Emergency contact with race

Should you need to contact a participant urgently, you can do so via Thuraya’s free sms service. Please bear the following points in mind:

  • We check the phone in the mornings (6am) and evenings (6pm) Nepal time and some locations may have poor reception, but at least once per day the phone will be checked.
  • Keep messages down to 100 characters, even though it says 160. Send as many short messages as needed. Click “Send SMS” then hit the back button and type message again.
  • You can also send messages from your own mobile with unlimited characters at your own cost. Long messages will be broken up in to multiple messages.
  • Don’t use apostrophes as they don’t work.
  • If you need a reply, include a mobile number. The service is far from perfect. The reply may or may not reach you, if necessary we’ll call, speaking very slowly and clearly in as few words as possible.
  • We won’t reply unless completely necessary. We need to conserve the phone’s battery. Electricity supply is erratic at best in November as micro-hydro electricity plants get problems with ice.
  • Note the primary number is 0088216-21273393 and you use the last 8 digits in the website box. 0088216
  • Note the backup number is 0088216-87729088 and you use the last 8 digits in the box.
send sms to thuraya phone

The Thuraya free sms form looks like this

Micro spikes recommended

Microspikes. They’re not really designed for deep snow or slopes, but they help a lot.

As you will certainly know, in 2014 snowfall brought by Cyclone Hudhud gave rise to a disaster in the Annapurna region of Nepal. In 2013 a similar snowfall happened and blocked many high passes. Philippe Gatta, a French endurance athlete trying to run the Great Himalaya Trail called off his attempt (video) as many passes he’d still to attempt were blocked with snow.

This year less snow fell than 2013 but still a considerable amount in a short space of time. The Larkya pass is not a dangerous one. It has negligible avalanche risk and no real dangerous sections. It’s a steady up and a steady down. Everybody passed last year without incident, but there was plenty of slipping going on, not least for the mules carrying the baggage, and this is not pleasant. We had some none-slip studs for shoes which we handed out, but what was really effective were shoe chains or microspikes. They are absolutely perfect for this pass crossing.

This year we’ve sourced a batch of micro spikes from a local supplier for those that don’t have already so you can cross the pass with limited slip.

manaslu larkya pass headstand

manaslu larkya pass crossing mules

 

20141022-_MG_8258-RPB-1 20141022-_MG_8259-RPB-2For those trekking, if you need to buy, then you can find in Snowland Trekking which is in a small alley under Potala Hotel, close to OR2K restaurant in Thamel for around Rs 1500 depending on the type. Absolutely worth it. Necessary for your own safety and others. Snowland is a manufacture of other trekking equipment like jackets, sleeping bags etc.

snowland-trekking-equipment shop-location kathmandu thamel

Race doctors speak: Dr Suvash Dawadi & Dr Beth McElroy

In green, Dr Pranav. In blue, Seth Wolpin. This short tale is set at the stunning location of Hinang Monastery. Seth was getting a fast start to be ahead getting on to the narrow trail through the forest. The start happened in the monastery grounds – such a beautiful place – and everybody was super excited. He followed leader Phudorjee Lamasherpa sprinting away through the monastery gate. The gates are built so that the locals – on average of shorter height – have to bend to get through them. Seth is nearly 180cm/5’10” tall, and was wearing a peaked cap. In the rush of the starting pack, he hit his head on the frame of the door, hard, at running pace. Wow.

It’s at time’s like this that you’re glad you’ve an excellent doctor and $400 first aid kit with you. Seth was stitched up within the hour and after the wooziness had settled down, walked on to complete the day. And he was very brave, and didn’t cry at all. Swore like crazy as the stitches went in, but no tears.

Manaslu accident

Stemming the bleeding

Manaslu accident

Temporary surgery in the monastery dining hall

Manaslu accident

Preparation for stiching

Manaslu accident

Excellent kneebend.

This year we have two doctors. Dr Pranav last year was on his toes most of the time treating minor matters and checking on wellbeing. He suggested two people might be better.

This year we have Dr Beth McElroy and Dr Suvash Dawadi with us. You can call him DAWA he says. Dr Beth McElroy has enormous experience of expedition medicine, and Dr Suvash is still studying, one day training to be a GP in a remote place in Nepal in order to help his country. He’s very excited to come along and learn as much as he can from the experience.

We met last week to check through the first aid rucksack and I asked him a few questions written out below.

dr-suvash-dawadi-nepal-expedition-doctor

Dr Suvash, aka Dawa, checking through the medicines in the extensive first aid kit.

