Race director’s 2013 race report
Aite and Manikala retain their crowns and Hong Kong sweeps foreign category in the mens 100km and ladies 50km.
Race report by Ramesh Bhattachan MoD, Amiam (UK), 2GR, Race Director
The 7th Annapurna 100 Race was held on Saturday 9th March 2013 starting from the beautiful touristic village of Dhampus, lying in the shadow of the mountains of the Annapurna range.
There was a downhill start from Dhampus with almost 700m of descent. 30km on valley bottom trails warmed up the legs before the climb return to Dhampus for the 50 and 100km runners. The 70km runners split off and followed the road to Naudanda. The 100km continued along the forested trail out of Dhampus to Landruk. Heavy rain made conditions difficult on the decent to the Modi river and the way to Birentanti and the 6pm cutoff point. The route continued climbing along road to the Naudanda pass, descending to Dhampus Phedi (foot) before a final tough climb the finish at Dhampus.
The race consisted of 45 foreign runners and 35 Nepalese runners.
As usual Aite was the favourite to win the 100km and Mani Kala the 50km in the Nepalese categories.
The foreign participants and the organising staff departed Pokhara and arrived in Dhampus on Friday the 8th March after a morning race briefing. The Nepalese runners arrived in Dhampus at 0530 hrs on the race day. The Race Director Ramesh Bhattachan attracted all the participants attention at 0555 hrs for the last 5 minutes countdown.
At 0600 hrs Mr Dal Bahadur Gurung, the Chairman of the Dhampus Tourism Council and a leading personality whistled the start and the race was in full swing with the Nepalese runners in the front.
As usual with the prediction, Aite, Tirtha and Upendra were the lead runners from the beginning in the 100km distance closely followed by world champion, Lizzy Hawker from the UK.
In the ladies section of the 50km Janet Ng from Hong Kong was in front closely followed by Manikala Rai from Nepal. In the mens 50km event Rajan Khatri, NarayanDusar, Bhim gurung were the Nepalese leading group.
Tom Bellamy (UK), Steve Brammar (Hong Kong), Richard Bull (UK) were running side by side closely.
The weather was favourable and the Annapurna and Fish Tail Mountains were quite visible half an hour into the race.
The first group to arrive at the finishing point was Rajan Khatri in 4:11:10 followed by Narayan Dusar 4:15:44, and Bhim Bahadur Gurung 4:18:04.
In the ladies 50K, Janet Ng (Hong Kong) won with a time of 5:46:38 followed by Mani Kala Rai in 6:02:48.
While Tom Bellamy came first in the Men’s Foreign Category with a time of 6:02:12, Steve Brammar came second in 6:25:59 and Richard Bull came third with a time of 6:26:00 flat. Wow! a second different only.
Now in the 100km, Aite and Tirtha were running neck to neck from checkpoint to checkpoint nearly all the way to the finishing point. It was only over the last 25 metres, that Aite and Tirtha were running faster than the Olympic 100m Champion Usain Bolt. Aite beat Tirtha by 2 seconds only repeating the same feat of 2012 100K finish at Birethati.
In the 100km foreign category, Law Chir Kin from Hong Kong completed the race in 13:02:03 coming first. Lee Grant from the UK secured the second position in 13:40:22 and Markus Flick from Germany finished third in a time of 16:48:03.
Lizzy Hawker UK came first in the ladies foreign category 100K in a time of 12:59:55. Eva Clarke from Australia finished second in 17:11:47 followed by Bakiye Duran from Turkey in a time of 20:02:10.
In the Men’s 70K India swept the first and second positions. Madan Lal TR came first in 11:06:31 and Mohit Oberoi second in 11:36:54 while Zhiyong Guo from Singapore came third in a time of 11:43:39. Despite the size and shape of Mohit, he is congratulated to capture the second position. Well done Mohit!
All the finishers received their medals and certificates at the finishing point. The main prize distribution was held on 10th March at the Barahi Hotel, Pokhara. The Chief guest, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr. Ramesh Bajracharya. Tom Bellamy (Country Manager Dragon Air), Richard Bull (Media Coordinator Annapurna Race), Steve Brammar and Janet Ng (Race Directors of the Vibram Hong Kong 100km) kindly distributed the prizes to all the winners of the different events.
The 8th Annapurna Race will be on 1st March 2014. Please note in your diary.