YAK RU ENDURO

 HIGH-ALTITUDE MTB ADVENTURE

Register NOW

 

Yak Ru Enduro

7-17 October, 2017

 

The Yak Ru Enduro is a 3-day mountain bike enduro race that will test riders on beautiful, steep, and rugged trails between 3200-4300m (10600-14200ft) elevation in the Manang region of the Annapurna Conservation Area, Nepal. The Annapurna Range – boasting huge glaciers, sheer rock faces, and majestic snow-capped peaks - towers over the entire course, providing a stunning backdrop for the ultimate multi-day enduro adventure.

Riders race ‘blind’ on sections of breathtaking terrain - pine and birch forest singletrack, high-speed flow through alpine pastures, rocky switchbacks, steep ridgelines, and generations-old trails passing remote settlements and religious monuments. Participants wishing to challenge themselves and explore one of the most magical landscapes to ride a mountain bike in will be enthralled by the terrain the Yak Ru passes through.

Yak Ru’s enduro racing format allows riders of various abilities - from pros to amateurs – to mingle, swap stories, and take in the amazing scenery, while still allowing themselves to push their limits. Only certain sections of the race are timed: these mainly downhill stages have been selected as amongst the very best trails that the Manang reion has to offer, and will be raced ‘blind’ - without prior practice. This area is also culturally rich and boasts diverse wildlife, affording riders an all-encompassing Nepali experience during their time here.

The special demands of racing in such thin air require all riders from lower altitudes to do an untimed group ‘acclimatization’ ride of 15km to reach our main basecamp, the township of Manang, the day before racing commences.

Over the 3 racing days, riders will be covering 40km of riding and challenged on 8-10 timed stages. Due to the steepness and remoteness of the course, riders can be expected to carry/walk with their bikes for some uphill parts of the untimed transfer stages. Riders will also receive limited assistance in the form of vehicle uplifts to reach some of timed stages.

At the conclusion of racing, an untimed group ‘celebration’ ride will see us descending over 40km and over 2000m (6600ft) in a single day, a fitting post-competition wrap-up this mountain bike experience of a lifetime.

Registration for the Yak Ru Enduro is open. Sign Up NOW at http://yakru.com/registration

For any other query, please write to yakru@nepalbiking.com

 
 

Race Details

REGISTER NOW to qualify for Early Bird

DATES:

October 7 to October 17, 2017. 

RACE FORMAT:

3-day enduro race: mainly flat and climbing sections are untimed and mainly descending sections are timed.  3 to 6 hours of riding per day, with 2-5 timed sections throughout each day. Times will be added together over the span of the 3 days to get your overall result at the end of the event.

Non-competitive riding before and after the 3 race days

A short, non-competitive acclimatization ride precedes the first day of racing; and a longer, non-competitive ‘celebration’ ride follows after the last day racing – to give a total of 5 days of riding. This event is structured as such with the health and well-being of all participants and staff in mind: to allow riders ample time to get accustomed to the high altitude via the acclimatization ride; as well as ensuring safety (and plenty of great photo-taking opportunities!) during the scenic and very rugged/exposed descending route during the return journey.

RACE TRANSFER STAGES:

Riding vs. Walking with Bike

Each race day, riders can expect a starting transfer stage of around 2-2.5 hours of uphill riding as well as walking with their bikes (‘hike-a-bike’) to reach the first timed stage. Depending on the fitness level and technical ability of riders, this opening transfer stage will be between 40-60% rideable.

Uplifts by Vehicles

4-wheel drive trucks will provide limited vehicular uplifts will be used to get riders through other sections of the race, and will be provided as such:

-       Before the start of racing on 2nd Day: 40-minute early-morning uplift between Manang town to Khangsar town

-       During racing on 3rd Day: 30-minute uplift for part of the transfer stage between Stage 2 and Stage 3

RACE TIMED STAGES:

Overall, the timed stages comprise of over 90% downhill/descending features, and less than 10% flat and climbing/uphill features. Some stages will feature more descending and brake control on high speed or technical sections, while others will require riders to do more pedaling to remain competitive.

