case the second time around. Thanks to Alejandro Ouziel for his intervention to make this happen.

Looking forward to 2019

The 2019 Trail World Championships race is a ‘short’ race of around 50 km to be held in Portugal. This means it is potentially more competitive, but then Nepal has a lot of male runners in the Nepal Army, Police and Armed Forces Police continually training for the marathon distance. In the women’s category there is work to do to find the best runners in this category but certainly there are more than the 80-90 km category.

Stepping back a little, there are some complications too. The Nepal Athletics Association struggled to answer emails to it from the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) and volunteers had to step in to do everything from communications, paying membership fees, selection, fundraising, payments, providing equipment – actually everything. It’s not known if Nepal Athletics Association even know that athletes attended a World Championships Event.

Hopefully this will change in future through a Nepal Trail Running Association magically being formed. Without that, all efforts remain unofficial.

Having said that, the things that would make for a more competitive 2019 TWC from Team Nepal would be:

  • A team of up to six men and six women distilled from a larger selected squad.
  • Selection based on performances in comparable races in Nepal (Annapurna 100, Nepal Ultra Trail, Stupa to Stupa) above other more practical factors.
  • A training programme up to the race tailored to the course, designed and supported by a coach.
  • Better understanding of the course and the challenges it presents including temperature & clothing required, gradients, terrain underfoot etc.
  • Understanding how to optimise team ranking, which teams are the threats etc.
  • Optimising nutrition consumption & aid station stops etc. It was amazing to see team USA – Zach Miller throw his running pack to his team and receive a fully charged new one in response, ready to go.

There is a lot to do to be competitive and trail running is only getting more competitive. The idea that Nepal must have champions simply because it is a mountain nation is a nice thought and there is a great underdog story to root for. Making a really competitive team however requires resources, a professional approach, and a lot of hard work!

Thank you

Thank you for your support for this successful mission! Special thanks to Paul Bolla, Daniel Prime and Martial Collomb for being team support crew. Thanks Max for hosting the fundraising site. Thanks Alex Ouziel for helping getting Chhechee and Purna get their visa. Thank you to generous sponsors who tipped the balance: Shikar Pandey at Everest Marathon, Nic Heaney and family in Singapore, Niraj at, , Ram Puri, Jerry Lap & Skychasers and the 100+ other donors who made this happen.Gone Running HK, Salomon Nepal – thank you for your help with race shoes. Overstimms Asia – thank you also for supporting the pre-race, race and recovery nutrition – a very big help! 

Thank you from all the team! The story continues! See you in 2019!

* Given the women’s race was won by a woman from the flattest country on earth, maybe not so!

Nepal athletes start line

Nepal have competed in the World Trail Running Championships for the first time placing 14th in the men’s team event and 16th in the women’s event.

The first male from Nepal was Tirtha Tamang of Bhojpur finishing in 36th position. Chhechee Sherpa from Solu finished in 44th.

The course was 86 km long on small footpaths along an ancient pilgrimage route with climbs totalling 5000m.

The competition was open exclusively to teams selected by national federations and therefore gives countries an international ranking.

This was the first time that Nepal was able to compete in the team event at this level. The men’s team included Tirtha Tamang, Samir Tamang, Bed Sunuwar and Purna Tamang all from Nepal Army. The women’s team comprised Rojina Bhandari of Nepal Army, and Chhechee Sherpa and Manikala Rai.

Overall rankings are linked here and team rankings here.

runner at basecamp

A post by Piotr Babis who just ran from Namche to Everest Base Camp and back and was curious to know if that had been done as a Fastest Known Time…

runner at basecamp

“After visiting  Everest BC earlier that week I decided to challenge myself and visit this place one more time. I set for a return trip from Namche in a single day.  Despite having a couple of days rest I didn’t feel 100%, it’s seems really hard to recover at this altitude. I started at 5:37am at big Stupa and reached BC at 13:21. It seemed  all downhill from now but quick ascent over 5000m was really exhausting. Pretty technical downhill with few steep climbs didn’t go as fast as planned, especially that I didn’t want to risk injury. I was back at the Stupa at 21:21. The weather was great for most of the day with only few hours of snow and strong wind. Although I expected  a bit faster time I’m supper happy to complete this trail in 1 day (15h 44min ).

