Adventure Races

Experience Issue 167 Oct, 2015
Text by Anuj D. Adhikari / Photo: Anuj D. Adhikary

High-end adventure events in Nepal are on the rise. Whether pro or rookie, this is the perfect opportunity for everyone to take a jab at mountain biking and trail running races taking place throughout the country.

It’s the usual drill. Your alarm clock is broken. Breakfast meetings in the morning and social obligations after work keep you occupied. The gym hours are iffy. And good trails are on the other side of town. It’s no surprise that unconvincing excuses are a dime a dozen up your sleeve.

This season, step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to one of these amazing adventures. Discover yourself and get treated to an unparalleled experience as you break a sweat in diverse and some of the most rugged terrains imaginable.

Yak Attack

Late Fall / Annapurna region / Mountain biking race

Ever thought of trekking the Annapurna Circuit? How about race it on a mountain bike! Considered one of the toughest mountain biking races in the world, Yak Attack is also the highest in the world, where renowned athletes, including Le Tour de France cyclists, have taken part. Definitely not for the meek!

Kathmandu MTB Festival

Early Winter / Kathmandu / Mountain Biking race

The new event in town is already creating quite a buzz. Scheduled for the third week of November, Kathmandu MTB Fest also boasts the highest prize for the winners of its downhill and cross-country races and appeals to cyclists of all skill levels.

Tansen Ultra

Winter / Tansen, Palpa / Mountain Biking and Trail Running race

Prepare to be enthralled by the awesome trails of Tansen in bouts of urban downhill biking from Sringar hilltop, urban cross-country biking through the narrow ancient alleyways, and trail running to the symbol of Nepali romance, Rani Mahal. With a 5K charity fun race included, this race is open to everyone and all set to raise the bar.

Kathmandu Ultra

Winter / Kathmandu valley / Trail Running race

Run to the hills off the northern edge of Kathmandu in the protected woods of Shivapuri. Along the ridgelines you can see the majestic mountains on one side and the deep valley of the city on the other. The backbreaking climb to Shivapuri’s top will be equally challenging and rewarding. Several distances are available to choose from.

Himalayan Outdoor Festival

Spring / Kathmandu valley / Mountain Biking and Trail Running race

Celebrate the outdoors with this laid back festival of mountain biking and cycling in Kathmandu. The event welcomes not just adventure enthusiasts but party-goers as well, with a line-up of amazing artists playing in the evening. Accommodation is in tented camps, making it one of a kind in Nepal.

Annapurna Marathon

Spring / Annapurna region / Trekking and Trail Running race

Combine the best of both worlds as you trek the Annapurna Circuit, and race downhill from Jomsom, finishing in Myagdi Tatopani. Brace for fierce headwinds as you run in the Kali Gandaki Valley that becomes a wind tunnel by noon. Nothing will beat the feeling of dipping into the legendary hot springs in Tatopani following a challenging marathon run.

Everest Marathon

Late Spring / Everest region / Trekking and Trail Running race

It marks the anniversary of the first successful Everest ascent by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary. A trek to Everest Base Camp is followed by mass start of runners till Namche. Heralded as the highest marathon in the world, Everest Marathon is also among the oldest and most popular running races in Nepal.

Kathmandu Kora

Monsoon / Kathmandu valley / Non-competitive Mountain Biking event

Join thousands to circumnavigate Kathmandu on your mountain bike. The trails come in three levels: 50K, 75K and 100K. This non-competitive challenge is a fundraising event, the proceeds of which go towards a different social cause each year.

Annapurna 100

Fall / Annapurna region / Trail Running race

This ultra running race takes you to the most gorgeous of Nepal’s trails, through forests and steep ascents. Participants can choose either 100K or 50K for the race which takes place in fall. Don’t let the gorgeous mountains in the horizon distract you while racing.

Mustang Trail Race

Fall / Mustang region / Staged Trail Running race

Experience pure joy of racing in 8 running stages in the wild and rich deserts of Mustang. Reach the walled city of Lo Manthang following the old trading route between Nepal and Tibet, and discover ancient monasteries, caves and cultures that seem out of this world.

Manaslu Trail Race

Fall / Manaslu region / Staged Trail Running race

7 days of trail running ought to be an adventure of a lifetime. Race along the laps of one of the highest mountains in the world. You would reach high altitudes in several sections, and the trails will be tough. So make sure to train well before signing up.