Racingtheplanet 2011 Nepal kicked- off at 7 am Nepalese time sharp on the 20th of November . A total of 213 runners from around 42 countries started the race from Mardi Khola. The day was more like a warm- up stage as the distance to be covered was only 27 kms. South African Ryan Sandes completed the course from Mardi Khola to Nayapul in just 3 hours and 8 minutes from the time of commencement. By 5:30 PM, all competitors were in camp 2, relaxing and getting ready for the second day.
Day 2 (Nayapul – Khaniyaghtat) 21 Nov, 2011
The second uphill stage of the race started at 7 am Nepalese time from Nayapul. It was again, Ryan who completed the course to Khanaiyaghat in just 3 hrs and 43 minutes. But, he was given strong competition by Australian Michael Ormiston who completed the 32 km trial, 14 minutes Ryan.
Day 3 (Khaniyaghat – Ghara) 22 Nov 2011
The third stage of the race was a 38 km uphill trial from Khaniyaghat to Ghara. The race started at 7 am Nepalese time with a total of 190 competitors. Yet again it was South African Ryan, who completed the race in a short span of 3 hours and 47 minutes. By this stage, he had built up a healthy lead of 90 minutes over all the competitors. In the evening, all competitors relaxed at camp 4 beside a huge campfire.
Camp at Ghara
Day 4 (Ghara- Birethainti) 23 Nov 2011
Day 4 of the race was relatively short, a 27.2 km trial which was covered effortlessly by South African Ryan in just 3 hours and 47 minutes. The race began with 179 competitors at 7 am sharp. The competitors took it slow and steady, conserving their stamina for the next day’s trail, which would be a tough one. On reaching Birethanti, the competitors were accommodated at Lodges.
Day 5 – 6 (Birethainti – Begnas) 24-25 Nov 2011
Day 5 of the race was a big day for all the competitors as they had to march 72 kms in the foothills of Himalayas. A total of 170 competitors started the race from the starting point at Birethainti at 7 am.
This stage for which the time limit was 1 night 2 days was completed in a single day by none other then the leader of the race, Ryan Sandes. Five checkpoints were set up on the trial to provide assistance to runners wherever necessary. Even a helicopter was put at standby to provide aerial rescue in case of emergency. The stage ended at 4 pm the next day when the last competitors crossed the finishing line. After two long days, the race was almost over for all the competitors as the next day was a 13 km run through the plains of Pokhara.
At Begnas Lake
Competitors being ferried across Begnas Lake
Day 7 Finish Line (Begnas – Fulbari Resort & Spa) 26 Nov 2011
The last day of the seven day marathon was quite easy. Competitors had to cover just 13 km. The whistle blew at 9:30 in the morning where 170 competitors started the race. Ryan Sandes was the undisputed winner of the race as he left all the competitors behind by 2 hrs. By 10:40 am, 55 competitors had completed the race. The race officially ended by 1:10 p.m.
Ryan Sandes – First competitor to cross the finish line
Among male competitors Ryan Sandes from South Africa bagged the first spot by completing the race with a timing of 25hrs 15mins and 25 seconds.Italian Steffano Gregoretti stood second with a timing of 27hrs 45mins and 9 seconds, and Australian Michael Ormiston grabbed the third place with the timing of 28 hrs 1min & 6 seconds. Among female competitors Stephanie Case from Canada took the gold spot by clocking 30 hrs 15mins and 09 seconds, Australian Samantha Gash came a close second with a timing of 30hrs 47mins 17 seconds and the third spot went to Katrina Follows from UK with a timing of 34hrs 03mins 17seconds.
The award ceremony was held at Fulbari Resort’s Banquet Hall in the evening at 7 p.m. Nepal’s Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation, Mr. Dilip Maharjan was the chief guest at the function.
A total of 18 support vehicles (land cruisers) were put to use during the event. Nepalese volunteers and support team included 35 mountain sherpas and 9 administrative staff from Explore Himalaya.
Pics: Mr. Saroj Baniya
IT Officer – Explore Himalaya