Discount on Salomon Equipment List for Manaslu

Our equipment for the Manaslu Trail Race we recommend to other participants. We offer a discount of 20 % for all participants of the Manaslu Trail Race 2016! Plus the costs for postage and possible duty!

Online store is here. For other items, send an email Stephan.


  • Salomon S-LAB Wings Trail running shoes (179,95 €)
  • Salomon S-LAB Exo-Twinskin Short (159,95 €)
  • Salomon S-LAB Exo Zip-Tee (99,95 €)
  • Salomon Exo Calfs (54,95 €)
  • Salomon Fast Wing Hoody (99,95 €)
  • Salomon S-LAB Hybrid Pant (199,95 €)
  • Salomon Running Gloves (24,95 €)
  • Salomon Running Hat Active Beanie (19,95 €)
  • Salomon S-LAB XAlp Down Hoodie (349,95 €)
  • Salomon S-LAB Advanced Skin 12Set Trailrunning Backpack (174,95 €)
  • Jack Wolfskin “Athmosphere” Down Pant (119,95 €)
  • Suunto Ambit 3 Peak (449,99 €)
  • Silva Trailrunner II Headlamp (70,- €)
  • Chainsen Pro for Ice and Snow (39,95 €)
  • Millet “Basecamp” Down Sleeping bag (239,95 €)


  • HOKA Stinson ATR (160,- €)
  • Salomon Trail Gaiters Low (24,95 €)
  • Leki Trailrunning Stick “Micro Stick Carbon” (129,95 €)


Manaslu: Fundraising through Photographs

This is aimed at the participants of the 2015 Manaslu Trail Race for whom these photos will have obvious meaning! Thanks to Mark Brightwell for the photography and the initiative to collect donations in this way.

Hi everyone,


First up, thanks for bearing with me.

The link is now live.

You can now order prints

. The proceeds will go to Trail Running Nepal’s ‘Solar Lights’ initiative.

Click to see the gallery

Click to see the gallery

Here’s how it works:

The original link I sent now works. This one should also take you there:

Go to ‘Open Gallery’

You can then chose ‘Slide Show’ or you can just scroll through.

Click on a photo you like to take it from the gallery.

Click on it once more to enlarge it.

Click again to reduce it.

Click ‘Buy Photo’ tab (top right)

Now select Size. It sounds obvious but you need to match the dimensions to the shot eg 10 x 10 is a square image – some of the images in the gallery are square, so would be appropriate. Others are landscape and thus with 10 x 10, you would lose a lot from the edges.

Next chose Lustre or Gloss. Particularly if you are looking to frame the images (which I recommend), I would strongly recommend Lustre. The difference is well explained here:

You then arrive at the Crop page. It’s important that you check the crop. You can select ‘Edit Crop’. Anything outside the red lines you will lose. So move the crop around until you have the fit you are happy with.

When you are happy, click ‘Done’ and follow the steps to ‘Check Out’.

What happens next?

The images you’ve ordered are sent to the very best professional lab in the UK, Loxley Colour. They do the necessary colour correction, print the images and then dispatch them.

They do dispatch internationally but there are exceptions. I’m pretty sure they won’t dispatch to Columbia or Nepal. In these cases they will dispatch to me and we can arrange onwards postage.

Other options:


Ultimately, from an artistic and egotistic point of view, I want my images to be hanging on your walls. And that’s why my main offering is of prints from a top end colour lab.

However, I am not inflexible and ultimately, what’s much more important is generating funds for more clean, sustainable light in the Manaslu communities (and that you are satisfied – a close second 😉 )

So, if you are writing articles for example, and you need the digital images, let me know and we can sort something out.

Black & White:

I’m about to upload a few more images to the gallery. Some are Black & White. If you see a colour image you like and want to see it in Black & White, let me know and I’ll edit it for you.

The Fundraising:

The proceeds of each purchase will be significant: 70%-80%

The costs I incur from Shootproof and Paypal are the only subtractions.

I will keep you informed of the amount raised and will periodically send this to Trail Running Nepal’s ‘Solar Lights’ fund.

In Summary:

I hope this will be the win/win I am aiming for. Thank you for your support – and your patience.

