Mustang Trail Race

The Mustang Trail Race is an 8-stage, high-altitude trail race through the culturally Tibetan, trans-Himalayan region of Nepal. 13-25 April 2019


13th - 25th April 2019. The Mustang Trail Race is an 8-stage, 170 km, high-altitude trail race through the culturally Tibetan, trans-Himalayan region of Nepal.

The Mustang Trail Race mixes challenging running on centuries-old trading trails, with plenty of downtime for rest and cultural exploration of caves, villages, monasteries & Hindu temples from Lower to Upper Mustang.

I just wanted to write and say a huge and heartfelt thank you for organising this amazing race ... it was absolutely worth it and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Erica Rusbridge

Australia

Adventure race Nepal
The view from the best trail - stage 7

For centuries this has been the safest trading route between Nepal and Tibet. The well worn trails make the yaks smile, and are thus perfect for trail runners too. Trails undulate over successions of dry hills between oasis-like villages.

Mustang with its fairytale landscape is one of the few places in the world to retain an air of mystery. Only opened to tourism in 1992, it is an enclave of pure Tibetan Buddhist culture whose conserved monasteries, and caves alike, house priceless historical treasures.

Map to mustang, nepal

Where is Mustang?

Mustang is in the west of Nepal, way back behind the Greater Himalayan Range, in the rain shadow created by the Annapurna Massif. It's a short flight (or 9 hour drive) from the lake side town of Pokhara.

More about the race...

  • A SUPPORTED RACE - you run with a light pack, everything else is carried for you. You sleep in 'tea-houses' on comfortable mattresses. We feed you big cooked meals and you just bring a few favorite energy snacks.
  • 8 STAGES, 12 DAYS - It's 12 days in total: 8 x racing days, 1 x hiking day, 2 x travelling days, 1 x day briefing in Kathmandu.
  • FRIENDLY - Up to 30 like-minded starters forming a friendly group. We invite young Nepali running talents to develop their running and interpersonal skills.
  • UNIQUE ENVIRONMENT - We run northwards towards Tibet, behind the stunning 8000 m Annapurna Massif, running at altitudes between 2900 m and 4,300 m!

Mustang Trail Race video

What race competitors have said:

Sylvain Labattu Mustang Trail Race

“The race was recommended to me by a friend who praised the whole experience: the organisation, the culture on display and the scenery. I signed up expecting "good" and a bit of repetitive landscapes... well it turned out to be "exceptional" and the memory is within grasp whenever I close my eyes: the mountains, the trails and crazy topography only Dali could have imagined. All yours if you have 2 weeks!”

Sylvain Labattu
Singapore (Winner 2017)
Bryon Powell Mustang Trail Race

“If you love the desert, then Mustang is for you. The same holds true if you’re a lover of majestic mountains. I love both enough that I choose to live on the flanks of the La Sal Mountains outside Moab, Utah. Well, Mustang is that to a higher power…”

Bryon Powell
USA
Tyler Wasson Mustang Trail Race

“I spent one year living in Nepal and in that time I had a lot of experiences but none were better than running the Mustang Trail Race. Mustang is a magical and mystical place, and one that not many people get to go visit. Richard and Trail Running Nepal know how to provide a one-in-a-lifetime experience appropriate for visiting this unique land. They were able to make it simultaneously a race and a cultural experience/tour. I recommend the Mustang Trail Race to anyone who loves running, loves adventure, and loves learning and experiencing different cultures and ways of life. There is no place like Mustang, it must be experienced in person and there is no better way to see it then with the group from the Mustang Trail Race.”

Tyler Wasson
USA
Kathryn Sall Mustang Trail Race

“This race is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You will experience adventure in an ecosystem unlike anywhere else on the planet — through high red desert, dramatic canyons, villages of twelve households, with Annapurna and Dhaulagiri looming in the background. You will be challenged by the running and the altitude and nurtured by the views and the wonderful people with whom you’re experiencing these timeless communities. An absolute must do.”