Features on timed stages include (but are not limited to):

-       Narrow singletrack with exposure on ridgelines, traverses, and corners

-       Flowy, high-speed singletrack and doubletrack

-       Alpine forest soil and vegetation (loam, roots, pine cones, fallen leaves)

-       Loose rocks, pebbles, and scree

-       Steep, tight, descending switchbacks

-       Rock gardens, including steps (natural or man-made), rock slabs, and rollable drops

-       Occasional wet stream/creek crossings and bridges (rock, wood)

-       Mud, snow, ice (if wet/cold weather is encountered)

Due to the remote nature of this event, all timed stages will be contested without prior practice, or ‘blind’. Each race stage is officiated over by a start official and a finish official (at the start and finish line respectively); are marked with course tape & arrows; and are manned at critical junctions and safety points by route marshals and medical staff.

Regular pre-stage inspections will take place throughout the event to ensure that riders possess and wear proper protective equipment, that their bikes are in good working order, and that they comply with the regulations and the spirit of the event.

INFORMATION AND WHAT TO EXPECT

The night before each day of riding, a riders’ briefing wil be held to give important details on what to expect and the latest updates on trail conditions. Stage and cumulative times will also be posted daily during the riders’ briefings.

2017 Yak Ru Enduro Race Breakdown (all times/measurements are estimates only)

Race Day & Location

# of Timed Stages for the day

Total Distance for the day

Total Distance of Timed Stages

Opening Transfer Stage Rideability & Duration to complete

Remaining Transfer Stages’ Combined Rideability

Vehicular Uplift to get to Start or during Transfer Stage?

Estimated Time to complete whole route

1st Day (Gangapurna Lake)

2

8km

1.8km

40%, 2hrs

90%

No

2.5 - 3hrs

2nd Day (Khangsar / Shiree Kharka)

2

14km

4.9km

50%, 2 – 2.5hrs

100%

Yes (to the start of 2nd Day) - 40mins

4 – 4.5hrs

3rd Day (Miilerepa / Ghyaru)

3

25km*

4.6km

60%, 2 – 2.5hrs

90%

Yes (between Stages 2 and 3) - 30mins

4.5 – 5.5hrs

*includes 7.5km vehicular uplift between Stage 2 & 3 of Day 3

 

2017 Yak Ru Enduro Race Elevation Breakdown (all measurements are estimates only)

Race Day & Location

# of Timed Stages for the day

Total Distance for the day

Total Elevation Gain (Climbing)

Total Elevation Loss (Descending)

Vehicular Uplift Elevation Gain

Vehicular Uplift Elevation Loss

1st Day (Gangapurna Lake)

2

6km

500m

-500m

-

-

2nd Day (Khangsar / Shiree Kharka)

2

14km

530m

-910m

330m

-120m

3rd Day (Miilerepa / Ghyaru)

3

25km*

1000m*

-1510m*

292m

-255m

 *includes 7.5km vehicular uplift between Stage 2 & 3 of Day 3

 

2017   Yak Ru Enduro Non-Competitive Rides Breakdown (all measurements are estimates only)

Ride Day & Start/Finish Points

When

Total Distance

Total Elevation Gain (Climbing)

Total Elevation Loss (Descending)

Rideability

Estimated Time to Complete

Acclimatization Ride (Pisang to Manang)

Afternoon before 1st Race Day

15km

360m

-120m

100%

1 – 1.5hrs

Gangapurna Chorten

Morning of 1st Race Day

1.2km

3m

-123m

100%

Warm up descent

‘Celebration’ Ride (Pisang to Tal)

Morning after 3rd Race Day

42km

470m

-2000m

100%

4 – 4.5hrs

 

 

HOW REGISTRATION WORKS

Early Bird Pricing: USD$1600.00 for entries received BEFORE 7th July 2017. REGISTER NOW

Standard Pricing: USD$1800.00 for entries received AFTER 7th July 2017.
 
Registration will open  on 10 June, 2017 @ 0900hrs GMT / 1445hrs Nepal Time / 1700hrs Singapore Time.  Your completed registration form will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration will remain open until all slots (40 maximum) are filled.
 
The registration form will include a question asking if you intend to enter the race with friend. Please list your friend's names; everyone in your friend’s group must fill out their own form and include each other’s names when filling up this part of the form. This helps smoothen our logistics and accommodation planning to a large extent.
 
Everyone that submits a registration form will be contacted by no later than 3 days from the day of their submission if they are accepted into the race Those lucky riders that are accepted will then get up to 2 weeks to get their full payment in to secure their spot Entries are non-transferable and non-deferrable (e.g. to the following year). They are, however, refundable in part, if we are contacted by e-mail under the following schedule:
 
EB/Standard Entry Fees: 70% refund before 1st August 2017.
EB/Standard Entry Fees: 30% refund before 1st September 2017.
 
