Dream Trip: Nepal

Watch Dream Trip: Nepal

Trail runners from around the world were asked: "What is your #RunningDreamTrip? Tyler Courville's Dream Trip was to travel to Nepal with Mira Rai, and was subsequently selected from thousands of entries. Mira's story seems impossible; A Nepali village girl, turned child soldier, and now a globally recognised professional trail runner. Just a few months ago, she was voted National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Mira shows Tyler her country as they travel to her village in the remote mountains of Eastern Nepal getting to know the culture, mountains and people along the way.

Trail runners from around the world were asked: "What is your #RunningDreamTrip? Tyler Courville's Dream Trip was to travel to Nepal with Mira Rai, and was subsequently selected from thousands of entries. Mira's story seems impossible; A Nepali village girl, turned child soldier, and now a globally recognised professional trail runner. Just a few months ago, she was voted National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Mira shows Tyler her country as they travel to her village in the remote mountains of Eastern Nepal getting to know the culture, mountains and people along the way.

Mira grew up in a village high in the remote mountains of Bhojpur in Eastern Nepal. Her childhood was spent fetching water, cutting grass and carrying heavy loads along the steep hills around her village. Her family home has no road access and basic tasks such as preparing food, collecting water and tending the livestock ensure long hard days in order for her family to survive. This difficult upbringing ultimately prepared Mira well for a successful career in Trail Running.

To get to Mira’s village took us nearly 3 days. In a country with an average length of 885km (east-west) and an average width of 193km (north-south) overland travel is still a huge challenge with poor road conditions that run up and over the mountains and hills and along steep cliff edges. The country has an altitudinal variation of nearly 8800m, with its lowest point at 59 metres (194 ft) and its highest point at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) which should give you an idea of the terrain. It’s not flat!

For Mira, her story is just beginning. Her dream is to help both women and men of Nepal through trail running and sport. Already an icon of Nepal, Mira is inspiring a new generation of Nepali Trail Runners. Mira and her story are proof that anything is possible.

This was Tyler’s first time in Nepal and being able to be guided by Mira Rai, the 2017 National Geographic Adventurer of the year was a dream come true. Through Mira he was able to see a side to Nepal not often seen, far away from the popular tourist trekking routes.

Eight of the world’s 10 highest peaks are found in Nepal, including Mount Everest which you can see in the background at the top right of the picture. In Nepal it is known as Sagarmāthā (“Forehead of the Sky”) and with its summit sitting at 8848m (5.5 miles) above sea level it is earth’s highest mountain. Kilian Jornet recently summited the mountain in a speed attempt as part of his Summits of my Life project.

Mira’s first trail race was only in 2014. Even then, she didn’t know it was a race until she was pointed towards the start line. She had been invited by runners from the Nepalese Army who had seen her running in the mountains. Thinking it was a for training run, she arrived early the next morning. Only to arrive at the starts of the Kathmandu West Valley Rim 50k. Despite never having run that distance before she was the only female to complete the gruelling 50km course.

For Mira, her story is just beginning. Her dream is to help both women and men of Nepal through trail running and sport. Already an icon of Nepal, Mira is inspiring a new generation of Nepali Trail Runners. Mira and her story are proof that anything is possible.

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