KATHMANDU, Dec 22: How many kilometers can you run in a day? Perhaps, the thought itself might make you cringe.
But Britain´s ultra runner Lizzy Hawker can run a whopping 100 km in a day. And if it is in the plains she takes less than seven-and-a-half hours, and a little more in the mountain trails to traverse the same distance.
Two years ago, she completed the distance from the Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu in 3 days, 2 hrs and 7 mins.
Lizzy will be in Nepal by December-end to participate in the Annapurna 100 Trail Race on January 1.
Ngima Yanjee from Khumjung, Solukhumbu will compete with Lizzy and hopes to win the race.
"I don´t think I am that strong. My mind is strong. I tell myself to keep running, keep enjoying," said Ngima Yanjee.
Around 50 ultra runners have already registered their names for the first international event of Nepal Tourism Year 2011.
The Annapurna 100 features 100 km, 70 km and 50 km races, which will begin from Pokhara and pass through Hyangja, Dhampus, Pitam Deurali, Ghandruk and Birethanti to finally conclude at the starting line.
Ex-Gurkha Ramesh Bhattachan and Roger Henke, the director of Summit Hotel in Lalitpur, will coordinate the event that will be sponsored by Summit Hotel, Standard Chartered Bank and Sherpa Adventure Gear. Meanwhile, Richard Bull has been managing the official website of the event.
"Nepal is a perfect country for trail races and the sport has a great scope here," claimed Roger.
The runners will be charged 100 euros each to participate in the event and will have to manage travel and accommodation on their own.
However, only Nepali ultra runners can run for the prize money. Winner of men´s 100 km will get Rs 50,000 while winners of 70 km and 50 km races will receive Rs 35,000 and Rs 25,000, respectively. The top five ultra runners will also receive cash prizes.
Meanwhile, winner of women´s 100 km will get Rs 20,000 while winners of 70 km and 50 km will receive Rs 15,000 and Rs 10,000, respectively. "The prize money is only to attract Nepali runners and only Nepalis will get cash prizes," said Roger.
Ram Kumar Chhetri is the defending champion of the trail race. He had completed 71 km in 7 hours, 30 minutes to bag the trophy. Fifty athletes, including 10 foreigners, had participated in the race and Army Club had claimed all the top five spots.
"Nepal has world-class trail runners like Dawa Dachhiri Sherpa, Phu Dorjee Sherpa, Sudip Rai and Ngima Yanjee, who are doing well even at the international level. We want to promote trails in Nepal as well as the athletes," said Roger. "We are trying to encourage women participation this time," he added.
According to the official website, annapurna100.com, Sir Ian Botham, a world-renowned cricketer, had first participated in this 100 km race on October 31, 1995. Twelve local runners proved that a run from Pokhara to Pun Hill and back was possible in less than 12 hours. The winner took 11 hours 55 minutes and 55 seconds. The route would normally take an average trekker five days.
"After 1995, it was organized in 2000 and 2009. In March 2010, it was changed to Annapurna 71 km and now it is back to 100 km again," said Roger. "If we continue for the next few years, it will be a big event in east Asia," he added.