A NO REFUND policy will apply AFTER 1st September 2017, without exceptions.
Note: Some travel insurance companies cover and refund the registration fees as long as the rider is not able to participate. We recommend that you buy that kind of travel insurance policy.
 
PRICING
“All Inclusive Package” Cost – International Riders: USD$1600 (early bird rate, applicable 10 June – 07 July) / USD$1800.00 (standard rate, applicable from July 7 onwards)
 
DEPOSIT (Required to secure entry)
USD$540 (30% of US$1800) is required to secure your entry into the race. Payable within two weeks of your entry being accepted.
 

Registration opens on 10 June 2017 at 6:00 PM Singapore time.

Itinerary

Absolute Arrival Day – 7 Oct 2017, Sat

-          transfers from airport to guesthouses

-          (dinner not included tonight)

Briefing / Prep Day – 8 Oct 2017, Sun

-          Gather for briefing + race pack collection + admin

-          Afternoon is spent packing

-          Welcome dinner at central location

Travel Day – 9 Oct 2017, Mon

-          Bags out 0600 (transfer to jeep/4WD truck departure place)

-          Kurintar lunch (1100-1200)

-          Reach Taal (1830)

-          Dinner in Taal, overnight in Taal

Acclimatisation Ride Day – 10 Oct 2017, Tue

-          Board jeeps and leave Taal at 0800

-          Taal > Bhratang (0800-1100); lunch at Bhratang (1100-1200)

-          Bhratang > DP (reach 1300), assemble bikes (by 1400)

-          Ride DP > Manang (1400-1700)

-          Recovery in Manang hotel: lunch, clean-up, maintenance

-          Overnight in Manang hotel

Race Day 1 – 11 Oct 2017, Wed

-          Uplift = start walking by 0630, reach chorten by 0830 (briefing 0830-0845; first rider starts at 0900)

-          WU non-comp’ stage = Gangapurna 1st half (chorten to teahouse)

-          1st stage = Gangapurna 2nd half (teahouse to bridge)

-          Aid station @hotel

-          2nd stage = Above Town (white chorten into town)

-          Wrap-up by 1200

-          Recovery in Manang hotel: lunch, clean-up, maintenance

-          Overnight in Manang hotel

Race Day 2 – 12 Oct 2017, Thu

-          Uplift = gather at jeep station by 0630, transport up to monastery (60mins), reaching 0730-0800

-          Transfer = hike/bike to Siri Kharka high slope (4300m alt), reach by 0930, briefing 0930-0945, first rider starts at 1000

-          3rd stage = high slope> ruin > monastery

-          Transfer = down thru Khangsar, towards suspension bridge (4th stage), clear Khangsar (aid station) by 1130

-          4th stage = fork > suspension bridge, all clear by 1230

-          CD transfer = ride back to Manang

-          Wrap-up by 1330

-          Recovery in Manang hotel: lunch, clean-up, maintenance

-          Pack bags this afternoon/evening

-          Overnight in Manang hotel

Race Day 3 – 13 Oct 2017, Fri

-          Uplift = bags out by 0600; start ride by 0630, ride to base of Millerepa (0700); start Millerepa hike/bike; get to monastery by 0900; briefing 0900-0915; first rider starts at 0930

-          5th stage = monastery > chorten

-          6th stage = chorten > field, all clear by 1030

-          Transfer = cross bridge, go to Munje, get onto Jeep uplift to Ngawal (30mins), all finish by 1130

-          Option A: 7th stage as Ngawal > watermill (Ghyaru); Option B: Ngawal > Ghyaru as transfer continuation (ride)

-          Option B: 7th stage as Ghyaru > Upper Pisang (unexplored trail, to be checked by Chhimi)

-          CD transfer = ride back to Pisang

-          Wrap-up by 1330

-          Recovery in Pisang hotel: lunch, clean-up, maintenance

-          Overnight in Pisang hotel

Group Ride Day – 14 Oct 2017, Sat

-          Bags out by 0630; assemble for group ride by 0700 (on road); exploratory option > Dhikur Pokhari

-          Breakfast stop @ Bhratang (apple resort)

-          Lunch stop @ Timang

-          Reach Taal (1500 all in)

-          Overnight in Taal hotel

Return Travel Day – 15 Oct 2017, Sun

-          Bags out by 0600; depart 0630

-          Lunch stop @ Kurintar (1200-1300)

-          Continue to KTM (reach 1800-1900)

-          Riders disperse to guesthouses (their own dinner)

