Capital to Country Multi-Day Ultra – Be a part of the adventure of a lifetime

Think you’ve got what it takes to tackle a five-day, 123-mile race that includes steep inclines and goes through a landscape so remote you often don’t see anyone for hours?

Then you might be just the sort of adventurer to join us on our incredible Capital to Country Ultra Marathon, an international event which winds its way through the foothills of Nepal.

This is a race so epic that one of last year’s competitors dubbed it ‘a cross between the Marathon des Sables and the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc.’

Before you even start running from Nepal’s sprawling capital of Kathmandu, the experiences will jump at you – quite literally sometimes. Last year, a gang of rather cheeky monkeys Kathmandu’s otherwise peaceful Monkey Temple leapt from the trees to help themselves to a Sprite bottle as a souvenir.

If the idea of discovering your limits and achieving incredible things among some of the most stunning landscape in the world appeals to you, then head over to our event page for more information and to sign-up.

Still not sure? We’ve taken a look at the experiences of some of last year’s ultra heroes and how they conquered Capital to Country… it might just inspire you!

how emily walked back to happiness

Emily Moore had a different approach to the inaugural Capital to Country Ultra Marathon across Nepal. She power-walked it.

Emily, who first went to the Himalayas 28 years ago when she was just 18, had been experimented with long-distance walking in preparation for the gruelling Marathon des Sables, the six-day, 250km ultra marathon that takes place in the Sahara Desert; an event she has since completed.

She said: “I power-walked Capital to Country and had a very different event than the others. I went to a Nepalese wedding, I went to temples. The guy who was with me at the back was very proud of his country and we have made friends. He showed me all the important buildings.

“On the last day, we went past his school, which is a charity school where his brother is the headmaster. The kids were at the windows looking at us, then they all came out and they blessed me.

“I smelt like Turkish Delight, which was an actual delight because I had been smelling like a dog for days.”

Dharmesh Mistry’s Himalayan Dream

Capital to Country Multi-Day Ultra Marathon 2023 Day Two

As Emily powered her way towards spiritual and physical success, Dharmesh Mistry paused as he reached the top of another gruelling climb.

He took a sharp intake of breath, trying not only to slow his fast-beating heart but to allow his brain to take in the vista before him.

Lush green hillsides spread out before him, a river snaking its way through the valley below. But his eyes were focused on what was in the distance. Looking down on everything before him were a set of snow-peaked giants.

It isn’t every run that allows you to gaze out at the majesty of the Himalayas.

But, Dharmesh said, the Capital to Country Ultra isn’t just any race: “It is like a dream, something to give you kudos and to tell your grandkids.”

The experienced ultra runner, who has completed a host of 100-mile races as well as MDS, added: “I thought this was like UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc) meets MDS. A five-day, self-sufficient race with long climbs and huge distances. Who wouldn’t want to do that?

“Yes, MDS is a similar distance and in the heat, but the climbs aren’t like this and the terrain isn’t as varied. The scenery is brilliant. The people are so friendly and the course lived up to all the challenges we thought it would bring.”

An adventure, not an all-out race

Capital to Country Multi-Day Ultra Marathon 2023 Day Two

Dharmesh took on Country to Capital alongside running friend, Tarne Westcott, who would go on to win the race. The pair have been running events together ever since a pub bet resulted in them doing the London to Birmingham 50-miler more than a decade ago.

“We’re comfortable running in different situations and different environments,” Tarne said. “A lot of that apprehension that might go with running in a new area or a new terrain didn’t exist for us.”

Tarne, who has attempted to run UTMB three times but been denied by injury and circumstance, said the relaxed nature of Capital to Country was something that proved attractive to the small group of seven runners who took on an event designed to be an adventure and experience as much as an all-out race.

“I think the opportunity to do something completely different with no pressure, and I don’t mean that in a negative way, meant we could enjoy the adventure, enjoy the experience, soak up the scenery and the views, and enjoy every day,” he said.

“It was almost like a holiday, genuinely a break, a trip, some excitement, seeing a new location, seeing the terrain, being in the mountains. We all loved that.”

helen ramwell's chance to say goodbye

Capital to Country Multi-Day Ultra Marathon 2023 Day Five

Helen Ramwell had met Dharmesh and Tarne when completing the MDS – a race she also ran alongside her father, Richard, who sadly passed away during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Running through Nepal proved to be a chance for her to say goodbye and complete one last race with him: “Part of the journey for me was about just having a bit of space to process what had happened.

“Running felt like a very apt way of doing it. Being out in the mountains and having the headspace running gives you, to go through all of that was incredible.

“I know my dad was with me on my shoulder.”

She said there was a purity about the “melting pot of different cultures and different religions” found in Nepal and the people she encountered.

‘There was a moment where we’d been running for three or four hours without having seen anyone and I came across a bloke who had a massive piece of plywood that was a metre wide and three-metres long. He was carrying it on his head,” she said.

“We saw women bent double, carrying massive loads on their backs, and yet every single one of them stopped and smiled at us.

“We were doing this weird thing that they probably couldn’t get their heads round at all, but yet we were still having that human connection with people.

“I think that is incredible. It just brings you back down to a basic human purpose and puts life into perspective.”

owen jones' journey of recovery

Capital to Country Multi-Day Ultra Marathon 2023 Day Three

If Helen and Tarne fell in love with Nepal while running, Owen Jones’ journey saw him captivated by the often painful but spectacularly rewarding sport of ultra running.

A recovering alcoholic who only gave up the booze four years ago, Owen had nevertheless always been a proficient marathon runner. But his first experience of an ultra hadn’t gone to plan.

“I’d run the 100km Race to the Stones,” he said, “but it didn’t hold any appeal for me.

“We’d set off at sunrise on what was the longest day and still finished it in darkness, having sort of set ourselves the target of finishing without needing to put our head torches on. The enjoyment wasn’t there as much as I thought it would be. It was just too bloody hard.”

But he was persuaded to put his doubts to one side by a “stroke of marketing genius” on Facebook. A post advertising the Capital to Country Ultra told runners to ‘work out how much it costs, be told by your other half that it’s ridiculous and they can spend the money elsewhere, and book it anyway’.

And that’s what he did.

Despite the event getting off to the worst possible start when the strap on his rucksack snapped after just four miles of day one, Owen slowly became immersed in the joy of extreme endurance sport.

“I was looking through all the pictures from the event and there is one of myself and Emily coming in to the finish on the last day,” he said.

“Our arms are aloft and we’ve just got the happiest faces you can possibly imagine. That picture encapsulates the whole thing.

“It was just a trip about getting to a very happy place, having been through some pretty shitty places on the way through.”