[Reposting an article from the excellent Freetrail online magazine (MAY 9, 2023) about Sunmaya Budha looking at her amazing success last year in Chamonix after taking up sponsorship with The North Face Adventure Team, and how she got there. Find Sunmaya on Instagram]

Nepali runner Sunmaya Budha running
Credit: Asia Pacific Adventure

Sunmaya Budha is the 24-year old trail runner from Jumla, Nepal who stormed into the trail running limelight with her strong runner-up performance behind Blandine L’Hirondel at the 2022 CCC by UTMB (Courmayeur – Champex Au Lac – Chamonix) 100-kilometer event. L’Hirondel won the race in 11:40 with Budha crossing the line only five minutes behind her – both athletes well under the previous course record of 11:57 by Miao Yao.

For Budha this wasn’t her first time racing outside of Asia, but this time she was better prepared in terms of training and nutrition, along with great race with support from The North Face Adventure Team. Before her break out performance at CCC she also has wins at the 2021 Thailand by UTMB 100-kilometer, and the 2019 Oman by UTMB 50-kilometer to her name among various other great results. We however might have never seen her race in any event had she not overcome a challenging upbringing in a culture where according to Budha more value is often placed on boys. She was sickly and eventually set up for an arranged marriage, but she was supported by her mother and her prowess in trail running led her down a different path.

“My parents gave birth to one boy and then seven girls, they wanted to have one more boy in case something happen to my older brother. When I was very young I was on the verge of death due to sickness and malnutrition, and perhaps it wouldn’t have made any difference to my family if I was alive or dead. My mum said she looked into my eyes when I was sick and felt a strong determination to keep me alive. So she took me to work in mountains with her and used all her knowledge of natural medicine and prayers until I showed signs of surviving. I am immensely grateful to my mother for my life. I want to make her proud. I want my parents to believe that I was no less than a boy and I will be capable someday of taking care of the family much better than a boy,” said Budha.

Read the rest of the article here: https://freetrail.com/escaping-traditions-on-trails-with-sunmaya-budha/

Credit: Asia Pacific Adventure

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