“To verify my time please check my Strava profile: Piotr Babis. It was recorded as 2 different activities since my watch died.”
Chhechee Sherpa Nepal

It’s 10 days to go before the 2018 Trail World Championships in Spain. Here’s a quick update!

There’s good news and less good news, as always.

Very good news is this:

  • €8,802.04 – has been collected over a very short space of time.
  • 5 Schengen visas have been granted allowing a legal window to enter Spain, race and leave.
  • Nepal have a male and female team in a World Championship Competition! Certainly a first time for Nepal trail running.
  • Amazing AWOO team running clothing has arrived.
  • A crew of three will be there to support the race with two vehicals.

Less good news is this:

  • Two visa applications were rejected and one athlete, Purna Tamang, will, currently, not go to Spain. Purna’s crime: not having been to a Schengen country before! The three other athletes with identical applications, who’d been issued Schengen visas before, were all approved. So it goes.

Chhechee Sherpa just won the Mustang Trail Race, 170 km of day to day stage running over a week. She’s in very good condition!

Chhechee Sherpa Nepal

After applying for the visa, for just an eight day period, and assuming it would be approved, or rather not possibly imagining it would be denied, she went to the Mustang Trail Race. On return two weeks later, collecting her passport it became clear that it did not have a visa in it. Very disappointing.

Thanks to the work of a diplomatic Spanish friend, the opportunity was created to challenge the decisions, but for Chhechee first to try make a complete team of three women.

A flight ticket to Delhi was bought at short notice to visit the Spanish embassy, a pick up from the airport arranged, a hotel, an assistant and a plan.

Unfortunately Chhechee did not know to arrive absolute minimum an hour before the flight to check in, and, armed with her full dossier of extra supporting information, check-in was closed. Oops.

Determined to make this work, a new flight ticket was arranged from Nepal Airlines fabulously un-modern office at the end of New Road.

A long story short, Chhechee managed to secure her visa. Purna Tamang however still has no visa and we’re working on that.

Bhim Gurung 2018

Bhim was 2nd place in Skyrunning World Extreme Series in 2017. In September 2017 Bhim began 12 months of service with the UN Peacekeeping forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL), a contract made a year before.

After 98 days and around 50 emails going back and forth with various people within Nepal Army and UNIFIL, the UN Peacekeeping Agency in Lebanon, the condensed response below put an end to Bhim’s hopes of racing this year, until after September 18 at least.

“Concerning Bhim Bahadur it is impossible as he is under the UN command. He should have declined for peace keeping mission. Sorry to say so. Regards ————“

That’s very sad. Bhim had made it to Salomon’s RESERVE team.

He was due to run the following races:

  • Transvulcania
  • Zegama
  • Mont Blanc Marathon
  • Sierre-Zinal
  • KIMA
  • Glen Coe

Maybe he will get to Glen Coe. Let’s see what the future brings for Bhim…


Samir Tamang Nepal

Samir Tamang winning 2nd place at the TDS race in 2014 © Franck Oddoux & Info Cimes

For many athletes, it is a dream to run representing their country in an international competition. Of course only a select few, the best in their country, get the chance. That also assumes that if you are the best in your country at a sport, you will get to compete at that level. That’s not necessarily true for Nepal, and especially Nepal’s trail runners.

Without going into details, there is no functioning structure in Nepal to support trail athletes and so technically speaking, they are not going anywhere.

So in this vacuum we’ve pulled together a plan and it is an expensive one, but if it works will have two teams, male and female, representing this mountainous country, which is thoroughly crisscrossed by amazing trails between its thousands of hillside villages, for the first time.

Why the Trail World Championships?

Given that Trail Running is not an Olympic sport yet (and many people are not looking forward to see how the Olympics might mangle this wild-ish sport into a for-TV format) the Trail World Championships is the highest level at which these runners can race. Additionally it is a team race, which is fairly rare, and this gives the athletes a better chance to represent their country and themselves in the team category.

Will Mira Rai and Sunmaya Budha run?

Neither will. Mira has a race calendar for 2018 with Salomon and Sunmaya is wisely staying with shorter races, which is where her talent lies. More about her later.

Who will run? What about the race? How to contribute?

Glad you asked! Here’s a handy website explaining these two things! Click the link below to proceed!

Hope you can contribute a little to the cost and the support the 7 runners online on the 12th of May 2018.

Sunmaya finishing line Gaoligong

Not everyone can be first of course – that’s sport. But not everyone who’s first can finish on such a fabulous finish line.