Kathryn Sall
USA (2013)
Menai Baugh  Mustang Trail Race

“Still can’t believe I completed the Mustang Trail Race! I had never run a stage race before but the excellent pink way-finding ribbons ensured that I found the route every day. I ran through amazing, varied, incredible landscapes enjoying a culture that I would never have seen had it not been for this race. It was the most wonderful experience.”

Menai Baugh
United Kingdom
Matt Moroz Mustang Trail Race

“The Mustang Trail Race has left an indelible mark on me. Everything good about trail running, cultural exploration, adventure, challenging oneself, and the camaraderie that comes from multi-day races, was present in huge quantities.”

Matt Moroz
Hong Kong (2014)
Alex Copley Mustang Trail Race

“The Mustang Trail Race is an incredible way to see, and race through, a spectacular landscape of snow-capped mountains rising from a high-altitude desert. The race is a perfect mixture of exhilarating running and fascinating culture, and is organised in such a way that you can experience both to their full effect. Go and see Mustang whilst it still has its isolation - it's an experience I'll never forget. ”

Alex Copley
UK
Gimmi Campo Mustang Trail Race

“A fantastic, special and unforgettable experience. A mix of sport (trail running), culture, travel, all shared with people of different nationalities, age and habits. All this together makes the Mustang Trail Race.”

Gimmi Campo
Italy

Mustang Newsletter

Mobirise
Stage 7 - a viewpoint to a bizare landscape, just metres from the trail

Stop the race! It would be crazy to run right past ancient monuments, right? What about Check-in Check-out checkpoints? During the Mustang Trail Race you can stop and enjoy the moment with the clock stopped: go inside an 800 year-old monastery; go explore a cave… Take as long as you want, then check-out, and the clock starts again. We do this on stage 2, stage 3, twice on stage 4, and finally (TBC) on stage 5. Does it make it easier or more difficult? Try it and see.

Mustang with rare April snow cover, Nepal

Lo Manthang, dusted by rare April snowfall. Tibet is on the horizon.

Stage information

While the distances seem short, the oxygen available to you during the race is between only 75% and 60% that of sea level.

D#DateRouteKm↑/↓
D#DateRouteKm↑/↓
4Tue, Apr 17thStage 1:
Kagbeni to Tsaile
15km↑538m ↓
316m
5Wed, Apr 18thStage 2:
Tsaile to Ghemi
27.5km↑2202m ↓
1694m
6Thu, Apr 19thStage 3:
Ghemi to Lo Manthang
21km↑1097m ↓
849m
7Fri, Apr 20thStage -:
Lo Manthang – rest & acclimatisation
↑0m ↓
0m
8Sat, Apr 21stStage 4:
Lo Manthang to Konchok Ling
29.1km↑1063m ↓
1063m
9Sun, Apr 22ndStage 5:
Lo Manthang to Yara
16km↑650m ↓
835m
10Mon, Apr 23rdStage 6:
Yara to Tanggye
18.3km↑782m ↓
-1312m
11Tue, Apr 24thStage 7:
Tanggye to Chuksang
23.9km↑1168m ↓
1523m
12Wed, Apr 25thStage 8:
Chuksang to Jomsom via Muktinath
15.1km↑1184m ↓
484m
Total distance165.9
Nepal mustang trek panorama
Mustang has its own Grand Canyon, which splits the Himalaya in two

Desert, mountains: a Tibetan landscape! iRunFar’s Bryon Powell wroteirunfar logo: “If you love the desert, then Mustang is for you. The same holds true if you’re a lover of majestic mountains. I love both enough that I choose to live on the flanks of the La Sal Mountains outside Moab, Utah. Well, Mustang is that to a higher power…

Every stage seems to have its own personality, such that really no two are similar, and every day seems enjoyably different.

Annapurna Dhaulagiri Nilgiri
The view from the final pass - stage 8
Now read about Stage 1, the short, sharp first 15 km into Upper Mustang, or view a gallery of photos from the very first Mustang Trail Race.
Tite Togni runner
Stage 7 - descent to the finish

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