|Born||31 December 1988|
|Club||Trail Running Nepal|
Mira Rai (born 31 December 1988) is a Nepalese trail runner and sky runner. She has participated in many international competitions and has won numerous awards. She was the winner of 2017 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.
Mira Rai hails from a remote village in Bhojpur, in the east of the country. Growing up, her family struggled to meet everyday necessities through farming. She left school at age 12 to help her parents in daily household chores, and because her family could not afford her education. She regularly walked up and down the mountainous terrain to collect water and go to market. At the age of 14 she left home in the middle of the night, without telling her parents, to join the Maoist insurgency when they came recruiting through her village. As she was a minor, when the civil war came to an end she was ineligible for integration into the Nepal Army and was subsequently discharged. After returning home she dreamed of doing something more with her life to support her family, and traveled to Kathmandu to pursue karate and running.
She was a good runner, but didn’t know what ultra-running was when she participated in her first ultra-marathon, the 50 km Himalayan Outdoor Festival trail race. One morning when she was running in the hills surrounding Kathmandu, she met a group who were training on the same trails. After running together for some time, they asked her to meet them the following week for another run. When she arrived for that run, she found it was the start point of the 50 km race. Despite being unprepared, without carrying proper food or water, or wearing technical running clothes, she won the race, and caught the attention of race organizers with her positive attitude and dedication to the sport.
After more intensive training for trail running, with her mentor Richard Bull of Trail Running Nepal, she began to travel overseas to participate in international ultra-trail running competitions, where she quickly became a well known name, winning one race after another and breaking several records. In early 2016 she suffered a knee injury during competition in the United Kingdom and had to take some time off from international competition to recover. During that time, she turned her attention to promoting trail running across Nepal, and helping to train other promising young female athletes from rural Nepal to complete on the international stage. She has organized many trail races in Kathmandu, and also her native Bojpur, to promote the sport among Nepali youth. She has been featured in both national and international media, which have covered her life from a remote and rural village to a national hero. In a patriarchal society, she has become an inspiration to many girls across the country.
In 2017 Mira re-joined the competitive ultra-trail running world, with her first competition in September 2017 at the 120 km Ben Nevis Ultra Trail Race in Scotland, UK, where she won the race and set a new course record in a time of 14 hours and 24 minutes. She is a professional trail runner, and part of the Salomon Running team.
These are her main results.
|2017||16.09||Ben Nevis Ultra||1st||(new record)|
|2016||30.04||3 Peaks Race||2nd|
|04.07||Barro Sky Night||1st|
|26.06||Mont-Blanc 80 km||1st||(new record)|
|12.04||Buffalo Stampede Skyrunning||3rd||(42 km 4:52)|
|21.03||Himalayan Outdoor Festival 50 km||1st|
|07.02||MSIG HK50 Sai Kung - Asia Skyrunning Championship||1st|
|01.02||King of the Hills||1st|
|03.01||The North Face Kathmandu Ultra||1st|
|2014||07.12||MSIG Lantau 50 - HK 50 Series||2nd|
|05.12||HK MSIG Vertical Kilometer||1st|
|08.10||Manaslu Trail Race||1st|
|26.10||MSIG HK 50 km||1st||(5:30:32 5th overall)|
|28.09||Trail Degli Eroi (83 km)||1st||(9:16)|
|13.09||Sellaronda Trail Race (57 km)||1st||(6:36:30)|
|21.04||Mustang Trail Race||1st|
|23.03||Himalayan Outdoor Festival 50 km||1st|
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- "Mira Rai | Mira Rai, a short story about a talented runner from Nepal". Miraraifilm.com. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
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- Haslam, Chris (2015-11-06). "From teenage guerrilla to top athlete". Retrieved 2019-09-18.
- "Mira & the girls running fund". Trail Running Nepal. 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
- Stéphane Huët. "From teenage guerrilla to top athlete". BBC. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
- Running all her life, Nepali Times, retrieved 13 February 2015
- MIRA RAI'S 2016 SEASON, Trial Nepal, retrieved 30 June 2016
- "Mira Rai". Trail Running Nepal. Retrieved 2015-07-30.