Picture Credit PEXELS

If you are in Nepal or are planning to visit, trail running is one activity you shouldn’t miss. Mind you though, it is not for the faint-hearted. The rugged terrain and low oxygen up-hill climbs can take a toll on even the strongest of lungs, but the satisfaction one can get from completing such a daunting task is unmatched. If you are a runner and have a competitive edge, then you will find no dearth of opportunities in Nepal. Read on to know more about some of the Historical runs that the valley is famous for.

Trail Running Nepal organizes several ultra-trail races around the valley. Marathons, stage-races, multi-day races, single day ultras, fun runs are some of the categories they organize races in. In addition, if you are hunting for UTMB points, there are indeed some available in Nepal. The system of grading and awarding points though has changed dramatically during the past year with the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) taking on the role of certifying races. So before picking up a race, make sure it is properly certified. Following are the ones you can participate in –

Date Race Name Distance/Stages Altitude
June 23, 2018 Sindhupalchowk International Trail Race 50/21 km in 1 Stage 1800m
September 8, 2018 Godawari Running Festival 50,30,10km in 1 stage +/-2500m
September 15, 2018 Annapurna Circuit Fast Pack 2018 228km/142.6miles in 10.5 stages 11,846m/38,836ft
October 5, 2018 Royal Penguin Marathon 52km in 1 stage +/-3000m
October 27, 2018 Annapurna 100-50 and 100 km ultras 100km in 1 stage +5500m
November 2, 2018 Annapurna Mandala Trail XVIII by Raidlight 300km in 11 stages +/-15,000m
November 9, 2018 Annapurna Circuit Trail Run 236km in 13 stages +/-13,000m
November 10, 2018 Manaslu Trail Race 2018 130km + 40km hike in 7 stages 8,700m
November 13, 2018 The Great Buddhist Master Trail Marathon 42km in 1 stage n/a
March 16, 2019 Buddhist Stupa to Stupa Trail Ultra Marathon 54km in 1 stage +/-2000m
May 11, 2020 Himal Race 2020 – Sagarmatha – Annapurna 850-900km in 24 stages +/-40,000m


The Mustang Trail Race and the Manaslu Trail Race are excellent opportunities to test yourself as well as explore the valley’s majestic beauty through the remote trails. Permits, accommodation, food all are the remit of the organizers.

Through the Nepal Impact Marathon, you can help in volunteering and fundraising along with trail running. Inaugurated in 2016, more than 120 runners from all over the globe have participated in the race.  Through this marathon, a total of 143,000 pounds have been raised until now. This year, the Nepal Impact Marathon will be held from 12th to 18th November.

The Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon is an international high-altitude adventure sports event held from Mt. Everest Base Camp, crisscrossing the high Sherpa trails of Khumbu Valley on the 29th of May each year. This event celebrates the historical ascent on Mt. Everest by Late Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary on 29th May 1953. The 2018 edition is the 16th edition of this magnificent event. Runners from everywhere can take part in their desired categories 60km Extreme Ultra, 42km Full Marathon and 21km Half Marathon.

The Kathmandu Trail Race Series is a host of regular short and medium distance races around the valley. Each race carries a score based on the rankings of the participants. The scores will be added to the finale for the championship and surprising rewards will be given to loyal racers. Races will be held for three categories, divided by age – Under 18, 19-39, and 40+ age.

There is plenty going on here, but there is great scope for those who want to do their own thing. Any trail that is feasible for a backpacker is a feasible running route. Nepal is an easy country to visit and travel. One can fly airports like Lukla for the Everest area, or Jomosom or Humde for the Annapurna area. If you are someone ready to go up and running, Nepal has a lot more in store for you. Nepal lies in three climate and ecological zones and the experience of traversing through all three in one day is unparalleled. Its incredible cultural diversity, the majestic Himalayan range and the smashing views of its highest peaks are enough to make anyone skip a beat. Don’t wait. Start now!


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