Race Trilogies: West Virginia, Nepal, and New Zealand

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.

There are 14 comments

  1. Kim

    Well, I'll enter the contest since I'm already entered in the WV Trilogy! What could be more fun? Camping at the highest spot in beautiful WV, running almost a 100 miles over the weekend (but still get to sleep at night!!) It's going to so much fun!!

  2. Glenn

    I would like to read Running the Himalayas as this is the first I have heard of this book and I am a big fan of the genre, and hope to accomplish my own smaller distance but similar adventure in Iceland one day. For those who are a fan of these endurance types of stories, see the documentaries "Big River Man" and "Running the Sahara." You won't be disappointed.



  3. jenn

    I'd love a copy of the book! I did some running around in the high country of western China a couple of years ago, and am always on the lookout for some good adventure stories from that side of the world!

    Happy running,


  4. Jane Manthorpe

    Whilst on a long haul cycle tour back in 1994, exactly 16 years as I write this post, I climbed the Himalayas by cycle to Nepal and trekked the Annapurna mountains. I fell in love with the place and the people and made a promise I would come back to this beautiful breathtaking place in the world.

    To think there is now a running races in the Himalayas and the Annapurna mountains excites me so much being an ultra runner and unbelieveable, it would be a dream come true to run there and be part of the culture again.

    I would love to read Running the Himalayas as this would re-live my journey I took by cycle and inspire me to take on a great adventure and challenge again, this time running it. :)

  5. Tony Mollica

    The West Virginia Trilogy sounds like a great race to participate in! Instead of traveling to three different races you travel once and get to run three races. Plus the beauty of the West Virginia mountains is spectacular.

  6. Jason

    I am still quiet new to ultra running, my first one will be on Oct 16. I have done a couple of backpacking trips in the Monongahela National Forest finishing at Seneca Rocks. I would love to run just a single race there. The thought of running on the roof of the world in the Himalaya is even more inspiring. I would love to read Running the Himalayas, considering that I already devour all the adventure/travel books I can get my hands on.

  7. JayfromRaleigh

    Would love to read running the Himalayas as its these kinds of reads are inspirational and inspire my return from minor injury as these stories help make even my longs runs seem easy and short in a relative sense.

  8. Patrick

    I ran the Tarawera race last year (March 2010). I can vouch for the race. Paul, the race director, does an amazing job in terms of logistics. There is a great atmosphere with plenty of people watching. Also, there are a number of distances and a relay option. This made the first 60-80k a lot of fun because there were plenty of people to run with. The scenery is stunning in terms of rivers, lakes and other geothermal stuff. This is the only ultra I have done but I would highly recommend it.

  9. Kevin

    I would like to read a copy of Running the Himalayas as the next book for nightly reading with my 9 year old son. We have read several ultra-inspired books ( including Swimming to Antarctica, Greyson, Pedaling to Hawaii, Soul, Sweat and Survival on the PCT and others. This one sounds like an awesome adventure.

  10. Tim

    Wish I had been able to get on this in time as it sounds like a great book. Nonetheless, the West Virginia trilogy sounds incredible… All of the ultra's in this area (VA/WVa) I've had the privilege to attend have been a lot of fun and have provided some incredible experiences.

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