Awards Day – 16 Oct 2017, Mon

-          Breakfast included (guesthouse to arrange); free n’ easy daytime

-          Lunch (their own)

-          Awards (central location); transport for them; start at 1700

-          Dinner after awards (1900)

Departure Day – 17 Oct 2017, Tue

- transfers to airport or other guesthouses arranged

 

RACE LOGISTICS

LOCATION & ROUTE:

Annapurna Conservation Area, Manang District, Nepal. The spectacular journey will start with a vehicular transfer from Kathmandu and trace the Marsyangi River course up to Taal (1 night’s stay), then onwards to Pisang (where bikes are assembled for the start of the pre-race acclimatization ride). The hub of the event will be in Manang (2 nights’ stay in Manang, 1 night’s stay in Khangsar), before heading back down to Pisang (1 night’s stay). Thereafter the post-race ‘celebration’ ride heads back to Tal (1 night’s stay) before transitioning to a vehicular transfer for the journey back to Kathmandu.

SKILL LEVEL / EXPERIENCE:

Riders should come prepared with sufficient physical conditioning & fitness for 5 consecutive days of between 2-6hrs of riding, hiking, & bike carrying each day.  Riders must possess solid technical & singletrack riding skills. All parts of the route – whether non-competitive or timed - will vary greatly during the 5 days, and will include fast, flowy sections as well as rocky, muddy, or rooty sections with varying amounts of steepness and exposure. Riders are advised to be prepared for alpine conditions – with the possibility of strong sunlight, rain, snow, strong winds, and with sudden changes in temperature & weather - and should equip themselves accordingly. Riders should be aware of the effects of high altitude on their health and fitness, and train themselves accordingly - all race stages take place above 3200m elevation.

ACCOMMODATION:

Riders will be accommodated in standard twin-share city hotels/guesthouses during their stay in Kathmandu; and will be put up in basic, comfortable twin-share/bunk-style rooms at alpine lodgings/teahouses in the mountains. While bedding and blankets are provided, riders are advised to bring a good-quality insulated sleeping bag of their own.

FOOD & HYDRATION (IN KATHMANDU VS. OUT OF KATHMANDU):

Cooked breakfasts and full dinners comprising of mountain region Nepali cuisine (with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options) will be provided everyday*; lunches (with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options) comprising of mountain region Nepali cuisine on ‘out of Kathmandu days’ will be provided during vehicular transfers and at accommodations. Bottled water will be distributed regularly at the start of each day and during mealtimes on ‘out of Kathmandu’ days. Bottled water is available for purchase all along the race trails, althoug they could be expensive as you go higher.

*In Kathmandu, 1x dinner and 2x lunches are not provided – see full itinerary for details and clarification

On the race route, 1-2 aid stations per day will provide on-course nutrition (bottled water, hot tea/water/juice, bars, biscuits, assorted snacks).

Additional food and beverages off the race course and apart from mealtimes (snacks, alcohol) are at own expense.

AIRPORT-KATHMANDU SHUTTLES:

Pick-up can be arranged from Kathmandu Airport. All successful entrants will be updated via email of the details regarding their pre-event and post-event transport options. View the full itinerary here.

TIMING SYSTEM:

We will be using the highly dependable and accurate Sportident timing system (the same one  used for Trans NZ, Trans Provence, Trans Savoie, Andes Pacifico, BC Enduro Series, and Enduro World Series events).  

MANDATORY EQUIPMENT: 

- Mountain bike in good working condition

- Helmet (worn whenever a rider is pedaling their bike; either be full-face or half-lid is acceptable. Helmets with a removable chin guard/piece are also acceptable)

- Knee pads (worn whenever on timed stages)

-    A minimum 0-degree C-rated insulated sleeping bag

-    A Gore-tex or equivalent material hooded, storm-shell/waterproof jacket

-    A down/synthetic insulated jacket or insulated fleece/wool mid-layer

-    One or more insulated beanie/balaclava/head scarf

-    A pair of sunglasses or goggles (with tinted lenses for bright sunlight)

Race Bikes and protection

All riders must bring their race bike in protective cover (bike bag/case)  for transporting of the bikes to and from the race start/end site.

 

PARTICIPANT NUMBERS & CATEGORIES
 
CAPPED AT 40 SLOTS for “All-Inclusive Package” Riders
 
Categories:
 
Open (18-39) – Both Male and Female
Masters (40 and above) – Both Male and Female*
*Junior (under 18) – Both Male and Female*
* Category awarded prizes for 3 or more participants
Male Open and Female Open Categories will be put up, with podium prizes and trophies on offer.
 