Before reading on, here’s a video of Sunmaya finishing. Super! Congratulations and thank you to the GaoLiGong organisers for a first class event.

The Gao Li Gong event is partnered with the UTMB organisation in France. While the terrain is different to UTMB, it offers challenging courses through some beautiful landscapes, with the quality standard of UTMB applied.

Based on Sunmaya’s previous performances in Hong Kong, and Chamonix last summer, she was invited to compete in the 50 km race, the THT “Tea and Horse Trail”.

Anyone at the event will have been impressed by the start. Under the huge arch in the square of Tengchong, smoke machines and amplifiers created an excited atmosphere resembling a rock band about to come on stage. Elite runners were invited on stage wave to the amassed pack of regular athletes. For Sunmaya, a pretty exciting start to the day.

Early on in the race, at checkpoint 1, pictured below, Sunmaya was already at pace and around 7th position. Too fast maybe? TNF athlete Meredith Edwards was some 10 minutes back in 2nd position.

Sunmaya budha CP1 Gaoligong

All turned out to be well. Sunmaya maintained the pace throughout the course, moving fast on the uphills and taking ground on the descents. At checkpoints she waited seconds only, grabbing some liquid and keeping moving. 2nd woman was way behind, but Sunmaya ran it like she would be caught at any moment.

At the finish, Sunmaya looked reasonably fresh, and very happy. The finish was a similar show, with one of China’s TV Sports announcers entertaining the crowd with the rousing GaoLiGong Ultra Trail theme tune being played in the background.

Congratulations Sunmaya! Do you think that winning Gaoligong was your best result in a running race so far? Why?

-Yes, definitely! The finish time was good but unlike last year when I was suffering as I run; this year I didn’t even know the race was done!

What was your plan for the race?

I was going for the podium for sure. Richard Bull was with me, so I was tense. As I said, last year [at Wulong] due to various reasons I could not perform as I wanted. This year with more experience, being more familiar with 50 km and better trained, my plan was to do my best. That would help me with more opportunities in future.

What do you think about when you run in the lead? Are you stressed? Worried?

Being in lead there are many strong runners chasing you all through the course so I was tense and felt I had to run hard and do my best.

The woman in second, Meredith Edwards, is a world class runner, but you beat her by over an hour. Was she close to you during the race?

I rarely look back when I race, I didn’t see her since the start. I would have loved to run some of the trail with her and learn from her.

Did you find the Gaoligong race course easy or hard?

Last year, it was my first race in China in Wulong and I had problems. I had some bad food before the race and I vomited during the race and got very cold and tired. This year I was enjoying the course very much. After the 4th checkpoint, I was slightly worried about my muscles but the trail was easy. It was one of my best runs.

How did you prepare for Gaoligong race, what training did you do?

I did some interval training. Some up and downs every day. Nothing specific, i just ran around the hills of Kathmandu.

You won Stupa to Stupa three weeks after Gaoligong, did you feel tired still?

I haven’t done many races in Nepal so even though I was tired I went for it.

How long did you spend after Gaoligong before starting to train again?

I rested for five days then I had to go back to the hills with my shoes. The hills around Kathmandu are my playground.

What was your favourite thing about Gaoligong race?

Trail marking was beautiful and the atmosphere. Food was much better this time. And, I loved the trophy!

What did you like about Tengchong (the place where Gaoligong was held) ?

The place reminded me of my home, Jumla. The hills and forest. It was better with Richard there to take care of certain things. He was a guardian.

Everyone at Gaoligong misses you – Pavel, Yishi, Samantha, Nathan, Daniel. Do you have anything to say to them? We all want you to learn English soon so that we can talk to each other.

I miss them so much and am as grateful. Without them the race for me was only a dream. I didn’t know english or chinese. They were at the checkpoints which gave me an energy and will to run better. Their presence and company was a joy.

I am doing best with my english classes as well!

Are you back in training now? What is your training plan for a week?

Yes, I am. Lizzy Hawker and Mira Rai have given me an effective plan. I have started rock climbing as well. I run every day but not more than 10 km. One 30 km once a week.

Are you back in Kathmandu or in Jumla?

I am in Kathmandu for my english lessons.

What are your future plans for racing and training?

After Stupa to Stupa, I went to Everest region for a half marathon and won. It started from above 5600m. I am focused now on Skyrunning and Golden Trail Series.

What are your plans for your future?

