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
Oldest Competitor- Jeniffer Murray (71 years) from UK
Chief Guest at the flagging off ceremony was Mr. Shankar Prasad Pandey (Secretary , Prime Minister’s Office, Nepal ). During the race, 219 participants from 40 countries will be testing their strength and endurance level by trying to cover a distance of 250 km in 7 days and 6 stages, carrying their own backpacks. The 250 km race course covers Kaski, Parvat, Baglung and Myagdi districts in the Annapurna region. Maximum altitude reached during the race will be 3,200 meters / 10,500 feet and total elevation gain across the full course is 9,000 meters / 29,500 feet.
Press Conference – NTB Pokhara
Addressing a press conference on 18th November 2011 at the NTB Hall in Pokhara, Mr. Suman Pandey, Nepal Director, RacingThePlanet:Nepal 2011, informed media persons that around 45 Everest summitteers are acting as volunteers in this event. The event organizers have tried to make use of locally available commodities and other facilities as much as possible, so as to boost local economy and tourism .
RacingThePlanet, an international organization specializing in high endurance races is the official organizer of the race. Explore Himalaya the logistic arranger of this event wishes all the participants the best of luck.
At a press conference held in the capital at Hotel Marshyangdi on 10th July,2011, RacingThePlanet, an international organization specializing in high endurance races and Explore Himalaya informed press and media persons about RacingThePlanet’s plan to organize a footrace in the Annapurna regionfrom 20th to 26th November, 2011.
Samantha Fanshawe, Vice President of RacingThePlanet, Suman Pandey, Nepal Director, RacingThePlanet : Nepal 2011 and Krishna Aryal, Coordinator, Special Adventures, Explore Himalaya responded to queries put forward by media persons during the conference. While Mr.Suman Pandey, President of Explore Himalaya is the Nepal Director of the event, his company Explore Himalaya is the logistics provider for the event.
RacingThePlanet: Nepal 2011 footrace will begin just outside Pokhara. Competitors will have to cover a distance of 250 kilometers within seven days, carrying their own equipment and food. They will sleep in both tents and tea houses supported along the way by highly regarded Sherpas and a professional medical and operations team. During the race, the course will venture close to Mustang Region and the altitude is not expected to go much above 11,000 feet. According to RacingThePlanet, one of their missions in organizing the race is to document and contribute to improving the lives of ethnic minorities and tribes in the areas they explore, and to encourage and support competitors to raise funds for their charities. In the Nepal race, competitors will be supporting over forty charities through their efforts.
Around 250 participants, plus 50 media reporters, staff and volunteers covering more than 40 countries will be involved in the event. As all events organized by RacingThePlanet have received wide publicity, the race in Nepal is also expected to garner attention from international as well as national media.
RacingThePlanet has its headquarters in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom and 11 offices worldwide. First founded by American Mary K. Gadams, the organization commenced operations from its base in Hong Kong in 2002 when it organized the Gobi March, an arduous seven day race set in the Gobi desert. TIME Magazine named the Gobi March the #1 footrace in the world. It was also named one of the world’s top ten endurance events. Since then RacingThePlanet has organized 29 events in 8 Countries, from China to Antarctica. The race in Nepal is going to be its 31st event. Official partners of the event are Nepal Tourism year 2011 and technology giant Intel.
(Pics: explore himalaya)
Good & hearty meals each day, more than what we expected! In Mustang the lodges were fairly good. Good price/ quality ratio. Good accommodation even in remote areas.