I want you to get something beautiful for your homes; something that will conjure great memories and perhaps spark fresh inspiration.

And I think we all want to do what we can to continue supporting the communities in which we ‘Ran for Light’.

Thanks again to Richard & Dhir for organising and directing the Manaslu Trail Race and for bringing together such a wonderful group of people.

Grande! Bravo! but most of all Dhanyabad!

Manaslu Trail Race reviews / feedback

2018 feedback

“The Manaslu Trail Race was a once in a lifetime experience, the people, the trails and the organisation were awesome. The shared experience with everyone made it special. For me it really was an epic adventure, one that everyone worked so hard for and achieved success. Thank you all.”
Lyndon West – UK
“A truly unforgettable challenge and experience, the race environment is inspiring. Words and photos do not do it justice you need to experience it.”
– Anon

“Nous avons vécu une expérience incroyable et inoubliable ! Tout est étonnant, grandiose et totalement dépaysant !”
– Fred et Jeff Gernigon, France

“Difficile de résumer le Manaslu trail race en quelques mots…c’est une aventure hors du commun associant des parcours exigeants physiquement, dans un cadre naturel somptueux, au pied des plus hauts sommets du monde, mais surtout une aventure humaine, faite de rencontres, de partages et de sourires.”
– Joanna, France

“If you like to have all the comforts of home, think again. If you want to be challenged and have your spirit moved my the majesty of the Himalayas and its people, come and have your life changed forever.”
– Alan Miller, Canada


“The Manaslu Trail race was one of my most beautiful experiences of “running” in the high mountains. The impressions were very strong and now, some days later, it seemed like a dream for me.” – Bill Nickl

“It was a real challenge for me. It’s easy to run a stage race at low altitudes with lots of comfort, but here it’s a different story! It was a great experience and I met and got to know people on a different level than you would normally do within 10 days. For me it was somehow not a race. Really happy I did it!” – Nina

“It was over all the most awesomest *add another superlative here* event I have done in my life. Already looking at mustang race :)” – Susanna

“Plus une aventure qu’une course ce magnifique trail hors des sentiers battus nous a permis de découvrir un Népal resté encore authentique. Une organisation au top!!!” – Maude Berthoud

“The Manaslu Trail Race blew my expectations away. Off the grid in another world for a week and a half with new found friends and never ending breathtaking scenery. A highly recommended life changing trip for all runners and adventurers who love the mountains.” – Stephen England

“An unforgettable and humbling experience! I am walking away with a love for Nepal, stage racing and 50 new best friends from around the world. This adventure is challenging both mentally and physically, with high altitude, spectacular views, and remote mountain wilderness. Get outside your comfort zone, push the boundaries of what you think is possible and immerse yourself in another culture. Thank you to the entire team for making this possible!” – Tiffany

“A very big experience for me.” – Franz Hirtzy

“Great adventure, amazingly well organized under these difficult circumstances. and always some nice surprises and experiences. Thanks for everything done!” – Fred Hackl


Stephan and Barbara Tassani-Prell

Stephan and Barbara Tassani-Prell

“For me it was really my best Trailrunning experience since more than 20 years of Trailrunning!”

Hi Richard,
We just arrived at home and we are missing you, Dhir and all the others from the organisation team, too!
I think the distances of the stages are perfect, because of the high altitude. My favorite place was Sama with the impressive view to the summit of Manaslu and the finish at the Hinang gompa with the view to the Chuli Himal and the nice place there in front of the Monastary. I was very impressed by the trails. They are technical but not to hard and most runable and very different every day. For me it was really my best Trailrunning experience since more than 20 years of Trailrunning!
The most difficulty for me and Barbara was crossing the Pass, because of the high altitude and the very early start, but we did it!
The accommodations are very simple but most of them are very nice and the staff was great!
People are so friendly in Nepal! This is not to compere with Europe!
We want to come back soon! If you have more ideas, please tell me.