I want run more at the moment. Get some good racing done and win, hopefully. I am looking for some sponsorship. With it I will have some freedom to pursue my dreams. I want to teach and train the younger generation some day.

Are your family proud of you and support you?

I come from a traditional background so running was not encouraged. I was asked by my parents to pay more attention to my school but now they are happier with my goals. I bring home many medals. They are proud but still want me to improve my english.

Do people recognise you on the street in Nepal now? : ) like they recognise sister Mira)

I am not as popular as sister Mira. Still, i have people who support me everywhere. It make me happy.

Which race do you most like to run in the future? (UTMB, etc)

Skyrunning and Golden Trail Series is my focus right now.

Follow Sunmaya on her FACEBOOK PAGE

Thanks to Hiro, Rishi and Anuj at Astrek for the interview and translation.

Nice trails, Kathmandu

See all the photos here

Saturday’s 54 km foot race on trails between two celebrated Buddhist stupas was won by a woman. Sunmaya Budha crossed the line at Boudha Stupa in 5:36:29. “She’s got great running style, she just flys,” said Roman Evarts of Lithuania, who was leading until taking a wrong route after 41 km.

72 runners started the 54 km race at 6:14 am from Swayambhu temple with the aim of finishing the route within 12 hours, which most achieved.

“Thank you for an incredible introduction to Nepal, I flew in from Hong Kong to run this race and I was not disappointed. The trails were such a pleasure to run and the race was impeccably organised, with clear markings and great CPs. I can’t wait to come back and race again with Trail Running Nepal,” said Tanya Bennet from Hong Kong.

The race will take place again in March 2019.

Manish Tamang at the 45 km point. 


Women’s result

1 12 Sunamaya Buddha 5:36:29
8 45 Chhechi Sherpa 6:36:41
18 46 Rashila Tamang 7:34:00
23 36 Chhoki Sherpa 7:59:21
31 137 Jocelyn Powelson 8:37:17

Men’s results

2 106 Simon Castro-Wooldridge 5:38:37 Male
3 120 Keith MacIntosh 5:43:46 Male
4 155 Sher Bahadur Tharu 5:51:34 Male
5 16 Sujal Gurung 6:04:06 Male
6 20 Anil Kumar Waiba 6:07:08 Male

Full results can be found here.

Sunmaya Budha runner nepal

Good luck Sunmaya for her next race coming up in China in March 2018.

After gathering a good ITRA ranking in 2017, Sunmaya was invited to compete in the THT 55 km event at Gaoligong by UTMB®.

Here’s Mira Rai posting her own good wishes for Sunmaya.

Sunmaya last competed in the Manaslu Trail Race, which was held last November. She beat Skyrunning World Champion Ragna Debats, which was great for Sunmaya’s ITRA ranking, though Ragna was far from on form with a painful stomach problem for the duration of the race.

Sunmaya was lucky enough to benefit from one month of training in Malaysia with the family of Lloyd Belcher.

The course at Gaoligong is not too hilly and is fast. Will it suit Sunmaya, let’s see. She comfortable around the 55 km mark and stated she is not ready for distances longer than this.

Good luck Sunmaya!

Thanks a lot to Tyler Wasson for writing this post about his experience of Nepal’s Stupa to Stupa Ultra Trail Race in 2017. Here we go! 

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Waiting for sunrise and the start I saw monkeys eating breakfast and locals completing their morning koras around the main temple.

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I was happy to see clear skies. Kathmandu can be incredibly smoggy but today was clear. I started daydreaming about the impending views of the Himalayas and the city.

The race started by dropping from Swayambhunath’s steps and across Ring Road before quickly climbing steeply out of chaotic Kathmandu to the first of many temples. I was happy to get the steepest climb over with early; however, a poor young “flat lander” from Australia running with me, participating in his first ultra, was struggling to maintain a conversation. He had never been at altitude and after a few kilometres he was forced to take my advice and slow his pace.

After cresting the first hill we began the most enjoyable portion of the course, a gradual descent in the dense Nagarjun Forest Reserve. Kathmandu felt a thousand miles away. I chatted with a few other runners and the kilometres passed easily.

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Shortly after the first checkpoint, around 23km, I caught up with a small group of runners debating the way – apparently a local village kid had taken the bright pink ribbon. We decided to go left at the fork, apparently this was the wrong choice and an old man whistled and pointed us in the other direction. I was happy for the company. We shared food, water, sun cream, and words of encouragement but some of us were feeling better than others and we separated along the long, steady climb to Danda Gaon (2,200 metres) in Shivapuri National Park.

