जुन 2, 2023 Live from the road


Reported by Dhavala Stott 1.0 km

We made a visit to the wonderful Pathshala Nepal Foundation School in Kathmandu where a group of bright, eager, very well behaved students were waiting for us.

They loved hearing Sweta tell them about the Peace Run and our recent adventures and enthusiastically joined in all the activities.

Their geography was excellent- they guessed all the small European countries of our team.

And the areas of Nepal that our Nepalese runners come from.

A small group of students sang us their school song, which the whole school joined in with, singing so sweetly and sincerely.

Our special thanks go to the Pathshala Nepal Foundation coordinator Vibha Thapa for arranging our visit, she is on the left of the team here.

Magdalana presenting the school with a painting by Sri Chinmoy.

Bishwonath Kandel, the Principal of Pathshala Nepal Foundation then kindly offered us their Token of Love, which we were very touched by.

Holding the torch and making a wish for peace is always a highlight.

This enthusiastic teacher wanted his photo not only with the torch but both our flags as well.

In the evening we attended the final dinner for the Everest Marathon runners and were invited to give a presentation for the runners. We took the opportunity to offer the Sri Chinmoy Torch Bearer award to 4 special individuals we have met here.

Bikram Pandey KAAJI is The Concept Man and event creator of the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon. The event he has nurtured from the start has brought together thousands of runners from around the world for a unique marathon experience. He is also committed to helping the environment and started a project to help save the musk deer by planting rhododendron trees. In all his varied activities he has the principle goal of creating and spreading peace and has done an incredible amount to share the beauty of his country and its people through his tourism entrepreneurship. He is the Honorary Consulate General of Greece. He is truly an example of how one person with ideas, inspiration and hard work can spread peace from their community out into the world.

Bikram was presented the award by his son Shikhar Pandey, the event director for the Everest Marathon. Shikhar does an impressive job of organising a race that includes trekking 200 people from many different countries for ten days before the race even starts. The logistics of this are pretty mind-boggling, before you even consider that the race team are also operating at high altitude with all the challenges that brings. Thank You for all your exceptional work.

Abhejali introduced our next recipient: Roshni Rai is a lawyer that discovered a love for running. She founded the “Run with Roshni” foundation and running club to share this with others who wouldn't normally have the opportunity or environment to run. She is a Gorkha who is fighting in a different way, a non violent way – finding peace through running and helping others in her community to run too. Roshni's determination and cheerfulness were on full show during our time hiking together and we are delighted to honour her tonight.

Jayasalini was next: "I am thrilled to present you an amazing person, whose life is a true embodiment of peace. She is a unique athlete – a mountain biker, who represents Nepal in international events and has won countless national events (8 time National Champion, the gold medalist of the South Asian Games and this list could go on). Her contribution to sports is not limited to athletic achievements. She is a true ambassador of her sport – she loves and wholeheartedly dedicates herself to cycling and mountain biking. Even if you don’t know anything about mountain biking and you talk to her – be sure, you will fall in love with mountain biking. She advocates equality in sport for men and women, where everyone has equal opportunities and possibilities. She founded the Nepal cycling school where all ages and abilities can learn cycling and use sports gear. She is paving the way in professional mountain biking not only for herself, but also for many female athletes who follow her – to be able to participate in professional competitions, to be respected, to be recognised."

Laxmi's smiles, words of advice and easy going personality lit up our days on the trail.

Laxmi was presented the award by a fellow Nepalese woman who is a previous recipient of the Torch Bearer award, Lhakpa Phuti Sherpa.

Dhavala then introduced Mira Rai, " From winning her first ultra race with no special gear, Mira Rai took the ultra running world by storm, winning races around the wolrd and in 2017 she was named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. She set up the Mira Rai Initiative to promote trail running around Nepal and especially to train, mentor and empower the next generation of Nepalese runners. When we came to Nepal and started trekking with Mira we could see from her interactions with people from dawn until well beyond dusk that she has transcended the sport of running. She is what we in Britain would call a National Treasure -she is loved by all and she loves and gives from her heart to everyone she meets. Her enthusiasm and lightness of spirit are completely infectious, flowing out through her smile and inspiring and energising anyone fortunate enough to cross her path. It is a rare gift to have such a pioneering soul as Mira has, its even rarer to to be able to give so much of oneself to others. Mira, we now know why the whole of Nepal loves you, we love you and we are so very happy to present you with the Sri Chinmoy Torch Bearer Award."

Once again our gratitude goes to Mira for joining us on the trek, she embraced the Peace Run and its message as naturally as she embraces life.

Group Captain Commander RC Tripathi, Secretary general of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation gave a few words of congratulation to all the runners.

Shikhar Pandey then called up the winners of the different categories from the races. The Nepalese once again impressed us with the speed at which they cover the ground, posting times that most would be delighted with on a flat course! We were happy to see our friends from base camp Tayte and Kirra who finished 1st and 2nd foreigner in the marathon and Kevin who was 1st foreigner in the 70k Ultra.

Kirra Basmanno from Australia who finished the marathon in 6.06 spoke about her experience of running with the Nepalese, having run all over the world.

Three Torch Bearers who we will always be grateful to for joining the Peace Run team on the base camp trek. You are all Peace Runners for life now!

We wre happy to meet with Manju Rawat, who was the first woman in the marathon in 5.28.

Torch carried by
Abhejali Bernardová (Czech Republic), Ankurika Hammerl (Austria), Devesh Ghimire (Nepal), Dhavala Stott (Great Britain), Gaurav Singh (Nepal), Harita Davies (New Zealand), Jayasalini Abramovskikh (Russia), Jitendra Singh KC (Nepal), Krishna Kushwaha (Nepal), Kuleshvari Sulic (Serbia), Magdalena Lewosinska (Poland), Pramod Shah (Nepal), Preetidutta Thorpe (New Zealand), Prerana Mehta (Nepal), Rajendra Sharma (Nepal), Rambha Prajapati (Nepal), Shyamala Stott (Great Britain), Sunita Mishra (Nepal), Sushila Lohani (Nepal), Sweta Pradhan (Nepal).  
Accompanied by  
Mira Rai (NP), Laxmi Magar (NP), Roshni Rai
Abhejali Bernardová, Harita Davies, Kuleshvari Sulic, Shyamala Stott
The torch has travelled 1.0 km in Kathmandu.

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