Preview of the 2019 100 km race!
Who better to give an opinion about the 2019 race courses than the winner of the 2019 100 km race, Simon Castro-Wooldridge. Here he after the finish of the race, trying to peel off his socks. I am sure you are all familiar with that look on his face.
The routes have changed slightly this year from 2018. Why? Annapurna 100 changes almost every year, but that is not the reason. 2018 was the first year that we ran on the Mardi Himal trekking route.
We sent Simon the route map of annapurna100.com so that he could review the changes, and say whether it would be better or worse. What did he say?
Thanks, it’s nice to have a look at the routes. Here are my thoughts:
42 km: Great course. Will be hard work up that new trail up to High Camp, but from there down will be a brilliant long flowing (ish) descent*.
55 km: Looks good. I don’t think too many the 2018’s 50 km runners will miss the extra out and back up to High Camp checkpoint. That was tough.
100 km: Very interesting changes to the route for this year. Last year running the Siding to Low Camp climb twice was extremely hard work physically and mentally tough, all before 50 km was even completed! It is a good climb though so good that we do it once, as does the fantastic ridge from High Camp to Low Camp. The bowl of noodles and a cup of sweet tea at High Camp, with views of Machhapuchchhre (Fish Tail), are a highlight. The long flowing descent to Deurali is a touch more technical than the map would indicate – lots of tree roots and the odd boulder to look out for. From Dhampus round the back of Fewa lake is completely new to me, but the trails on that Panchase trek are supposed to be great. Pretty cool to complete two of the classic Annapurna treks (Mardi Himal and Panchase) in around 16ish hours, and to finish in the middle of Pokhara with a cold beverage and a pizza.
Great work putting these routes together. I am torn between the 42 km and the 100 km!