I was alone again when I got the best views of the Himalayas. The amazing checkpoint crews along the way kept me provided much needed company along with plenty of water, juice, and bananas. At one point I scared a monkey off the path with my footfall. His surprise at seeing me let me know that the previous runner must have passed some time before me.

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Before long I arrived at Nagi Gumba, around 45km, signifying the end of the major climbing (2,330 metres). It was literally downhill from here.

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The steep descent was coloured blue, white, red, green, and yellow with prayer flags and temples almost the entire downhill, and I started to see locals again which told me the end was getting close.

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After all the climbing the downhill was particularly difficult but upon arriving at the outskirts of Kathmandu I found the reserve energy necessary to run the entirety of the final few kilometres. Still, returning to the chaotic city was a shock to the system after 50 kilometres in the forest. 

The beer at the rooftop bar overlooking Boudhanath and the finish line tasted particularly good. There is something about covering 53km on your legs in one day in the Himalayan foothills that makes everything taste better. I had intended to count the number of temples along the route but somewhere along the way I lost track. I noticed too that I hadn’t recorded all of my splits. This, I convinced myself, was for the best – perhaps the particulars are not as important as it was to embrace the experience.

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Thanks Tyler – hope you enjoyed it!

Find out more about the 2018 race here:


running pokhara 1

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.

running pokhara 5

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.

running pokhara 7

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.

running pokhara 6

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.

running pokhara 3

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.

running pokhara 2

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.

running pokhara 1


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.

running pokhara 4

Happy trails, everyone!

Langtang Ganja Kanja La

Langtang Ganja Kanja La

Atop the Kanja La, Langtang

Sudeep Kandel and Seth Wolpin, co-owners of Himalayan Adventure Labs (HAL), report a recent attempt at what they call the ‘Langtang Lollipop’. The two set the FKT for the Manaslu Circuit in 2015 and have a number of successful fast packing adventures under their belt.

Langtang kanja la trek

The original plan – a lollipop course. Maybe next time!

For this adventure, their goal was to leave Kathmandu on foot and travel north on the Helambu trail before starting a giant clockwise circle that would take them through Gosaikung, across Lauribina Pass, up the Langtang Valley, and then south via the remote and rarely visited Kanja La before returning on foot to Kathmandu. They co-led a group of 6 people, all endurance runners, and traveled in their usual fast pack style: quick, light, and self-supported. Unfortunately, the team ran into deep snow on Kanja La and had to back-track and exit the Langtang Valley from Syrabu Besi.


Tangled rhododendron forest on the way to Yangri peak

This was their second attempt on this route, last October the two tried to do it from the other direction after acclimating by leading their annual fast pack on the Annapurna Circuit. While they made it over Kanja La, they were unable to travel as planned at night due to lingering monsoon rains and had to exit the valley from Syrabu Besi after running out of time.  The two are now recruiting for another team to attempt this route in 2018 – planning 13 days on trail, including acclimatization days, and departure in late May when snow levels are lower in the passes.  They are also organizing a number of other small group, cultural, fast packs in Nepal – all designed for trail runners. Check out their website for more information or follow them on facebook:

Seth and Sudeep have laid out their 2018 plans here with a full supply of info including profiles and distances day by day!

For GPS tracks from the Ganja la (or is it Kanja La?) you can find this previous report from Michael Collins: 

Lefteris Paraskevas Annapurna Circuit

Here we have some news in from the world of endurance athletes who like to travel long distances with little sleep and test their personal boundaries.

The letter received:

### START ###

Greetings from Greece,

On 28-April-2017, an athlete of our team achieved a new FKT of the classic route of Annapurna Circuit completely by foot.

Because of that, it is important for him and our general effort to validate this record and communicate this achievement in order to accomplish the purpose of this effort which is the support of a Greek institution “Κιβωτός του Κόσμου” , which  help orphans and single-parent children of Greece.

We are sending to you the corresponding proof of Lefteris Paraskevas‘ record as well as information about his total effort in order to receive a validation of that record.

Lefteris Paraskevas achieved running the circuit in 68 hours and 22 minutes starting from Besisahar in 28-April-2017 at 6:00 am, following all the classic route of Annapurna Circuit and finishing it in 1-May-2017 at 2:22 am beating the previous record of 72 hours from Mr Seth Wolpin.