  1. Where are you from? Where do you work, and what is your specialisation?

    I am Suvash Dawadi, from the terai (plains) of Nepal. My friends call me DAWA. I work in Tribhuwan University Teaching Hospital and currently am training to be a General Practitioner. I also have successfully completed the Diploma in Mountain Medicine and a one day Basic Life Support/ Advance Cardiac Life Support training here in Nepal.
  2. Why are you looking forward to the Manaslu Trail Race this year?

    I have a great interest in trekking and travelling in the Himalayas. I plan on pursuing an expedition medicine fellowship later on in my career. The Manaslu region itself is one that I have dreamed about visiting ever since my late father told me about his travels to the base camp and over the Larkya La.He told me the culture and nature both are unparalleled. I am looking forward to being part of this race and am very happy to put what I have learnt in the Diploma in Mountain Medicine to good use.
  3. For you as medical experts, what is going to be the biggest challenge?

    There are plenty of challenges regarding the practice of medicine in a remote environment, let alone a race. The sheer number of people to take care of, the wilderness environment, the altitude and the multitude of problems that can arise within a limited resource setting are some challenges. Keeping up with the race so that medical assistance is as early as possible is another challenge. Also dealing with participants and teams from various walks of life, and various countries and culture will be a welcome challenge.
  4. What advice do you have for participants to keep healthy and strong?

    I think the biggest advice to the participants is simply to train properly before the race! During the race do not hesitate to point out even trivial symptoms rather than persisting despite them. Any problem if caught early is always easily manageable. Keep hydrated and nourished. And please avoid the use of medications without informing the medical team – this just keeps everything in order. Keep a very basic first aid kit, for small cuts, blisters, water purification and any medications you might be using regularly.
  5. Do you have anything else you’d like to share?

    Most important, enjoy the race!

Dr Beth McElroy is the second part of the team. She answers the same questions below!

1. Where are you from? Where do you work, and what is your specialisation?

My name is Beth McElroy I am a UK based Doctor currently working in
the Emergency Department in Cumbria. Part of my role is within the
Mountain Rescue Team where I continue to gain experience in
pre-hospital and emergency care. I completed my Diploma in Mountain
Medicine in Nepal in Spring 2014. This year I have worked as medic on
the London to Paris bike ride, on an expedition to the Calakmul
Jungle, Mexico and on a sucessful summit fo Mount Kilimanjaro.

 2. Why are you looking forward to the Manaslu Trail Race this year?

The Manaslu circuit is a beautiful part of Nepal and a road less
trodden by tourists. To be able to work in this environment is indeed
spectacular and to be able to support the elite-athletes involved is
very exciting.

3. For you as medical experts, what is going to be the biggest challenge?

As a Doctor trained in high altitude medicine I am prepared to deal
with a lot of altitude and cold related problems. Exertion at altitude
makes people particularly susceptible to altitude sickness and may
affect many people’s races if they are not adequately acclimatised.
Given the terrain I am also expecting to manage a number of
musculo-skeletal problems particularly with knees and ankles. Trips
and falls are therefore a worry but with the good medical kit we are
well equipt to deal with these problems in the remote setting of the
Manalsu range.

4. What advice do you have for participants to keep healthy and strong?

Hydration and nutrition is essential for a good race. Being dehydrated
can ruin an event for a participant so it is important to drink, drink
and drink. It is crucial to let the medical team know at the first
incidence of any diarrhoea and vomiting or signs of altitude sickness:
Headache, nausea, shortness of breath, tingling fingers or
difficulties sleeping.

Participants can help themselves by changing out of their wet clothes
and keeping warm at the end of each day, drinking as much as they can,
being sensible with footwear, clothing and eye protection throughout
the race. Essential items inculde personal medications, knee and ankle
supports of the appropriate size, supply of pain killers, plasters,
medicated talcum powder, rehydration sachets and Diamox
(acetazolamide).

 5. Do you have anything else you’d like to share?

For those choosing to use Diamox –  the tablet which helps with
acclimatisation without masking symtpoms of altitude sickness there is
an information sheet which can address your questions. Diamox information sheet 2014

Any questions you might have, please post below!

Manaslu 2014, arrival details

1. Welcome to Nepal

We will meet you at the airport and pick you up and take you to the hotel. You must fill this form in – Flight Arrival Time form – so that the transport company has accurate information.

If for some reason you are coming earlier and you don’t need an airport pick up please let us know.

Arrival at airport, pickup location

When you arrive at the airport

tribhuwan airport pick up manaslu race

Pickup location on Google Earth.

This is the location of Manaslu Hotel relative to the airport. The route taken won’t be this but Google doesn’t know the backstreets as well as the driver.

airport-to-hotel-manaslu

Here is the location of the hotel in more detail. It’s near to the Radisson.

hotel-manaslu-location

On Saturday night we’ll go for a group dinner at Nepali Chulo. It is close by and we’ll walk via backstreets:

route-to-nepali-chulo-from-manaslu

 

2014 entry list so far

A good number of participants this year, though sadly some had to drop out at the last minute due to injury and personal / family reasons.

