Race Trilogies: West Virginia, Nepal, and New Zealand

iRunFar throws out three trail races that might be worth checking out: The Western Virginia Trilogy, Annapurna 100, and Tarawera Ultra.

By on September 25, 2010 | 14 comments

This is a bit out of the ordinary for iRunFar, but we wanted to spread the word about a couple races from around the globe. Oh, and have a little contest, too!

First up is a race we’ve meant to write about since we first heard about it many months ago, the West Virginia Trilogy. The Trilogy is aptly named as the event is actually a series of three races over three days from October 8 to 10. The event kicks off with a 50k before a 50 miler on day two and a sprint to the finish with a final half marathon. The triptych of runs skirts the Eastern Continental Divide through the Spruce Knob Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area in the Monongahela National Forest. We reckon it should be right about leaf changing time come race weekend. (While the race is new, the co-directors are quite experienced. Dan Lehmann directs the Highlands Sky 40 Mile and Adam Casseday also directs the Cheat Mountain Moonshine Madness 50 Mile.) Casseday noted, “I think you are going to see more multi-day races as the next trend in ultrarunning. The Trilogy is going to be as much a celebration of running, nature, and friends as a competitive event. Running three days on beautiful single track, high in the mountains, with Fall’s brilliance radiating around every turn of the trail – it doesn’t get much better!” If you are looking for a last minute fall race, it would hard to beat this one!

A bit further afield, Pokhara, Nepal will play host to the fifth Annapurna 100 on New Year’s Day 2011 (or 1/1/11, if you prefer). The event is put on by the same folks who brought you iRunFar’s Trail Running in Nepal Destination Dirt guide. The event features 50k, 70k, and 100k (mostly) trail races with stunning views of the Annapurna Range. Given how much we’ve covered Nepal over the past year, we thought it natural to spread word about this race and opportunity for a cultural experience. Plus, what a way to kick off the new year!

While we’re on the subject of Nepal and the Himalayas, we can’t help but have a contest. Earlier this year, we picked up two extra copies of the now out-of-print book, Running the Himalayas. It’s the story of two brothers, Richard and Adrian Crane, ran over 2,000 miles (with 280,000′ of climbing!) through the Himalayas in 100 days during the summer season of 1983. Leave a comment in the next week telling us why you want to read this book OR why you want to run any of these races and you’ll be eligible to win a copy of this book.

Tarawera UltramarathonBack to racing, the final event we’ll mention is the Tarawera Ultramarathon put on by Paul Charteris, a Kiwi who wrote our Trail Running in New Zealand guide. As with the two events above, there are three different distances involved as you run from Rotorua to Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. You can run 100k, a bit more than 50 miles (85k), or 60k. The event, which is headed toward its third running, also offers relay options. Yeah, this event is a ways off, the event is held until March 19, 2001, but it’s far enough geographically for most that we wanted to give you a heads up well in advance.

Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Editor-in-Chief of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.