Race: Manaslu Trail Race
Location: Himalayas, Nepal
Distance: 130km (7 stages)
Results: 28:10 / 14th male/ 23rd overall
Team Novo Nordisk runner, Stephen England, showed the world what athletes with diabetes can achieve at the Manaslu Trail Race, a multi-stage trail race through Nepal’s Himalayan mountains, including Manaslu, the eighth highest peak in the world. Below, the ultra-runner breaks down his experience at the event.
From Stephen England
The race began on World Diabetes Day, and it was a great test of endurance at high-altitude with competitors from all over the world. Over 7 race days and two recovery days, we covered a total of 170km at elevations up to 5120km (16800ft)!
This amazing adventure seemed a fitting way to end my year of big ultra races: Western States 100 in the Sierra Nevada range of California, Fat Dog 120 in the Canadian Rockies and now, my first ever stage race in the Himalayas.
Each stage was different in length, difficulty and, of course, breathtaking scenery. The one similarity (most of the time) was that we seemed to keep going up!
It was extremely hot in the foothills and extremely cold higher up, so preparation was key: having the right clothing, nutrition plan and, above all, respect for the mountains. And I carried an abundance of diabetes supplies with me at all times to ensure my diabetes would never be a factor in slowing me down.
Manaslu was the highest I’d ever been, and although sometimes the altitude made it feel like we were walking on the moon, it never stopped me from getting to the finish line each day with a smile on my face.
The race was truly a life changing experience. It was great interacting with runners from all over the globe, and locals from the Nepalese and Tibetan mountain villages were always joyful and welcoming. Manaslu will forever be a cherished place in my life of adventures.
The fact that the race kicked off on World Diabetes Day was so awesome! I was halfway across the world with no internet, but I still knew I was making a difference and helping inspire others living with diabetes to go after their dreams.
For me, going to the Himalayas has been a lifelong dream and I was finally there, making it come true.