Looking forward to welcoming all of the participants this weekend.

We also welcome Lizzy Hawker who’s going to be gently hiking around and assisting with start finishes and course marking, under doctors orders to take it easy, editing her book.

manaslu-race-numbers-floor

Race NumberName
1Douglas Aldrich
2Angela Aldrich
3Rachael Gooberman-Hill
4Eric Biard
5Samuel Becker
6Cathrine Tverdal
7Nic Heaney
8Martha Kristine Syvertsen
9Jose Jorge Garcia Fidalgo
10Roberto Gonz‡lez Garc’a
11Julian Ross
12Ian Wright
13Steve Dennehy
14Fabien Billaud
15David Smithey
16Holly Rush
17Martin Rush
18Jane Shadbolt
19Gary Noall
20Francesca Eyre
21GD
22Tim Craig
23Henry Braybrook
24Sonia Taberlet
25Mireille Planchamp
26Isabelle Dufour
27Marco Beretta
28Upendra Sunuwar
29Mira Rai
30Sumitra Koju
31Bhim Gurung
32Thomas Rees
100Dr. Beth McElroy
101Dr. Suvash Dawadi
102Lizzy Hawker

 

Fundraising on the Manaslu Trail race

On the 2013 race, Karen Carrington, an American resident of Shanghai competed to raise money for children to have necessary surgery that they could not otherwise afford, through the charity Heart 2 Heart. Congratulations to Karen for all her hard work in raising this money to make such a difference to these children, and their families’ lives.

Karen writes:

Hi everybody,

Great news for the new year!  The first of the children you helped me sponsor from the funds raised from the Shangri-la Challenge and the Manaslu Trail Race have arrived at the hospital.  They are two Tibetan boys (Wang Dui Ci Ren & Luo Sang Ci Ren) who are just wonderful – full of life, smiles, and mischief.  Their information sheets are attached.

Both boys arrived in pretty good shape so they were able to have surgery yesterday.  I visited them this afternoon and they are already well on the road to recovery.  They are already smiling, which I probably wouldn’t be!  They’ll probably be dancing with the others (we brought in 7 Tibetan children for surgery at the same time) by tomorrow since that seems to be one of their favourite activities.

It’s a wonderful thing you’ve all done through these sponsorships.  I wish you could all meet them.  I know that just looking at them made all those endless kilometers worthwhile.  Thanks again for helping to make both of their surgeries possible.  They are great boys and now I’m sure they’ll be able to grow up to be wonderful men.

I’ll let you know about the remaining 1+ children we’ve sponsored once they arrive at the hospital.  That will probably be after Chinese New Year, however, since travel gets a bit difficult from now until mid-February.

Happy New Year!  You’ve certainly made mine happy.

– Karen Carrington

Child #706 – Wang Cui Ci Ren

Child #707 – Luo Sang Ci Ren

2013: Anna Frost and Lizzy Hawker return to Nepal

Perhaps the best thing about multi-stage races are the great people you meet. People from diverse countries, backgrounds, with diverse careers, and there’s a lot of time to get to know each other. In the out of the way places we visit, nobody is particularly busy, and there are few distractions, just time in the mountains with an optional amount of time with other people. Pure downtime!

From a running perspective, it’s also great to have talented, professional runners among us.

This year, Lizzy Hawker (The North Face) and Anna Frost (Salomon) will join the race – though racing for the fun of being in the Himalayas rather than to win.

Anna frost ultra runner nepal

Anna says: “The format sounds perfect. A small team…and big days in the massive mountains. Sounds like a dream. I am so excited.”

Anna says: “The format sounds perfect. A small team…and big days in the massive mountains. Sounds like a dream. I am so excited.” Anna has visited Nepal once before and ran the Everest Marathon.

Last year Lizzy Hawker came to the race and finished second overall behind the very strong Upendra Sunuwar.

This year is different. Lizzy suffered stress fractures in both feet earlier this year, and then, after an intense burst of training to try to gain enough fitness for the UTMB after a long period of rest, was diagnosed with a stress fracture in the femur.

Lizzy is now resting and Manaslu will provide the first gentle steps back to fitness for 2014. See caption below – the back runners will be delighted to know they will have distinguished company.

manaslu trail race lizzy on larkya la pass

Lizzy on the way up to the 5,135m Larkya La pass. Lizzy says: “Can be given the role of encouraging the back of the field (from some distance behind it).”

