Races of the week - April 4-10

Each week, ITRA proposes to discover trail-running races around the world. This week, we are going to travel from Poland to Nepal, but also Portugal, UK and Norway. The world is trail !

Khatmandu's Stupa to Stupa / Nepal

2015 was the first edition of the Buddhist Stupa to Stupa 50km Ultra, which connected the two most famous Buddhist monuments in Kathmandu on a full moon day. Many race directors have made routes along the traditional pilgrimage trails of the religious, or following a route travelled by a legendary hero, or circumnavigate a mountain. All are valid reasons and perhaps augment the motivation for competitors in the race to work hard, and it makes it easier to explain to friends and family what you did.

The Stupa to Stupa race has no good reason behind it! It’s not a pilgrimage route, and the temples are just 9.6km apart. This is just a nice idea soaked in the essence of Kathmandu : from the chaos of the city, and the chaotic oasis of the Swayambhu hilltop temple, runners climb a local peak through forest to another stupa and a small earthquake-damaged monastery, with views to the Himalayas. Along the way, the route visits three other monasteries and a small hindu cave temple, home to a couple of holy men living a simple life quietly in the forest. After the first 700m climb, the trails contour along the hills of the Kathmandu Valley, neither climbing or falling too much, which makes it a perfect 50km for first timers.

The final 10km descends a long pine forested ridge which extends like a finger into the city towards the finish in Bouddha. With 2km the runners have to endure dusty city streets and alleyways, which are party of daily life in modern Kathmandu, before they arrive at the enormous white dome of Bouddhanath. There’s no podium, the prize giving is on the stupa itself.


Madeira Island Ultra Trail / Portugal

Imagine an island planted in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, 900 km from mainland Portugal and about 600 km off the coast of Morocco. An island where the mountain sometimes kisses the clear blue sea, an island where there are whispering waterfalls, trails, pathways and almost 1500 km of levadas (irrigation channels), a cultural heritage built with the Herculean effort of successive generations who never resigned themselves to embrace the word insulation, an island where there is still a preserved endemic Laurissilva forest, World Natural Heritage by UNESCO.

In 2008, the MIUT was the first trail running event ever organized in Madeira. But the truth is, since 2004, there was already a group of members of the Clube de Montanha do Funchal who, every year, had the habit of attempting to cross the island in less than 24 hours...On the 1st edition, in 2008, 141 adventurers embarked on the challenge of linking the lighthouse of Ponta do Pargo to the city of Machico. The 2013 edition, with 449 participants, also marked the entry of the event into the National Ultra Trail Circuit and it was also choosen as Portugal’s Ultra Trail Championship, thus deciding the national champions that would compete in the Ultra Trail World Championship, an event status that would be repeated in 2015.

An unforgettable race for all runners who will try to complete the 115 Km and 7000 D+...

(Copyright : Joao Santos)


KRSUltra / Norway

A new trail-running race in Norway. The KRSUltra will offers to runners a choice between a 60k ultra trail race and a 20k short route. Both routes will start in the city centre of Kristiansand (one of the most largest city in Norway) and will allow runners to discover the landscapes of Norway.

For the first edition of this event, the organizers have capped the entries for the 60k at 100 participants. To reach the finish line, runners will have to run on "everything" (tarmac, gravel, marshes, bogs, mud, easy single track, extremely technical single track, steep descents and rocky accents...). A small race in a preserved nature : this is just trail-running...! 


Beskidzka 160 na Raty / Poland 

The Beskidzka 160 na Raty is a race which traditionally takes place in spring and in autumn. For each edition, the runners can choose between 3 distances : for the "Spring Edition", the 3 distances ara a 100K (5000D+), a 50K (2500D+) and a 25K (950D+). For the "Autumn Edition", they have the choice between a 63K (5000D+), a 42K (3500D+) and a 21K (2000D+).

The race is organised in the Silesian Beskids. For the "Spring Edition", the race begins inGoleszów, a city situated close to UstroÅ„, whereas for the "Autumn Edition", the start line in UstroÅ„ Polana. To finish the race, runners will have to complete 21K in the Czantoria Massif. The starting point is the ski lift bottom station and the finishing line is the ski lift upper station.


Kielder Ultra Trail / UK

The Kielder Ultra Trail is set in the vast expanse of Kielder Water & Forest Park. The Park spans 600 square kilometres and is home to the largest forest in England and the largest man-made lake in northern Europe.

The area features mile upon mile of purpose-built trails including forest walks, woodland singletrack and heather clad moorland. Add to this a few little unique features & this will be an ultra trail run like no other.....the perfect way to explore this amazing area !


Other races also this week on the international calendar : http://itra.run/page/290/Calendar.html

Organizers, to promote your race on ITRA - Trails of the week, feel free to share with us your details (pictures, resume...) : contact@itra.run

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