Hello from Kathmandu!
Here is another issue of our newsletter that is so infrequent it almost never comes. In this newsletter is the following facinating stuff:
The first ever proper trail race in Kathmandu Valley
Everest Sky Race: A few places left on an amazing race
Annapurna 100 new course
Post Annapurna 100 activity ideas?
Shivapuri Vertical Kilometre
Trail running is little-known as a sport in Nepal - we recently decided to bring it to the capital of Kathmandu and shove it under the noses of the media. To make it interesting, we ran the course to the top of the Shivapuri (~2,700m) and down again through the fabulous jungle trails there.
The monsoon rains made it incredibly green, and pretty slippy too - all part of the challenge together with 1100m of ascent over 10km. 103 people entered and every single one of them described the event as a great success! The winning times were phenomenal at just under 1:15:00. In case you didn't know, Nepal has fabulous trail running atheletes which we're trying to slowly get the world to know about.
See the Shivapuri Vertical Kilometre website here
. There's a map there and if you come to Kathmandu, you really should head up there and run some of the trails. Hopefully more non-hardcore events will be coming soon to KTM. Maybe it will become a craze here? More photos
Everest Sky Race
30 Oct - 14 Nov 2011:
This will be an incredible run through Nepal's most dramatic mountain scenery and over one of it's toughest glaciated alpine passes, the Tashi Labsta. The race comprises nine stages totalling 200km with 11,000 m ascent and 7,000 m down. The course route climbs over the Cho La, Renjo La, takes in the view from Kala Patar and finally ends up below the beautiful Ama Dablam at its basecamp.
It's like a month of some of the best trekking in Nepal compressed into two weeks. There are just a couple of places left open for this tough challenge. All-in cost is approximately 1500 Euro ex-Kathmandu. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
now if you would like to know more and see the itinerary and more details on the website
This weekend was recce weekend for the 100km course having been embarasingly turned back without park permits last time. And here it is:
Race Director Roger says:
"... the new course is fabulous but it is hard, really HARD. The additional loop adds considerable altitude - nearly all of it steep gradients (25%+). It is going to mean sharp cut off times and anyone not prepared to run many hours in the dark on technical trails should opt for the 70k, the route that is the best of both worlds: great route, a hard challenge but doable in daylight (good ultra mountain trail runners) to just a couple of hours in the dark. The 100 is only for those who can deal with around 5825 meters of positive altitude on largely technical mountain trails in 18 hours.
"But as last year, I expect most participants will not have to be convinced of going for the distance that tests their limits but is doable for them. They will make that decision for themselves. The Annapurna trails have that effect on runners: they are talking clear language and each gets their personal message. Clear language also means a check on disappointment. No, you haven't failed if you 'only' ran 50k or 70k or 75k or 85k (see below
). That is what the mountains granted you, and disappointment would be the worst possible response to it. Enjoy what was possible for you on that particular day, and take that home with you proudly."
So there you go! :) Read the full report and get the GPS on the everytrail website
Entries so far
So far we have somewhere between 60 and 70 international entries from all over the world, namely: Algeria, Australia, China & Hong Kong, Finland, France, Indian, Irish, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, The Land of the Swiss, Syria, UK and USA. Not all will do the 100km so no need to worry about the trails being jam-packed. Last year we only announced the event around this time, so hopefully by 1st January we should be a big, happy, very fit, international family, joined by lots of local runners including the fastest athletes in Nepal. If you haven't signed up yet - what are you waiting for
Post race trek or run?
Annapurna Basecamp at night. Photo: Alex Treadway.
If you're coming all this way to Nepal, why not extend your trip by a week and get right into the mountains. There are lots of options. Last year many ran to Annapurna Base Camp
which took 4-5 days. Lizzy Hawker walked the famous Annapurna Circuit in 5 (long) days. There are many other gentler post-race running options, and even leg-free options such as paragliding, kayaking, rafting and, er, eating lots by the lakeside. Just reply to this email and ask us about the options.
That's it for now. The next newsletter will / might come in a couple of weeks with talk about a hilly "Round Kathmandu Valley
" long-distance challenge which just needs a few people to try it. We'll also ask you about developing the sport of trail running further in Nepal and what advice you have for us to help get Nepal's best runners fulfiling their potential. And we'll hopefully have more to mention about Lizzy Hawker
who is going to tackle a long walk along the Great Himalaya Trail
. Bye bye until then!