Tite Togni Manaslu

Tite Togni on bridges of stage two of the Manaslu Mountain Trail Race

“Sister, take this blanket,  drink a lot of tatopani (hot water) and just enjoy”. With these essential recommendations, Mira Rai who ran (and won) the race last year, left me at the onset of this 4th edition of Manaslu Mountain Trail Race 2015: 8 stages on the least beaten of all treks in Nepal, 10 times less than the close area of Annapurna.
Manaslu, the ‘Mountain of Manas’, the Spirit, Man in its essence, that is not the body even if in its most athletic form,  but the intelligence that lies deep inside, was the white cathedral we approached like pilgrims: barefoot, in tiptoes, with no clues of distance, elevation, profile but just following the course marks of the unique team of organisers Dhir, Richard, Lizzy & crew.
Where else you can run, walk, hike, crawl for days ranging from Vertical and SkyRaces in tropical forest to freezing and frozen snow treks up to a Base Camp or through a Pass at 5160m and finally drop exhausted on a monk’s mattress?
Where else you can receive a deeper lesson of humility when you think you are exhausted and you approached by the porters who are carrying on their backs two of your 10 kilo bags, flying up and down the same way in plastic sandals ?
Manaslu, the bare, fierce 8000m peak was always there to answer: you are not your body, your senses, your fears, your muscles, your lungs, but in essence you are  like me, you are Man-as, Spirit, Energy in motion. Enjoy.

Shona MacDonald

shona macdonald manaslu trail race nepal

I certainly didn’t have confidence going in (a mistake) but feel a better about my abilities now its over.


I’ve been thinking about this and you almost want two different perspectives.  A relative newbie and a seasoned multi stager with altitude in the legs and lungs.  I think the two types will say rather different things so any article could be split into these two types with some overlap.  Anyway here’s a few words that may help (or not).  I’ll be writing a blog on the event and then things I’d consider I’ll send that to you when it’s done.

1.  The trails compared to those in West Australia could well have been on another planet.  The amount of vertical ascent and the gradients seemed endless in the Himalaya compared to somewhere that has hills maybe reaching 400m on a good day.  The shoes though faired better, the hard old granites of Australia trash shoes very quickly in comparison to the Himalayas.  The trails are used as proper roads on the Manaslu circuit so were generally really good out of necessity and wide enough most of the time for mule/yak trains and runners (with the landslide sections the obvious exception)

2. Distances are irrelevant.  The amount of time you’re on your feet is much more important and 25-30mins/km was not unusual at altitude (for me at least).  Its slower than walking but the apparent effort is definitely not the same.  Descending the moraine boulder fields were the biggest challenge for me around the Bimtang area having never encountered these massive moraines before my brain just couldn’t process the route down so that made it frustratingly slow, I’m also not used to running steps of which there were plenty in the first few days from Soti Khola to Lihi.  The trails are technical, but with practice doable, if you live somewhere with similar terrain such as the Alps I can see it would be less of a mental and physical challenge and this was borne out by the resultant speed of the runners at the end of the day.  Those of us without access to these kind of trails, while not overly technical but specific in skills, really suffered compared to our normal terrains.

3.  The area is phenomenal.  The mountains, glaciers, rivers- the sheer vastness of the landscape and the power of the natural forces acting in it are like nowhere I have ever been-it is breath taking where ever you look and constantly changing and challenging.  In some ways I think we were lucky there were so few people on the trails this year and the isolation and distance from the rest of the world really hit home.  This is a place of stark rugged beauty where incredibly tough and resilient people live and having travelled a fair amount I can think of nowhere else like it.  It has certainly carved out a space inside me that’s for sure.

4.  For me the greatest difficulty was getting over stage 1!  Your guinea pig stage with stunning views of Ganesh Himal made me seriously doubt my suitability for the event. 2kms up and down in 21kms on ridiculously steep terrain made me think that if every day after that was similar I really wasn’t ready at all and should just go home there and then!  In truth it was maybe day 4 before I got over this shock.  While I was slow in the high terrain I enjoyed the high altitude days.  I was surprised at how difficult I found some of the descents to be (again lack of familiarity with the terrain and a deep seated self-preservation need not to break an ankle miles away from anywhere).  So my greatest difficulty was me and my perceived weaknesses.  You are only ever at odds with yourself in an event like this and you find out if you really are strong enough.  I certainly didn’t have confidence going in (a mistake) but feel a better about my abilities now its over.

