Extreme Races and Adventure Festivals in Nepal
I run, swim and cycle a lot in the Netherlands, but I’ve never combined all three. In Kathmandu, running around the valley rim has lifted my spirits. Swooshing on a bicycle down the hills in Pokhara has pumped up my adrenaline. And I just cannot compare jumping in a crisp mountain lake to a dip in a communal pool in Amsterdam.
So, for my new year’s resolution, I decided to participate in a triathlon in Nepal. I will combine my favorite sports and get myself trained and ready for the adventure of a lifetime!
The nature in Nepal is amazing. All kinds of sporting events occur in the towering mountains, the lush valleys and hills, or in the jungles of the lowlands. Nepal is an adventure playground for many sports: hiking, running, rafting, mountain biking, paragliding, canoeing, spelunking, climbing, etc. You could even say Nepal is the number one place in Asia for adventure sports!
If you are inspired to come to Nepal for a sporty adventure, here is a list of sporting events in Nepal that could make your active heart jump with joy. Many of these events also have shorter distance options, so even if you are only just a beginner, you could still participate.
Himalayan Outdoor Festival
This festival takes place in a nice resort not far from Kathmandu. It has ride (mountain bike), rock (climbing) and running activities, along with live bands, food stalls and shops. Be active during the day and socialize with your new friends in the evening.
When: Beginning of February
Himalayan Rush Triathlon
This Triathlon takes place in Pokhara. You swim in the lake, mountain bike through the mountains and finish off with a run. There are beginner distances (sprint), and bigger distances for the more experienced (standard). There is also and option to compete as a team and each pick one sport.
When: End of March
Ride a ‘just for fun’ race around the Kathmandu Valley on your own or on a rented mountain bike. Pick your distance of 50, 75 or 100 km. Your donation for participation will go to a good cause, such as health care in the mountains or creating mountain bike paths around the valley.
Godawari Running Festival
Get ready for a serious mud race and obstacle run! This festival is just outside Kathmandu and is packed with different sporting events, ranging from the 7 km muddy obstacle run to a 50 km trail race, all to promote an active lifestyle. This is a great day out, and definitely an event to plan your visit to Nepal around.
When: Beginning of September
For experienced runners only: bear in mind that marathons in Nepal can be much more challenging than in your home country as you will be covering vertical kilometers as well! A lot of exercise (such as climbing stairs) is needed beforehand to train your knees and ankles.
Article by Linda Ris and Fedor Ikelaar.
Top photo: akunamatata/Flickr