Every year the Mustang Trail Race heads up this small hill just north of Kagbeni, and almost always the first man and women to the top win the race nine days later.

two runners in Mustang
Suman Kulung and Anita Rai, winners of the male and female categories.

There is a good reason for this. Most of the participants in the race are not from Nepal and have no adaptation to altitude. Occasionally this rule is broken, with the occasional elite athlete from Colorado, USA running out at the front. But generally it is the young Nepali talents that are invited every year, that can climb the first hill effortlessly, and then stretch away from there.

Stage races have another issue to contend with: the likelihood of people to miss, withdraw from or lose many hours on a stage, due to a bout of travellers stomach, which is unfortunately reasonably common for first time visitors to Nepal.

The official results exclude those who did not complete a stage, but the working results used during the race, don’t exclude anyone, but just rank first by number of stages completed, then total time.

Another peculiarity of this race, and the Manaslu Trail Race (and no doubt several others), is the check-in, check-out checkpoints. We visit some stunning locations, including an ancient 8th century monastery, apparently the first Buddhist monastery in the Himalayan region, and it would be foolish to race on by without taking time to stop and appreciate. So the time spent at the checkpoint is deducted from the finishers time. This of course makes it confusing at the finish line, as the order people arrive is not the same as the time ranking.



  1. 24:20:18 – Anita Rai (Nepal)
  2. 27:57:08 – Katherine Macfarlane (UK)
  3. 30:02:08 – Ashton Teulon (Canada)


  1. 19:38:31 – Suman Kulung (Nepal)
  2. 25:32:24 – Simon Statman (UK)
  3. 28:14:37 – Ondrej Simetka (Czechia)

Find all of the Mustang Trail Race results on its results page.

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