Lizzy Hawker returned to racing in her beloved Nepal and hopefully puts to rest some injury issues that disrupted her late 2012 season and her early 2013 season. Although listed as potential starter of the 2013 Trans Gran Canaria, Lizzy decided to return ‘home’ and race in Nepal at the Annapurna 100.
Lizzy dominated the ladies race taking the win by over 4 hours from Eva Clarke. A notable mention must go to third placed lady, Bakiye Duran. I first met Bakiye at the Iznik Ultra in 2012. She is somewhat a legend on the small Turkish ultra running scene and deservedly so. She came to distance running late in life and has pioneerd the movement in Turkey.
The mens race was a very close affair with Aite Tamang taking the win just 2 seconds ahead of Tirtha Tamang. Taking third place on the podium was Upendra Sunuwar over 1 hour 20 mins later.
The Annapurna 100′s got big mountain views, forests trails, village culture and it’s probably the only ultra race where you get a tikka on your forehead at 20 km and a khata around your neck. It’s Nepal’s original ultra-trail race with great 50, 70 and 100 km courses.
On October 31st 1995 Sir Ian Botham, world-renowned cricketer, with Jan Turner and Ramesh Bhattachan, started the first 100 km race. Twelve local runners proved that a run from Pokhara to Poon Hill and back was possible in less than 12 hours. The route normally would take an average trekker five days. The winner took 11 hours 55 minutes..
Since then, due to a decade of conflict, only a couple more races could be run. Now the race has become an established annual event with a successful 100 km race in 2009, a 71 km trail-only race in 2010 and a 75% trail 100 km race in 2011.
2012 will be the best race ever, with an improved course with more trail than ever.
The course heads out of Dhampus, a mountain village close to Pokhara (1650 m), 8 hours drive west of Kathmandu. The views from the Dhampus ridge are spectacular. All three finish in Dhampus, after more or less ups and downs on a combination of technical tracks, well maintained trekking trails and some jeep roads, through forests and many villages.
- Aite Tamang: 10:51:55
- Tirtha Tamang 10:51:57
- Upendra Sunuwar 12:10:00.
- Lizzy Hawker, 12:58
- Eva Clarke from Australia in 17:11
- Bakiye Duran in 20:02 minutes.
Lizzy Hawker, UK
“It was a beautiful and challenging race. An incredible experience to share, and a unique way to start a new year.”
Lizzy Hawker is sponsored by The North Face