This is the itinerary for the race and the days before and after, with the Google Earth tracks and distances. The height changes may be less than shown due to inaccuracies of GPS spot heights recorded at the bottoms of river gorges.
Click the image above for a Google Earth file of the route. Specific days’ routes are given below in the list.
Days 1-3 – Kathmandu (4th arrive, 5th organise, 6th depart to start)
Sat. 4th Nov. Arrival in Kathmandu. 5th Briefing, checks and sightseeing / preparations. 6th Drive to start.
Stage 1 – Sotikhola to Dhoban
Race from Soti Khola to Dhoban. Night in tea-house. Check point at Machhakhola.
↔ 24.9 km 2080m -1650m
Stage 2: Dhoban to Deng
Race from Dhoban to Deng. Two checkpoints at Jagat and then Philim, a regionally important village. Highlight is the trail after Philim, which enters a wooded canyon.
↔ 27 km 1730m -740m
Stage 3 – Deng – Hinang Gompa
Race from Deng to Hinang Gompa. We sleep in the monastery at the end of this stage. An extra privilege. After the checkpoint at Namrung, you'll begin to notice the altitude. Much to like about this tough stage, including a beautiful section of old-growth forest. Hinang is beautifully situated, with a backdrop of the huge Hiu Chuli.
↔ 23.5 km 2130m -920m
Stage 4 – Hinang to Samagaon
Race from Hinang Gompa to Samagaon via Pungyen Gompa (~4,000m). This is the first day to really experience high altitudes above 3,000m / ~10,000ft. Today gives the first view of Manaslu. There is an extra water point at Shyala, before the climb to Pungyen. Pungyen is a check-in, check-out checkpoint. Plan to spend time here in clear weather.
↔ 24 km 1500m -780m
Stage 5 – Samagaun ~ Manaslu Base Camp ~ Samagaun
Out-and-back race from Samagaun up the Manaslu Base Camp trail, almost to base camp, but not quite, and then back. The high point (usually at the snow line) is a check-in, check-out checkpoint, so you can take you time here to enjoy the spectacular surroundings.
↔ 12.6 km 1100m -1100m
Stage 6 – Samagaon to Samdo
Race from the lake shore of Birendra Tal, near Samagaon to Samdo. The race is preceded by a children's race (to be confirmed the day before). This is the shortest stage, but a change climb and undulations. A smooth grassy valley floor trail, with a steady climb... until the sting in the tail climb to the finish.
↔ 7.9 km 530m -310m
Active rest: Hike to Tibetan Border
14th Nov: Hike from Samdo - Rui La (4,998m) & Tibetan Border – Samdo. Shorter options available.
(3,875m). Night in lodge.
↔ 20 km 1200m -1200m
Hike / run Samdo to Bimtang via Larkya pass
Big pass day! Views to Annapurna, Himlung with plenty of big glaciers in the descent valley. Hard work but fabulous!
↔ 22 km 1490m -1594m
Stage 7 – Bimtang to Tilje
Freezing start at Bimtang, with the last views of Manaslu from the east, on a racey, forested downhill to reach the final finish in Tilije.
↔ 18.2 km 550m -1980m
Day 13. Return to Kathmandu (Drive)
A 7am early start and ~7 hour drive to the hotel in Kathmandu including stops for lunch, tea etc.
Kathmandu departure (14th day!)
Taxi to the airport and return flight home!