Mira Rai

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Mira Rai
Mira Rai 02.JPG
Personal information
Born (1988-12-31) 31 December 1988 (age 33)[1]
Country   Nepal
SportTrail running
ClubTrail 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.[2]


She has participated in some of the world’s most challenging trail races.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

Early life[edit]

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.[14]


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.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17]

  Race of Skyrunner World Series (2 wins)
Year Date Race Position Notes
2017 16.09 Ben Nevis Ultra 1st (new record)
2016 30.04 3 Peaks Race 2nd
2015 19.09 Ultra Pirineu 2nd
19.07 Dolomites Skyrace 13th
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
28.11 KOTH 2nd
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


  1. ^ "Mira Rai". fidal.it. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  2. ^ "This Woman is Your Adventurer of the Year—Video Exclusive". National Geographic. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Mira Rai | Mira Rai, a short story about a talented runner from Nepal". Miraraifilm.com. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  4. ^ "Mira Rai". Trail Running Nepal. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  5. ^ "Mira Rai clinches int'l ultra-marathon in France". My Republica. 2015-06-27. Archived from the original on 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  6. ^ Naresh Newar. "Running all her life | Nepali Times Buzz". Nepali Times. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  7. ^ "Serious Sisu: Mira Rai — SisuGirls". Sisugirls.org. 2014-11-04. Archived from the original on 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  8. ^ "Rai wins title in Hong Kong | Sports". Ekantipur.com. 2014-12-07. Archived from the original on 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  9. ^ McMahan, Ian (25 June 2015). "Meet Nepal's Breakout Trail Running Phenom". Outside Online. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  10. ^ Stéphane Huët. "The inspiration of a long-distance runner | Nepali Times Buzz". Nepali Times. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  11. ^ Haslam, Chris (2015-11-06). "From teenage guerrilla to top athlete". Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  12. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/05/mira-rai-former-child-soldier-athlete-women-nepal
  13. ^ "Mira & the girls running fund". Trail Running Nepal. 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  14. ^ Stéphane Huët. "From teenage guerrilla to top athlete". BBC. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  15. ^ Running all her life, Nepali Times, retrieved 13 February 2015
  16. ^ MIRA RAI'S 2016 SEASON, Trial Nepal, retrieved 30 June 2016
  17. ^ "Mira Rai". Trail Running Nepal. Retrieved 2015-07-30.

External links[edit]