5.  Things I wouldn’t do without if planning on taking part.  (i) Poles!  On the steep sections they gave aching legs a real break and gave a focus to the rhythm of walking.

(ii) A damn good down jacket.  I took two, one lighter weight and one heavy for evenings.  Both were invaluable but I live somewhere hot and feel the cold

(iii) If you’re a protein lover recovery protein drinks are a low weight high value item.  The diet is very carb-rich as it needs to be but the carnivores were obsessing about meat by the middle of the event. Nearly everyone lost between 2-4kgs, mostly just keeping warm so you need to be able to eat.

(iv) if you do live near mountains, or are planning on racing, time spent running the biggest mountains you can find at the highest altitudes you can find would be invaluable if that’s an option for you.  I think without these you won’t be racing just taking part. (Not a problem for me as that was the plan)

(v) if you don’t like being in the dark the 4am walk across the pass could do with a really good head torch for the first hour and a half!
(vi) wet wipes.  Obviously hot water isn’t something you’ll encounter for a while and some days you can’t face glacial melt water the get a quick wash.  Wet wipes gave the illusion of cleanliness!
(vii) on advisement we took some greens powder with us.  The diet is good but a bit of back up from a lightweight product full on nutrients you won’t be getting could just help you stay physically together that little bit longer

Nothing else stands out that isn’t already on your equipment list.

Hope this helps a little.

Thanks again-hope you’ve caught up on sleep and that things are improving in Kathmandu (but I guess they aren’t).


Kristian Soltesz

  1. ​How did you find the trails compared to where you run at home?

Obviously a lot more vertical, but not very technical.

  1. The distances seem relatively short, but ​how did they feel with altitude and the nature of the trail underfoot?

Distance is a very abstract concept in Nepal…

  1. What impressions did you have of the manaslu area? Along side the running, what did you enjoy?
Impression: It is an area of many transitions. From jungle and hindu culture, it takes only a few days of passing through forest, steppe and finally high alpine, while the look of people, their clothes and architecture gradually changes into that of Tibet.

Enjoyed: The good company of runners and staff. Tibetan culture.

  1. What was the greatest difficulty you faced?

Personally it was being sick, but that’s bad advertisement, so let’s say… 

  1. Any recommendations for others who might go next year?

Race, but also view it as a travel through amazing environments. Take your time to look up from the trail every noe and then. Stop. Be amazed.

  1. Feel free to make up a question and answer it yourself!

There has been a lot of news buzz after the earthquake. What’s your impression?

Many trails and some buildings were damaged. The locals have put in tremendous amounts of work, and by the time of the race, both trails and accommodation had been repaired to working condition. The decline in tourists was, however, noticeable. To local economy needs people who stay in the lodges, buying food and drinks!

Andrea Mondini – Italy


Ciao, with italian slow time but you get a feedback;-)! Thanks again to you and your staff for you amazing job, until you’re not in Nepal you cannot understand how hard it is to organize such races, but since I did and it all worked perfect, confratualtion again for the great effort!!

So here my answers:
1. Trails were actually perfect since they are the only way to move and used daily from the local populations they had nothing to be jelaous of our trails in the Alps!
2. The great effort I think was a mixture between altitude but also getting used to different food habits and eventual associate health problems, no food, no fuel ;-)!! personally for me the acclimatation time worked perfeckt, just had a little headache coming down form Manaslu Base Camp and Tibetan border, felt great at Larke La
3. I enjoyed every single step I made, even if painful, landscape was just stunning all around us, and was great to see how local peolple still live, and what I admired most is their happiness to live, always smiling even while carrying 30 or more kg on their backs, never complaining, just a lesson for life!  and also in Kathmandu people are really poor but they are nice, never felt in trouble walking alone even in the darkness, much safe then in lots of our “civilized cities”
4. I should say losing my bag…but actually it was part of the adventure. I think the greatest difficult is the envorinement in which you have to live, just cold water so hard to wash, not really clean rooms and beds, but as always when you are, let’s say, in trouble it helps to get closer with your adventure fellows and so did we, great international group with great mood and so everything looks nice or at least difficulties are soustainable or softer!
5. No prejudice, just enjoy every minute and bring a positive attitude!