Most of his effort was documented in video from his friends so further proof can be sent upon request.

The whole effort was supported and followed by a representative of A-TREKKING TEAM, Mr Sona Goparma [ tel: 9805938631], a Sherpa of the agency.

The effort was communicated through a facebook page in Greek:

Lefteris Paraskevas started running in 28/4/2017 at 6:00 am from the Bus Station of Besisahar
20170510-New Annapurna Circuit Fastest Known Time_
New Annapurna Circuit Fastest Known Time start
20170510-New Annapurna Circuit Fastest Known Time

After 31 hours [45 minutes of total sleep] , Lefteris Paraskevas passed through Thorung La

Annapurna Circuit FKT

Lefteris reached Nayapul Police station in May 1st, 2:22 am [with a total of 5.5 hours of sleep] and completed the circuit in presence of Sherpa Sona Goparma as representative of the travel agency A-Trekking Team and a police officer of the station.

Lefteris Paraskevas Annapurna Circuit

New Annapurna Circuit Fastest Known Time finish
Lefteris had legally a permit for this crossing which was validated in the checkpoints that were open during his cross.
Information of this crossing exist into the checkpoints’ record.

Please inform us if this record can be validated and if further proof is needed please send to us a list of the appropriate proof.

### END ###

Congratulations Lefteris!! While for this kind of FKT effort, there is no official validation, we’re happy to publish this on these pages so that others will know the current state of Annapurna FKT.

Mardi Himal Trek

A guest post from Tyler Wasson describing the Mardi Himal trek experience. Want to go here? Fill the form at the bottom and Pokhara-based Freedom Adventures will help you out. 

I have been living in Nepal for seven months and as a trail runner, I like to get off the beaten path whenever possible. During my first few months along a more common trekking route to Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) I spotted other trekkers along a ridge to our west. After some investigation, I discovered they were heading to Mardi Himal Base Camp (MHBC) and I added it to my “Must Trek” list, however I did not get the chance until five months later. This March a group of friends and I carved out the time and made the trek.

A Jeep took us from Pokhara to the village of Landruk (1,620 metres), which can also be easily reached from ABC making this a great add-on to that trek.

That first day we undertook the short and steep 800 metre climb to Forest Camp (2,630 metres), staying at a small lodge by ourselves. In March the rhododendron trees were blooming, and though the jungle was a little bit dry there were still plenty of ferns, mushrooms, forest flowers, and evergreens, as well as a viewpoint overlooking the eastern side of the Annapurna Himal.

Want to find out more about how to do this trek?

Enquire about Mardi Himal trek facilitation

Don't have long, this is a great trek to do to get up close to the mountains after walking through gorgeous forest. You can make it from two days to probably five. You need permits and transport arranging however....
  • Give any useful information, like the number of days you want to trek for, and likely start date.

Next day we lunched at Low Camp (2,990 metres). But we pushed on past “Middle Camp” to High Camp (3,580 metres) for the night as just above Middle Camp you start getting views of the mountains, including Mardi Himal, Machapuchre (Fishtail), Annapurna South and Hiunchuli, plus the lodges at High Camp are better than Low Camp.

Mardi Himal Trek

From High Camp it was a 2.5 hour climb up to MHBC (4,500 metres), walking along a ridge most of the way that deceptively makes you feel like you could just keep climbing just a few hours longer and summit Mardi Himal, however just a few metres beyond Base Camp it gets significantly more technical. A Frenchman ahead of us ventured only a few feet beyond the warning signs and fell into snow up to his shoulder; luckily his guide was there to rescue him. On the way up we came so close to Mardi Himal that Machapuchre disappeared with each snowy footprint.

While trekking through the jungle is beautiful what makes this trek unique is the sunrise and sunsets at High Camp and the views along with way to Base Camp and back. By walking along the ridge you have clear views of snowcapped peaks during the day and then of the sunset while sitting over the sea of clouds that block Pokhara and the Mardi Khola.

Mardi Himal truly is a hidden gem, one of the last so close to bustling Pokhara. The locals have started to catch on to this fact while few westerners have yet to. We saw double the number of Nepali trekkers than foreign ones. Despite being a “new” trek, the trails were clearly marked and well-maintained, that is until the descent.

