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The Everest Trail Race

08-Nov-2020 Lukhla, Everest, Nepal


Image Mask
Mountains Race Race Terrain
160KM / 100Miles
6 Days - 50 Runners

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Brutal  

Set against one of the most iconic and awe-inspiring backdrops on the planet, the Everest Trail Race is one of the world’s toughest high-altitude ultra-marathons.

Winding through the remote Solukhumbu region of the Himalayas in Nepal, the Everest Trail Race (ETR) is an annual multi-stage footrace, with a brutal range in altitude of more than 25,000 meters.

Along hard trails of frozen earth, crunching through crisp snow and running over different types of rock, red, green and grey in colour, prepare to cover a gruelling 160km over six days.

Divided into stages of roughly 22, 28, 30, 31, 20 and 22 km respectively, the daily difference in altitude goes from a heart-pounding 3,000 meters up to 5,950. En route expect breath-taking views of not only one, but several of the world’s tallest mountains, Everest, Lothse, AmaDablam, Tamseku, Kangtega, Makalu and Kanchenjunga.

Snacks, meals and water are provided by the organisation, both along the route and in the camps at the end of each stage, but the race does require a degree of self-sufficiency. You must carry all the personal technical equipment you will need to survive – a sleeping bag, sleeping mat, warm clothes plus the mandatory safety equipment laid out in the race rules. Taking into account the weight of the material in relation to the temperatures that may occur during the day (up to 18°C) and (max -10°C) at night, is just all part of the challenge.

In fact, the race is a test for both runners and the race organisation as the area is only accessible by foot. Local Nepalese men and women, from the Sherpa, Rais, Tamang and other Tibeto-Burman speaking ethnic groups will be your daily Solukhumbu audience, as well as making up the staff of race officials, medical staff, timekeepers and logistics personnel.

"You reach the highest point of the day and you are breathing hard, short shallow breaths. You think you must stop, that you can’t go on, but then you settle into a sustainable rhythm. Your body is adapting to the workload, to the altitude and with that realisation you feel a rush of empowerment that motivates you to run right past the foot of Everest."

Ideal for runners who wish to push the limit of their own physical and mental ability.

The ETR is suitable for elite athletes, mountain walkers, trail runners and those in good health. Which is not to say that with some dedicated alpine training, you too couldn’t become as nimble as a mountain goat…

Started in 2011 by Spanish extreme ultra-runner, Jordi Abad, the Everest Trail Race is staged at the beginning of the dry season when the air is clean after the monsoon, the visibility is impeccable and the surroundings of this unique environment are simply at their finest.  

You can register your interest for this race here.

Read Alice Morrison's Ultimate Kit Guide that she used when she ran this race here and get a fascinating insight about  training for a multi stage mountrain race here from the perspective of both coach and runner.

Read Alice Morrison's preview of the 2016 event here.

Read Lynden Kemp's review for 2013 and James Eacott's for 2014.

Read In the footsteps of Hillary by Ian Corless here about the ETR.


Event Organiser
Steve Diederich



Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Type: An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for: Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Global - Virtual

Type: A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for: For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Review The Everest Trail Race

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Elisabet Barnes

11:49 22-11-17

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves” (Sir Edmund Hillary, )

The Everest Trail Race (ETR) retraces, in part, the foot steps of the historical Everest expeditions, including the one led by John Hunt in 1953, in which Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first confirmed climbers to reach the summit. Whilst the ETR doesn’t take you to the top of the world (perhaps thankfully!), it does come pretty close and allows you to enjoy the breathtaking skyline of Himalayan giants like Everest, Ama Dablam and Lohtse. If you open your mind, this experience can be so much more than a race, and it takes you on an unforgettable journey in a beautiful place on earth.

The ETR is without doubt one of the best races I have ever done. The organisation is spotless. There is a genuine passion for the race amongst all the staff, and they all went out of their way the whole week to look after us.

Whilst the race is challenging it is achievable for most with a decent fitness level and the course is very beautiful. The small scale of the race means that you will get to know the other participants and leave with new friends. The mix of abilities, reasons for participating, nationalities and ages is what makes this race really great. So, if you are thinking about it, don’t hesitate. It is a fantastic race.

Read my full blog about the 2017 edition of ETR, including some hints and tips here:

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12:18 07-01-16

I was lucky enough to take part in the 2015 edition of the etr....this is a very very special event, one I cannot recommend highly enough. If you are ever considering a multi day event...do this.... the organisation is amazing; logistically , I am still unsure as to how all the kit for each camp was transferred. Running along the trails in Nepal was stunning - I haven't felt that much stillness and contentment for years...then running in view of Everest- this blew my mind. Incredible. The organisers were lovely....the running group was fantastic...running (far behind) Jo Meek and Julia Bottger was a privilege...hearing other runners shout my name towards the finish of each race day (Alberto) was magical....my head fills with amazement every time I reflect on this race. Like an idiot, I fell over on the first day - in all my photos I have paper stitches across my nose, oh I look ridiculous - nevermind. What an honour to be part of this - I was unsure if the event could continue this year after the earthquakes,but the organisers were determined to go ahead, thankfully. The medical and logistical support were brilliant....do this, if you can.....

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06:48 24-11-15

Organisation and camaraderie exceptional. Train and prepare well for this one to fully enjoy the experience.

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06:52 26-12-14

A fabulous event in every way. The race organisation was second to none, the scenery spectacular and the course challenging in the extreme. A 'must do' if you enjoy multi day racing. Kerry Sutton, 2014

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09:35 24-11-14

Amazing race, toughest challenge of my life. 2014 course was particularly hard when I ran it. Highly recommend it to anyone who would like to run through some of the most amazing sites with incredible background views...

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