Our race doctor, Dr Bikash Basyal

high altitude dr bikash basyal

Nepal has some great high altitude doctors and to the left is one of them, Dr Bikash Basyal. He’s written a blog about Manaslu and asking why we run.  Refer to that to see how he felt about the race!

Emergency contact with race

You can contact by sending a message via our tracking device.

Micro spikes recommended – 2015 update

Microspikes. They’re not really designed for deep snow or slopes, but they help a lot.

As you will certainly know, in 2014 snowfall brought by Cyclone Hudhud gave rise to a disaster in the Annapurna region of Nepal. In 2013 a similar snowfall happened and blocked many high passes. Philippe Gatta, a French endurance athlete trying to run the Great Himalaya Trail called off his attempt (video) as many passes he’d still to attempt were blocked with snow.

This year less snow fell than 2013 but still a considerable amount in a short space of time. The Larkya pass is not a dangerous one. It has negligible avalanche risk and no real dangerous sections. It’s a steady up and a steady down. Everybody passed last year without incident, but there was plenty of slipping going on, not least for the mules carrying the baggage, and this is not pleasant. We had some none-slip studs for shoes which we handed out, but what was really effective were shoe chains or microspikes. They are absolutely perfect for this pass crossing.

This year we’ve sourced a batch of micro spikes from a local supplier for those that don’t have already so you can cross the pass with limited slip.

manaslu larkya pass headstand

Pretty and slippy

manaslu larkya pass crossing mules

2013 snow on the pass


20141022-_MG_8258-RPB-1 20141022-_MG_8259-RPB-2For those trekking, if you need to buy, then you can find in Snowland Trekking which is in a small alley under Potala Hotel, close to OR2K restaurant in Thamel for around Rs 1000 – 1500 (USD 10-15) depending on the type. Absolutely worth it. Necessary for your own safety and others. Snowland is a manufacture of other trekking equipment like jackets, sleeping bags etc.

snowland-trekking-equipment shop-location kathmandu thamel

Race doctors speak: Dr Suvash Dawadi & Dr Beth McElroy

In green, Dr Pranav. In blue, Seth Wolpin. This short tale is set at the stunning location of Hinang Monastery. Seth was getting a fast start to be ahead getting on to the narrow trail through the forest. The start happened in the monastery grounds – such a beautiful place – and everybody was super excited. He followed leader Phudorjee Lamasherpa sprinting away through the monastery gate. The gates are built so that the locals – on average of shorter height – have to bend to get through them. Seth is nearly 180cm/5’10” tall, and was wearing a peaked cap. In the rush of the starting pack, he hit his head on the frame of the door, hard, at running pace. Wow.

It’s at time’s like this that you’re glad you’ve an excellent doctor and $400 first aid kit with you. Seth was stitched up within the hour and after the wooziness had settled down, walked on to complete the day. And he was very brave, and didn’t cry at all. Swore like crazy as the stitches went in, but no tears.

Manaslu accident

Stemming the bleeding

Manaslu accident

Temporary surgery in the monastery dining hall

Manaslu accident

Preparation for stiching

Manaslu accident

Excellent kneebend.

This year we have two doctors. Dr Pranav last year was on his toes most of the time treating minor matters and checking on wellbeing. He suggested two people might be better.

This year we have Dr Beth McElroy and Dr Suvash Dawadi with us. You can call him DAWA he says. Dr Beth McElroy has enormous experience of expedition medicine, and Dr Suvash is still studying, one day training to be a GP in a remote place in Nepal in order to help his country. He’s very excited to come along and learn as much as he can from the experience.

We met last week to check through the first aid rucksack and I asked him a few questions written out below.


Dr Suvash, aka Dawa, checking through the medicines in the extensive first aid kit.

