Nepal from East to West

This year, the third edition of the Great Himal Race will take place between April and May 2017 and will cross in a single race all Nepalese Himalayas from East to West. The departure will be given to the Kangchen Jungna base camp on the Darjeeling border. The trail will cross the regions of Arun, Langtang, and Ganesh Himal, Manaslu, Annapurnas, Mustang and Dolpo to reach via Humla Valley to Hilsa, the last village on the western border of Nepal.

This extravagant trail requires to run 1800km, to cross 7 passes at more than 5000m and more than 90 000m of elevation gain. It is organized by a group of French runners, les chevaliers du vent, which organizes trails in the Himalayas for more than 15 years. Some trais have become classics like the Annapurna Mandala Trail or Everest Sky Race and this time the Great Himal Race. On each of these ultra trail are invited Nepalese runners who generally come out victorious: this year Upendra Sunuwar is one of the 9 invited runner. We met him a few days before his departure in the offices of Base Camp Trek, organizer of the Great Himal Race 2017.

Originally from the Sindhuli region of eastern Nepal, this 36-year-old athlete is not at his first attempt. Since 2009, he has participated in twenty trails and marathons in Europe and Asia. He won some, including the ultra marathon, Hong Kong. Competition is tougher in the Nepalese mountains where riders' performances are impressive. Last year Upendra finished 6th at the Ultra Everest Marathon that connects the 65km between Gorak Shep (5200m) and Lukla (2800m) in 5 hours and 3 minutes, trekkers route back from base camp from Everest travel in several days.

But these impressive performances often do not allow Nepalese runners to earn a living: "If it's possible, I'd like to become a professional runner for the next five years. But it is very difficult here to live with the trail, I need to exercise my activity of guide in parallel to survive. "In the absence of being able to live of his passion, Upendra is aware of the importance of these races which participate in the promotion of Nepal in general and the different regions crossed in particular "Running through Nepal allows to highlight the regions that are important to me, it is a kind of advertising! ".

Nevertheless, Upendra is considering the GHR with a little apprehension "This year we have high passes to cross and the route is very long. I think only 5 or 6 runners will be till the end of this unpublished trail. "

We wish Upendra and all the participants of this extraordinary adventure a wonderful race that we will follow as closely as possible!

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