Additional Junior (under 18 years old) and Veteran (40 years and above) categories for both genders – including podium prizes and trophies - will be introduced if there are 3 or more participants entered that qualify age-wise & gender-wise for each respective category.
 
Cash Prizes:
 
1st – US$ 500 equivalent in Nepalese rupees
2nd – US$ 300 equivalent in Nepalese rupees
3rd - US$ 200 equivalent in Nepalese rupees
 
*Race organizers reserves the right to withdraw prize money completely or partially and adjust the winnings if the full entry fee paying participants are less than 20.

Race Entry Fee

“All Inclusive Package” Cost – International Riders: USD$1600 (early bird rate, by end of July 2017) / USD$1800.00 (standard rate, applicable from July 1 onwards)

 

ARRIVAL DAY IS SUNDAY, 7 OCTOBER AND DEPARTURE DAY IS TUESDAY, 17 OCTOBER

 “All Inclusive Package” - what is included:

 - Professionally-marked 3-day enduro course, manned by local & foreign staff/volunteers

- Highly accurate timing system Sportident timing system daily

- Full medical support (including daily oximeter readings on travelling/race days) throughout event

- First aid on race course daily

- Food/drink stations on race course daily

- Food/drink stations at finish line daily

- Full vehicular support for transport to/from race course & designated uplift sections on race course

- Free airport transfer within Kathmandu (from Tribhuvan International Airport) on event start date - 7 October, 2017

-  All necessary National Park and Trekking permits

- Free airport transfer within Kathmandu (to Tribhuvan International Airport) on event completion date - 17 October , 2017 (you might want to prolong your stay in Nepal, though!)

- 10 nights’ accommodation (the night before the prep/briefing day in Kathmandu, through to the RnR Day) 7-17 October, 2017

- Full breakfasts each day (9 total) and full dinner each night (8 total)

- Lunch each travelling/race day (7 total)

- Complementary Yak Ru Enduro race duffel bag

- Complementary Yak Ru Enduro ¾-sleeve event jersey

- An unforgettable mountain biking experience!

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Restoration of old Annapurna walking route

To renew interests among trekking community to use the old walking routes for trekking in around Round Annapurna region. Tourism activity along the old walking routes will provide income to the inhabitants and help sustain their lives better.

         

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For Humanity

Yak Ru will also run medial camps along the race routes. Many villagers lack basic medical facilities and suffer from various illness which could have been treated with very little medicine or medical attention. 

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Exchange of opportunities

To create for a platform for Nepali athletes to be able to compete with international riders and vice-versa. Nepalese mountain bikers are among the best when it comes to biking the altitude and harsh terrain. It will be an unique opportunity for an international rider to go neck to neck with our very best.

         

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Setting Up Mountain Biking Academy

Dawn Till Dusk and Nepalsutra TM envisages setting up a mountain biking academy in Nepal to help raise the profile of Nepalese athletes. This will be a private initiative of Dawn Till Dusk. Certain percentage of the surplus profits will go towards the funds for establishing this academy in Kathmandu. The Academy will work with few local clubs to set up Mountain biking training tracks within the first two years of first successful Yak Ru race event. In the subsequent Yak Ru races, we hope our academy graduates will make successful entries.

 

Q: Why is there a sign-up limit of 40 riders for this event?

A: 40 riders is the theoretical maximum that our current logistics convoy plans can accommodate between Kathmandu and the Manang District, as well as during the event itself with regard to shuttle/uplift vehicles, hotel and guesthouse bedding, and safety coverage. The remoteness and ruggedness of the environment the event passes through necessitates this.

This is a very special event and those lucky enough to successfully register will be in for a treat and the adventure of a lifetime!

 

Q: Is it possible take along a non-riding or non-racing companion for this event?

A: Yes. We welcome friends and family members to come and support you as well as be a part of your adventure with us.

Non-riding persons may accompany the 4WD vehicles or hike up to stages to view the action, tagging along with marshaling and safety teams as they do. Companions may also ride their own bikes along the event route, and are more than welcome to accompany event participants on the scheduled acclimatization ride (pre-race) and the group ride (post-race).

Companions receive the exact same services as the racing participant’s package, and the cost is the same. Companions are expected to heed the safety advisories and direction of marshals, safety, and medical staff at all times so as not to interfere with the conduct of the event; or compromise their own safety or that of others.