  1. Where are you from? Where do you work, and what is your specialisation?

    I am Suvash Dawadi, from the terai (plains) of Nepal. My friends call me DAWA. I work in Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital and currently am training to be a General Practitioner. I also have successfully completed the Diploma in Mountain Medicine and a one day Basic Life Support/ Advance Cardiac Life Support training here in Nepal.
  2. Why are you looking forward to the Manaslu Trail Race this year?

    I have a great interest in trekking and travelling in the Himalayas. I plan on pursuing an expedition medicine fellowship later on in my career. The Manaslu region itself is one that I have dreamed about visiting ever since my late father told me about his travels to the base camp and over the Larkya La.He told me the culture and nature both are unparalleled. I am looking forward to being part of this race and am very happy to put what I have learnt in the Diploma in Mountain Medicine to good use.
  3. For you as medical experts, what is going to be the biggest challenge?

    There are plenty of challenges regarding the practice of medicine in a remote environment, let alone a race. The sheer number of people to take care of, the wilderness environment, the altitude and the multitude of problems that can arise within a limited resource setting are some challenges. Keeping up with the race so that medical assistance is as early as possible is another challenge. Also dealing with participants and teams from various walks of life, and various countries and culture will be a welcome challenge.
  4. What advice do you have for participants to keep healthy and strong?

    I think the biggest advice to the participants is simply to train properly before the race! During the race do not hesitate to point out even trivial symptoms rather than persisting despite them. Any problem if caught early is always easily manageable. Keep hydrated and nourished. And please avoid the use of medications without informing the medical team – this just keeps everything in order. Keep a very basic first aid kit, for small cuts, blisters, water purification and any medications you might be using regularly.
  5. Do you have anything else you’d like to share?

    Most important, enjoy the race!

Dr Beth McElroy is the second part of the team. She answers the same questions below!

1. Where are you from? Where do you work, and what is your specialisation?

My name is Beth McElroy I am a UK based Doctor currently working in
the Emergency Department in Cumbria. Part of my role is within the
Mountain Rescue Team where I continue to gain experience in
pre-hospital and emergency care. I completed my Diploma in Mountain
Medicine in Nepal in Spring 2014. This year I have worked as medic on
the London to Paris bike ride, on an expedition to the Calakmul
Jungle, Mexico and on a sucessful summit fo Mount Kilimanjaro.

 2. Why are you looking forward to the Manaslu Trail Race this year?

The Manaslu circuit is a beautiful part of Nepal and a road less
trodden by tourists. To be able to work in this environment is indeed
spectacular and to be able to support the elite-athletes involved is
very exciting.

3. For you as medical experts, what is going to be the biggest challenge?

As a Doctor trained in high altitude medicine I am prepared to deal
with a lot of altitude and cold related problems. Exertion at altitude
makes people particularly susceptible to altitude sickness and may
affect many people’s races if they are not adequately acclimatised.
Given the terrain I am also expecting to manage a number of
musculo-skeletal problems particularly with knees and ankles. Trips
and falls are therefore a worry but with the good medical kit we are
well equipt to deal with these problems in the remote setting of the
Manalsu range.

4. What advice do you have for participants to keep healthy and strong?

Hydration and nutrition is essential for a good race. Being dehydrated
can ruin an event for a participant so it is important to drink, drink
and drink. It is crucial to let the medical team know at the first
incidence of any diarrhoea and vomiting or signs of altitude sickness:
Headache, nausea, shortness of breath, tingling fingers or
difficulties sleeping.

Participants can help themselves by changing out of their wet clothes
and keeping warm at the end of each day, drinking as much as they can,
being sensible with footwear, clothing and eye protection throughout
the race. Essential items inculde personal medications, knee and ankle
supports of the appropriate size, supply of pain killers, plasters,
medicated talcum powder, rehydration sachets and Diamox

 5. Do you have anything else you’d like to share?

For those choosing to use Diamox –  the tablet which helps with
acclimatisation without masking symtpoms of altitude sickness there is
an information sheet which can address your questions. Diamox information sheet 2014

Any questions you might have, please post below!

Manaslu 2014, arrival details

1. Welcome to Nepal

We will meet you at the airport and pick you up and take you to the hotel. You must fill this form in – Flight Arrival Time form – so that the transport company has accurate information.

