Capital to Country Ultra 2023 group

'UTMB Meets MDS' In Nepal

Is this the ultimate bucket list ultra...?

Go Beyond Challenge recently went further than ever before by taking a group of intrepid ultra-distance trail runners to Nepal for a spiritual race that combines elements of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc and the Marathon des Sables, according to competitor Dharmesh Mistry. 

The first-ever Capital to Country Multi-Day Ultra ran from the Nepalese capital Kathmandu – situated near the confluence of the Baghmati and Vishnumati rivers at an elevation of 4,344 feet (1,324 metres) – through the Himalayan foothills to Lamaland village. The self-sufficient trail race was held over five days between Monday 27 November and Friday 1 December 2023, with a total distance of 123 miles and more than 10,000m of elevation change.  

It isn't every run that allows you to gaze out at the majesty of the Himalayas. Simon Hollis, founder of Go Beyond Challenge, describes it as: "An intimate experience combined with the breathtaking beauty of Nepal.” 

Dharmesh Mistry, an experienced ultra runner who has completed a host of 100-mile races, including the famed Marathon des Sables, went further to say: “I thought this was like UTMB meets MDS. A five-day, self-sufficient race, with long climbs and huge distances. Who wouldn't want to do that? It's like a dream, something to give you kudos and to tell your grandkids.”   

Dharmesh entered Capital to Country with his ultra-running buddy Tarne Westcott, who would go on to win the race in an inaugural course record 30 hours 3 minutes, finishing 56 minutes ahead of first woman Helen Ramwell – who won the opening stage. Dharmesh and Tarne have been running together since a pub bet resulted in them doing the London to Birmingham 50-miler more than a decade ago!    
Helen met Dharmesh and Tarne at MDS, a race she had run alongside her father Richard, who sadly passed away during the Coronavirus pandemic. Running through Nepal provided an opportunity to say goodbye and feel she had completed one last race with him: “Part of the journey was about just having a bit of space to process what had happened. Running felt like a very apt way of doing it. Being out in the mountains and having the headspace running gives you, to go through all of that was incredible. I know my dad was with me on my shoulder.”

From the relaxed, pre-race visit to Kathmandu's Monkey Temple, with a blessing from local monks, to finishing at the remote Lamaland village where the runners were greeted by the local residents with garlands of flowers and an array of prayer flags and flower bowls, this was an extraordinary event that has left a deep and lasting impression on the Nepal trail-blazers. 

For details of Capital to Country Multi-Day Ultra 2024 and to register your interest click here

For details of all of Go Beyond Challenge's amazing events for amazing people click here

Photos courtesy Adrian Howes Photography for Go Beyond Challenge on Facebook

Capital to Country Ultra Nepal 2023 finish

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