A short report from Ramesh Bhattachan from November’s Trail Walker event in which six Nepali runners competed.
The Oxfam Hong Kong Trailwalker began in 1986 used to be organised by the Gurkhas as a tough training run. Now it is a charity race run by Oxfam and has thousands of participants, often running in teams. .
This year’s participation saw 1200 teams (4 runners per team) from 30 countries including a team from Nepal sponsored by Columbia Sports Hong Kong under the patronage of Swire Resources.
In the elite division Salomon France, Salomon Hong Kong (2 Nepalese runners-Samir Tamang and Ram Kumar Khatri included), North Face Hong Kong, New Balance Hong Kong and the Nepalese Teeam were considered the favourites to top the race.
For the first 50K the Nepalese Team were leading followed very closely by Salomon France and Salomon Hong Kong. After 60K point one of the member, Bhim Bahadur Gurung right knee started to let him down and the other team members slowed down.
Then at the 65K Salomon France, Salomon Hong Kong overtook the Nepalese Team and the gap started to widen. The North Face team was about 20 minutes behind. After the 81k point the team decreased their pace and the Salomon France broke last year record of 12 hrs 22 mins by coming first with a time of 11 hours 12 minutes.
Salomon Hong Kong(Michael, Jeremy, Samir,Ram Kumar) came second with a time of 11 hrs 16 mins followed by the North Face Team. The Nepalese Team came 6th overall with a time of 13 hrs 10 minutes. The Nepalese Team was coached and led by Ramesh Bhattachan, Chairman of Nepal Mountain-Ultra-Trail Running Service.