If for some reason you are coming earlier and you don’t need an airport pick up please let us know.

Arrival at airport, pickup location

When you arrive at the airport

tribhuwan airport pick up manaslu race

Pickup location on Google Earth.

This is the location of Manaslu Hotel relative to the airport. The route taken won’t be this but Google doesn’t know the backstreets as well as the driver.


Here is the location of the hotel in more detail. It’s near to the Radisson.


On Saturday night we’ll go for a group dinner at Nepali Chulo. It is close by and we’ll walk via backstreets:



Pre-race interview: Holly and Martin Rush

If someone decides to come back to this race, all the way from UK back to Nepal, and bring their other half, then perhaps that’s a good sign that this race has something special. From an organisers’ point of view, the 2012 first edition felt like a very steep learning curve indeed – about as steep as the hill on day 3. It did not always go smoothly – as first editions often don’t – but despite that Holly enjoyed herself immensely and is bringing husband Martin which is great.

To introduce them a little…

Holly has shifted from marathon to trail, and recently just won the Ultravasen 90 km trail race in Sweden in 7hrs 9mins. In 2013 (after coming to the Mustang Trail Race with us) she hit the Comrades 90k up hill – 7th position in 7hrs. She’s an expert massage therapist and expert dog lover too. You can read Holly on her WordPress blog.

Martin is in charge of Coaching and Competition development for endurance running in Great Britain. He manages a team of coaches who organise and deliver coach education workshops, conferences and provide technical advice and mentoring to make British endurance coaching the best it can be. He also advises on competition planning and selection policies for GB and England teams. Ask him about the Olympics too when you meet him.

So if you always wanted to make the British Team in running, now’s your chance!

OK, so a few questions and answers from Holly (two times in Nepal), with Martin’s (zero times in Nepal). She’s got a few tips for those who are wondering how the running is going to be. Looking forward to meet you again in the Hotel Manaslu in November Holly.

  1. You’ve been to Manaslu before in 2012. How was the experience? Holly: Totally mind blowing. My first experience of Nepal and trail racing so it was a bit of a baptism of fire really. The mountains were super hard but beautiful, the other competitors became life long friends. It really didnt feel like a race more like a challenge to get to the end in one piece. I returned home a converted trail runner!Martin: Lived every moment of it with the return of my wife Holly from the race who was happy to say it was life changing.  I am still doing my own sock washing…
  2. What did you learn at that race what you’d share with competitors for this race?Holly: throw all expectations of times out the window. A mile at home could take 7 mins….. at altitude in the mountains it can take you 30 mins to run/walk 1 mile. Practice descending on technical trails…. there are lots, even steps and Indiana Jones type bridges. Pack light, you really don’t need much but make sure the kit you have works…. practice with it before the event. My pack rubbed really badly and basically fell apart. Best bit of kit was my super warm duvet jacket, expensive but worth every penny. When the sun goes behind the mountain late afernoon, the temperature plummets. [NB: Killian Jornet on descending here…]Martin: Don’t expect to be the same person you were when you return.  Do expect to travel back out to Nepal on a regular basis.
  3. What would you say to people concerned about altitude?Holly: Don’t panic about the altitude. The course is designed so that you gradually climb through the week but some days we go high then drop down a little to sleep, this helps the body adjust. Also listen to your body, if you are struggling simply slow down. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids and eat well. Altitude can suppress appetite and dehydrate you so even if you don’t feel hungry get some food in you as soon as possible. I think the least you worry about it the less likely you are to experience problems, just enjoy the experience.Martin: I can answer this one without having been, although I haven’t been to anything higher than 3600m. Listen to your body and stay within your capacities. The gradual ascent over the days and pattern of the race with sleeps lower than gains will help and the initial reaction to the jump to altitude will fade over 2 to 3 days.
  4. And with 2 months left, what other tips would you give to competitors so they can prepare themselves?Holly: As I say practice descending but also practice climbing. You need strong legs especially quads. Core work is essential also as you will be out for long time everyday carrying a pack so you need to be strong. Get your kit sorted soon so you can do some trial runs. Check your camera works…..there will be lots of opportunities to take amazing photos.Martin: Build up over the next 7 weeks and then an easier period for the last week before you travel.  Get fit, arrive fresh.  It’s an endurance event so the key to training in my mind is get used to enduring – lots of long stuff over mountainous terrain, if you can.  Keep healthy and don’t get injured so back off if anything hurts!
  5. Why are you coming again to Nepal and Manaslu?