On the way down we took a “new trail” suggested by one of the lodge owners that dropped us roughly 1,700 metres in six hours through step dry spring beds to the village of Sidhing, which is large enough to have a few places to sleep. We asked around until we found a local couple willing to prepare us some noodle soups for lunch while we waited on the next Jeep back to Pokhara.

-Tyler Wasson

It’s all over! the first race of the soon to be famous Kathmandu Trail Series is completed.

It started, now it’s finished – see you at the next race everybody!

Posted by Trail Running Nepal on Sunday, 19 February 2017

Just over 190 people registered and 160 of those actually got out of bed to run.

Mira Rai could not be there in person, but was on a cleverly designed lifesize selfie-board.

Mira Rai selfie

Mira Rai selfie

The course proved that entertaining, challenging trails can be found very close to the city. The series aims to hold short Saturday morning trail races on a monthly basis close to public transport stops.


Category results given below under the photos, but the link to the full table you can find here.


There were a few reports of short cutting from the first three participants. This would not affect the result and for this time we let the result stand. In future course design will keep checkpoints in places where a shortcut would be possible.


  • “Thank you very much organiser team for that excellent marking (Manish Tamang) #preeti didi was like ‘cherry on a cake'”
  • “I would like to thank all of you organizer, it was fun and management was excellent….”
  • “Thank you Trail Running Nepal and the team for organizing this amazing run …” – Team Nepal Dynamic Running Club
  • “Thank you too much trail running Nepal, great race! Congrats to the winners and participants!” – Jimi Oostrum


Thanks to the volunteers at the checkpoint and registration. Come join as a volunteer next time!

Selected photos

Anuj left the series to pursue photography projects. He did an awesome job with branding materials including logo and style, posters, flyers, photography and video. More of his work and contact details can be found on his website.

All the photos from Anuj can be found on his Facebook album.

Male Lions 40+

1 192 0:59:35 M DAMODAR BUDHA MAGAR 40+
9 15 1:07:45 M Raj PRADHAN 40+
11 28 1:08:30 M Bhim Bahadur Gurung jee 40+

Male Eagles – 18-39

2 196 1:00:09 M NARAYAN DESAR 18-39
3 193 1:00:29 M RUPLAL BUDHA MAGAR 18-39
4 177 1:04:57 M Mahesh THAPA 18-39

Male Cubs – Under 18

22 131 1:15:06 M Samdup Tamang U18
25 130 1:17:15 M Mangal Singh Tamang U18
41 184 1:34:06 M Regan Shrestha U18

Female Lions

65 137 1:46:57 F Shasa SHRESTHA 40+

Female Eagles 18-39

30 78 1:19:19 F Victoria Louise STEVENS 18-39
36 26 1:30:15 F Sita ACHHAMI 18-39
48 77 1:35:04 F Vivian CASTRO-WOOLDRIDGE 18-39

Female Cubs Under 18

26 191 1:17:56 F Humi BUDHA MAGAR U18
42 82 1:34:25 F Sunita GIRI U18
51 81 1:38:02 F Rama GIRI U18


Annapurna running trail view

Sometimes this website receives nice and excitable messages about people’s recent journeys in Nepal. This one from Severin Wuensch in Germany linked to a video that strings together moment after moment of many of the best things Nepal has to offer mountain travellers. Watching it naturally makes you itch to head to these remote valleys. Severin comments,
“Running through Nepal was the most crazy thing I did last year! But I loved it, I enjoyed it, and I would do it again. And here is what I saw during our journey up and down the mountains…” and then comes the video! More information about the running trip he was on here.

A post shared by Severin (@thewalkinggiant) on

Running Nepal – Trailrun around the Annapurna

Running through #Nepal was the most crazy thing I did last year! But I loved it, I enjoyed it, and I would do it again. And here is what I saw during our journey up and down the mountains:

Posted by The Walking Giant on Saturday, 11 February 2017

In case you are nerdy and wondering, I asked already, ‘which equipment was used to film this?’ Answer: Panasonic GH4 and Devin Graham Signature Series Glidecam for stabilisation. With that out of the way, I asked Severin some further questions.

“Lots of shots into the sun!” says a sunglasses wearing friend. Yes, wasn’t the weather great!

