Hari Rokaya in Jumla 2010 as the Himal Race passed through town. Thanks to Sylvain Bazin for the pic.

Hari Rokaya is now 49 and lives in Jumla in Western Nepal. Rather than paraphrase and rehash various articles about Hari, I will post links to short articles and let you soak up the story of Hari Rokaya.

Hari Rokaya, marathon runner, eats nothing other than plain old daal-bhat-tarkari. His training is similarly low tech, but you wouldn’t know that from this 39-year-old’s impressive record of first places. There is more to the story than a starchy Nepali diet. Rokaya’s is a tale of hard work, determination, perseverance, patriotism-and, sadly, corruption in the sporting authorities.

Marathon man – Nepali Times, Oct 2001 and similarly here:

“Hari’s job as an assistant coach in the Jumla District Sports Committee earns him Rs 7,000 a month, which he ploughs back into taking budding athletes under his wing. His trainee Laxmi Upadhaya, also from Jumla, is already a national runner. Hari has received numerous invitations to emigrate abroad, but choses to live and work in remote Jumla. He says simply: ‘I was born and brought up here. This is home.'”

Run, Hari, run – Nepali Times, Jul 2003 and a readers letter which clearly fell on deaf ears.

“…marathon man Hari easily won the final stage and finished the entire Annapurna circuit in an astonishing 24hrs and 5mins, making him the fastest person ever recorded to complete the circuit.”

Yak Attack 2007, Man vs. Bike on the Annapurna Circuit – Nic Cole Mar 2007

“Solar panels on the house roofs is common but why one in the corner of Hari’s room? ‘I take my camera along with me when I run,’ said the player who has been running over hills around the bazaar since his childhood. ‘The panel is for charging camera batteries.’ It is his hobby to take pictures of ‘beautiful scenes’ as he runs on high hills.

“A few weeks ago when the camera costing Rs 40 thousand fell to the ground and broke Hari had felt so angry that he ‘wanted to hurl that into the river.’ Luckily the camera still hangs on the wall. Nearby is a wooden box with a glass cover containing several medals.”

Hari Bahadur Rokaya Up Close and Personal – Dinesh Wagel July 2007

Can we get Hari to run the Annapurna 100 this January? Probably not. Latest news is that his son, Umesh, has his eye on the Everest Marathon!

Running CV

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