    I am coming back for several reasons, firstly, I love Nepal…even the madness of Kathmandu so any opportunity to come back I will take it. Secondly, ever since my first trip to Nepal (this will be my third time) I havn’t stopped going on about it to my husband. So this time I am bringing him with me to see what all the fuss is about. I just hope he falls in love with it like I did!!?Martin: The adventure and because Holly hasn’t stopped going on about how amazing it is!
  6. How are you planning to run this year’s race?Holly: For me this time I will be walk/running the race with my husband. He isn’t able to run much due to a long standing injury (he is an ex-athlete and therefore perpetually injured!) and as we want to experience the race together we will take our time. I am sure I will be chomping at the bit to run off but at least this time I can hang out at some of the villages and drink tea with the locals on route. Either way I can’t wait to come back to beautiful Manaslu.

    Very, very, very slowly and probably with a limp as I have a bad calf muscle.

2014 entry list so far

A good number of participants this year, though sadly some had to drop out at the last minute due to injury and personal / family reasons.

Looking forward to welcoming all of the participants this weekend.

We also welcome Lizzy Hawker who’s going to be gently hiking around and assisting with start finishes and course marking, under doctors orders to take it easy, editing her book.


Race NumberName
1Douglas Aldrich
2Angela Aldrich
3Rachael Gooberman-Hill
4Eric Biard
5Samuel Becker
6Cathrine Tverdal
7Nic Heaney
8Martha Kristine Syvertsen
9Jose Jorge Garcia Fidalgo
10Roberto Gonz‡lez Garc’a
11Julian Ross
12Ian Wright
13Steve Dennehy
14Fabien Billaud
15David Smithey
16Holly Rush
17Martin Rush
18Jane Shadbolt
19Gary Noall
20Francesca Eyre
22Tim Craig
23Henry Braybrook
24Sonia Taberlet
25Mireille Planchamp
26Isabelle Dufour
27Marco Beretta
28Upendra Sunuwar
29Mira Rai
30Sumitra Koju
31Bhim Gurung
32Thomas Rees
100Dr. Beth McElroy
101Dr. Suvash Dawadi
102Lizzy Hawker


Fundraising on the Manaslu Trail race

On the 2013 race, Karen Carrington, an American resident of Shanghai competed to raise money for children to have necessary surgery that they could not otherwise afford, through the charity Heart 2 Heart. Congratulations to Karen for all her hard work in raising this money to make such a difference to these children, and their families’ lives.

Karen writes:

Hi everybody,

Great news for the new year!  The first of the children you helped me sponsor from the funds raised from the Shangri-la Challenge and the Manaslu Trail Race have arrived at the hospital.  They are two Tibetan boys (Wang Dui Ci Ren & Luo Sang Ci Ren) who are just wonderful – full of life, smiles, and mischief.  Their information sheets are attached.

Both boys arrived in pretty good shape so they were able to have surgery yesterday.  I visited them this afternoon and they are already well on the road to recovery.  They are already smiling, which I probably wouldn’t be!  They’ll probably be dancing with the others (we brought in 7 Tibetan children for surgery at the same time) by tomorrow since that seems to be one of their favourite activities.

It’s a wonderful thing you’ve all done through these sponsorships.  I wish you could all meet them.  I know that just looking at them made all those endless kilometers worthwhile.  Thanks again for helping to make both of their surgeries possible.  They are great boys and now I’m sure they’ll be able to grow up to be wonderful men.

I’ll let you know about the remaining 1+ children we’ve sponsored once they arrive at the hospital.  That will probably be after Chinese New Year, however, since travel gets a bit difficult from now until mid-February.

Happy New Year!  You’ve certainly made mine happy.

– Karen Carrington

Child #706 – Wang Cui Ci Ren

Child #707 – Luo Sang Ci Ren