The team from the Nepali Army finished Expedition India in 8th place today and they’ve captured the hearts of those on the race and earned a huge amount of respect, as well as showing what an inexperienced Asian team can achieve.
Race manager Shaukat Sikand who has been instrumental in getting so many Indian (and the Nepali team) racing here told them on the finish line, “We are so proud of you, we can’t express it,”
The team members are Dipesh Chaudhari, Basanta Tharu, Himal Tamata, and Pratap Thapa, and all are members of the Nepali Army adventure team. As an all-male team they won’t get a World Series ranking, but their performance is a huge step up for this group of young athletes and they are the first Nepali team to take part in the ARWS.
The team is put together by their manager Rajiv Chand and the first thing the team said on the finish line was how important their manager was in making it possible for them to race. They also said next time they would do some training ... now they know what is involved!
The team includes two mountain bikers, a triathlete and a national team rafter, which accounts for their comments that they found the trekking much the hardest of the stages, and really enjoyed the big river rafting. They do race at home in their own sports, and there are a couple of one-day adventure races organised in Nepal, but it’s a big jump up from there to a full expedition race.
Using old, heavy bikes, cheap trainers and equipment ,and despite their lack of experience they’ve held their own with some of the most experienced ARWS teams here. Much of the time it’s fair to say they’ve not understood what was going on! (The manager couldn’t be here with them.) They’ve often had equipment in the wrong places or not carried what was required, but kept on going to earn their 7th place.
It has been one of the many frustrations of working in India for the race to try and get the local teams to understand the rules and what they need to do. If you saw the Manali Mountaineering Institute team pin move away from TA7 on the tracking last night, it was because they’d taken their own bus to go off and sleep somewhere else! They’ve had a pick and mix participation in the race experience.
The Kolkata Police team never recovered their raft and rucksacks lost on the river, and had to borrow money this morning to get some new gear to keep going, and other Indian teams are being moved forward to ensure they can finish as much of the course as possible by tomorrow afternoon. The main thing is they have all kept going.
The Nepali team have not needed any such help and shown what great potential they have given more support and training.
[Editors note; While posting this story a monkey wandered into my room which I managed to chase out. I pulled the door closed but they are still trying to get in! Just one of the hazards of reporting in India I guess.)
About The Author
More About This Event
The 2019 Adventure Racing World Series started on a high when Expedition India took place last week in the Himalayan foothills. The race
Expedition India closed with the race party and prize giving last night after 5 days of extraordinary adventure racing. The party had a
There have been teams finishing throughout the day here at Expedition India and in the late evening we’ve had a rush of Indian teams
Both Thunderbolt AR and Rootstock Racing finished this morning, the Australians taking 6th place and the Americans 7th, both remarkable
After the early morning finish of the winners there was a considerable wait for the second and third placed teams to cross the line at Koti
Having lead for much of the race, and with a big lead over any chasing teams, Team Naturex of France crossed the finish line at Koti
Transition 5 at Expedition India was set up as a tented camp for the many teams expected to arrive and be caught by the dark zone on the
Into day two of the race the field was rapidly spread out as teams completed the first trekking stage, then an additional trek to replace a
Day one of Expedition India served up a full variety of challenges and experiences as teams raced down the Kullu Valley. The start in
Expedition India was never going to deliver an ordinary start, or an easy one, but it was spectacular when teams finally got underway
“Whatever it is, it’s an Adventure!” That was Silver Eensaar’s summary after his team Bend Racing had been through
The maxim that getting to the start line is the hardest part of the race has never been more true than here at Expedition India.
There can few more iconic and alluring locations for an expedition adventure race than the Himalaya, and in a few days time 26 lucky teams