  1. Running at altitude is hard – how much running actually went on among the walking?!
    Most of the group I traveled with ran everything below 3700m. In general everybody was free to run or walk as much as he or she liked.
  2. It looks deserted, there are very few people – what time of year did you go?
    We did the trip last year in November and we had no clouds at all until the last day, so that was great! Yes, it looks a little deserted at that time.
  3. Any tips for someone who wants to film running?
    Take a camera that is as light as possible, don’t do what I did and do the entire track with a heavy camera gear in your hand 😉
  4. The treks in Nepal are famous for quickly changing landscapes, low-altitude lush river valleys, to super high altitude mountain scenery – which was your favorite section?
    I love these always changing landscapes, from jungle and rice fields to moon-like with no green at all. But the trail right before Manang was my favourite part, from the blue river to the green fields to the dirty trail to the white mountain tops, all in one picture.
  5. Some say the Annapurna trail has been ruined by road development – what is your feeling about that?
    As long as the treks on the other river side are still there I don’t think it’ll ruin the track, I didn’t notice the road that much.
  6. Finally, why did you put the effort in to make this short film?
    I enjoy making those kind of short films about traveling the world, and Nepal is such a great place to film at, I could point my camera anywhere and just press record and it would look great! Making those short films enables me to travel the countries I want to see, and watching my own videos enables me to relive these incredible experiences I had there. And it’s great that I can share this with other people around the world and I hope to encourage them to visit this beautiful country as well.

Thanks Severin for your efforts and sharing them! You can find more of Severin’s videos and photography on his page at The Walking Giant and The Walking Giant on Instagram.

A post shared by Severin (@thewalkinggiant) on

“This 18 year old girl is really impressive,” say Salomon Running on Twitter. That’s a big thing to hear from the world’s biggest and best trail running sports team. Salomon Nepali runnerThat came midway through the MSIG Lantau 50km race in Hong Kong last weekend (December 4th). And then this at the finish line, “Sunmaya finish 2nd of her first 50km race!! What an amazing girl 👍Congratulations!!!”

But don’t forget Purna Laxmi Neupane. Sunmaya 2nd behind the current trail running world champion, and Purna coming on 4th not too far behind an Adidas sponsored athlete. Both just 18, both running their first 50 km distance on a particularly tough course. Normally both are training for athletics events, for 5, 10 or 21 km races, which of course are on road or track.

It’s another result for connecting talent with opportunity. Sunmaya and Purna came to the Manaslu Trail Race in November after wins in short distances at the Kathmandu Ultra and Godawari Running Festival. Manaslu is a stage race, and the rest of the competitors watched these two girls push hard day after day, beating the times of winners of previous years. It was clear there was talent that needed a bigger opportunity.

Specialist running photographer, and director of the Mira film, photographed the race, and made a small photoshoot before the event.

And so Hong Kong. Mira Rai came second in this same race in 2014, but is recovering from injury. Would she take them to Hong Kong and mentor them for the race? “Yes, why not. Very great!” was Mira’s predictable response. And so with favours called from all directions, after a busy 5 or 6 days, the girls had a new passport, a Hong Kong visa, and paid for flight tickets, and an amazing experience ahead of them.

We can talk about meeting the sea for the first time, or discovering that it is salty, and all of the wonderful things that happened, including proving their talent and winning prizes.

But in this short space, better to remark on their courage. Both are young girls from a remote mountain area, and to be running, as they do with Karnali Sports Club, is a breakthrough in itself. What they are doing is showing that women can do whatever men do and more, going directly against ingrained patriarchal attitudes. Here Sunmaya speaks with the Chinese News Agency in Kathmandu.

“My family is against my choice of getting into sports. Rather, they want me to settle down. But I want to continue my studies and and become a national player some day. I hope they would change their mind then.”

Saroj Shahi is a coordinator at Karnali Sports Club, founded by Nepali running legend Hari Rokaya, said to Xinhua,

“We are on the drive to engage more and more number of young girls into sports to help them fight illiteracy, discrimination and social stigmas. The craze is increasing gradually and we are hopeful that it will bring positive changes soon.”

Worth reading the full article here.


Saroj sent photos from the club training in all seasons, posted in the gallery below.

Their aim is worth supporting. Lizzy Hawker recently dedicated her 42-day, 1600 km Great Himalaya Trail epic to raising money to enable girls to run. Her fund is still open, and you can add a donation to it. It’s not just about running, or winning, but changing attitudes, widening horizons and improving lives. It’s important.

Once again congratulations to Sunmaya and Purna Laxmi. Amazing women!

Karnali Sports Club in action!