For all us mortals, it will be great to have two very experienced and talented runners amongst us. But don’t forget, for Lizzy and Anna too – and for all participants – this is a great chance to meet people from all over the world and hear stories, gain new perspectives, and hopefully, to broaden horizons and make new friendships. Sounds a cliché but that’s how it turned out in 2012!

About Anna Frost:

She is a Salomon sponsored athlete and has her own blog here: http://frostysfootsteps.wordpress.com/

Highlights
2013
• 4th Ice Trail Tarentaise – France
• 6th Mont Blanc Marathon – France
• 1st Colorado Trail – La Reunion
• 2nd= Moonlight Marathon – NZ
• 3rd El Cruce – Argentina – Chile

2012
• 2nd Sky Running World Series
• 2nd Ultra Cavalls del Vent – Pyrenees, France
• 1st Speed Goat 50km – Utah, USA
• 1st Maxi-Race 88km – Annecy, France
• 1st TransVulcania Ultra Trail 50mile – La Palma (new record 8.10hrs)
• 1st Moonlight Marathon – Queenstown, NZ
• Queenstown to Dunedin Run: 5days, 285km, 40hours
• Taranaki Speed Records: Ascent/Descent: 2.10hr RTM: 7.41hr

• 1st TNF50mile Championship – San Francisco 2010 and 2011 (new record 6.54hr)
• 2nd Kinabalu Climbathon – Malaysia 2010 and 2011
• 1st Table Mountain Challenge – South Africa (new record)
• 1st TransRockies 6day Mixed Team with Rickey Gates – USA
• 1st 4Trails Stage race – 4 countries, 4 days
• 1st Six Foot Track Marathon Blue Mountains – Australia
• 3rd Hermannslauf Trail – Germany
• 1st Signes Double Marathon Trail – France
• 1st Yorkshire Three Peaks – UK 2010
• 1st TransRockies Run3 – Colorado 2010
• 1st Commonwealth Uphill Mountain Running Championships Keswick 2009
• 1st Everest Marathon (new record holder by 27-minutes) – Nepal 2009
• World Sky Running Series – 2nd 2010, 2011
• World Long Course Mountain Running Championships – 3rd 2009 & 2010
• World Mountain Running Grand Prix Series – 1st 2008, 3rd 2010
• World Mountain Running Championships – 10th 2009, 18th 2010

 

Lizzy Hawker to run the Manaslu Mountain Trail Race

Lizzy Hawker loves the mountains and where better to find mountains than the Himalaya. She’s been several times to Nepal, always completing a tough running challenge, from the Everest Sky Race, (parts of) The Great Himalaya Trail, the 319km Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu run and so on.

The Manaslu Race will provide good training for The North Face race in San Francisco at the beginning of December. Great to have you with us Lizzy!

Lizzy Hawker running with Manaslu basecamp behind

Lizzy Hawker running with Manaslu basecamp behind

Karuna discount

Karuna are making our simple, no fanciness t-shirts. Their speciality is clothing from natural fabrics. For instance they have t-shirts made from Bamboo which is incredibly and unusually soft.

karuna clothing nepal

Very kindly, they’re giving all of us 25% of the marked price of their items in the shop which is just 200m from the race hotel. Hopefully we’ll all find something nice to wear for the post-race gala dinner.

See their website: http://karuna.net.np/

General and specific information for race time from the race Doctor

General information from Dr Ben Winrow.

http://www.mdtravelhealth.com/destinations/asia/nepal.php

To all competitors – please read the above link and ensure you are up to date with all vaccinations – it is your responsibility to ensure you are adequately covered to avoid preventable and serious disease.

  • It is also important that you visit your dentist prior to coming to Nepal. Deterioration in chronic dental issues that can be prevented prior to arrival in Nepal will put a halt to you enjoying your time and will put unnecessary strain on our medical services.
  • Ladies please ensure you are not pregnant prior to arrival in Nepal.
  • If you are planning to engage in sexual activity please do so responsibly.
  • Being ultra-runners you will be well versed in looking after minor scrapes and bruises, stomach upsets, D+V and minor ailments. I will be on hand to look after any accidents and or emergencies.
  • There will be a ‘rolling’ clinic in the evenings – this will include troubleshooting for the next day and also keeping an eye on those of us who may be developing issues. In light of this there will be a questionnaire to fill out on some of the nights – it is quick, easy and evidenced based and allows me to see who may be heading towards acute mountain sickness and/or worse. Please engage with these activities as it will make my job easier and also, hopefully, prevent anything serious developing.
  • If you have any chronic conditions e.g diabetes etc – you will need to bring double the amount of medication you would anticipate using under normal circumstances.

I look forward to meeting you all and running with you – this will be the trip/race/trek of a lifetime!