Posted by: Jon Alexander | March 25, 2010

Hello Nepal! (from Rob)

‘If there was ever an Olympic sport that involved running up steep hills all day, then the Nepalis would rule it’.  So said Sue, an expat here in Pokhara, when I told her about what I was hoping to do with the Nepali long distance runners.  And that’s a pretty common view amongst foreigners living here and passing through.

When I first arrived, though, I wondered where the runners were.  Nobody seemed to be doing any training, no training shoes on sale, just loads of thin people working long hours to earn money to stay alive.  But then I had a trip to make very early one morning.  Before dawn the roads and trails are full of people out running.  White t-shirts reflecting the headlights, old trainers flicking across the roads and trails.  People everywhere, the same people that 2 hours later would be opening the shops, filling the building sites and keeping the community going.

I was pleasantly surprised  by this positive and enthusiastic attitude.  I noticed it most when doing the preparation for the local ultramarathon. We were handing out fliers, and the general excitement amongst the people was huge.  People that hadn’t run anywhere in years were keen, even a 13 year old girl wanted to have a go… and this is more than a double marathon!  Just wandering up the route and talking about the race got us another 10 competitors from the villages.  They’re just making sure the fields don’t need to be ploughed on race day.

So, in the middle of this enthusiasm, the next step is to find some of the real talent, give them some proper training and support, and take them to Europe to race!

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Responses

  1. So the Nepalis would dominate uphill endurance events and, meanwhile, the Brits are known for winning sports in which they sit down. Great!

    Nice post Rob and good to see such a nice website to go along with this awesome idea.


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