 

Q: I am a non-racing visitor to Nepal who wants to link up with my family member/friend during the Yak Ru Enduro, but may not want to visit the high-altitude area where the race is taking place. How can I achieve this?

A: Firstly, we warmly welcome you to visit Nepal with the intent to extend your support/presence to your loved ones and friends who are participating in the Yak Ru Enduro.

 

We recommend you schedule your trip to coincide with the end portion of our event. The riders will be racing from 11-13 October, and riding an additional day along the Annapurna Trekking Circuit on 14 October towards the village of Tal; before traveling on 15 October by motor vehicle back to the satellite town of Besishahar (and thereafter to Kathmandu). To enjoy the best scenery of the region, we recommend you schedule your travels to arrive in the region on-time or earlier (if you need time to sight-see) in order to intercept our convoy at either at Tal or Besishahar. If not, linking up in Kathmandu itself (from 16 October onwards) remains the best option for you to integrate your travel plans with that of the Yak Ru Enduro.

 

Please contact our parent company Dawn Till Dusk for more information on tourist facilities, services, tour packages, as well as scenic/cultural/active travel itineraries in Nepal.

 

Q: What airlines have services to Kathmandu, what are the price ranges* like, and which are recommended?

*price ranges correct as of 13 June 2017 - these are subject to price increases the closer it gets to departure date, so book early to avoid disappointment!

A: The only air link between the rest of the world and Nepal is the airport in Kathmandu: Tribhuvan International Airpost (KTM). Many flights require a connecting stopover.

 

From Singapore (SIN), the major air carriers include Air Asia, Malindo, & Malaysian (connect via Kuala Lumpur); Jet (connects via Delhi); Thai (connects via Bangkok); and Silkair (the only one with a direct flight). The return fare price ranges from USD$360 (SGD$495) upwards currently.

 

From Dubai (DXB), the major air carriers include Jet & Air India (connect via Bombay or Delhi); Oman (connects via Muscat); and Hahn Air (the only one with a direct flight). The return fare price ranges from USD$400 (EUR€355) upwards currently.

 

From Hong Kong (HKG), the major air carriers include China Eastern (connects via Kunming); Air India & Jet (connect via Delhi); and Air Asia, Malindo, & Malaysian (connect via Kuala Lumpur). The return price fare ranges from USD$430 (HKD$3400) upwards currently.

 

Q: Do I need a visa to enter Nepal?

A: Yes, nearly all nationalities need a visa to visit Nepal. A 15 day visa is USD$25, to be paid for in foreign currency (USD$, AUD$, Euro, GBP); if you intend to stay longer than 15 days, additional costs will apply.

 

This visa can be obtained upon arrival at Kathmandu airport. You will need 1 passport sized photograph if filling in a hard copy visa application, although electronic application facilities have recently been made available at Kathmandu airport. Visas can also be arranged in advance at your nearest Nepali embassy. You need to carry 4 passport sized photographs and few copies of your passport.

 

Q: What transport options do I have to link up with the Yak Ru organisers in Kathmandu?

A: Pre-event, Yak Ru will arrange for complimentary vehicle transfers (using mini-buses / passenger vans) to meet you upon your arrival in Nepal at Kathmandu airport (Tribhuvan International Airport [KTM]) on 7 October and transport you to your official event accommodation. Similarly post-event, transfer vehicles are arranged on 17 October to transport you back to the airport.

 

If you are going to be in Kathmandu earlier than 7 October and cannot get yourself to the airport on that day, please let us know in advance where you will be situated (where your accommodation is); we will arrange for transport accordingly to transfer you directly from there to your event accommodation.

 

Likewise, if you wish to extend your stay in Nepal past 17 October, do let us know in advance so we can advise you or make suitable arrangements for you transport-wise to other parts of Kathmandu/Nepal.

  

Q: What transport expenses are included in the entry fee?

A: The entry fee covers all land transportation within Kathmandu: between airport & accommodation; and between accommodation & briefing/dining venues. It also covers land transport to and from the event venue (Manang District) and Kathmandu, a 1.5-day journey comprising of bus and 4WD/truck transport. Finally, it also covers shuttle/uplift transport (on race days) and support vehicle transport (on non-race days) during the event days.

  

Q: What accommodation is included in the entry fee?

A: 10 nights’ accommodation (from 7 to 17 October) is included. Yak Ru is not a ‘camping / tent-city’ MTB event. We provide comfortable, safe, insulated, well-furnished single-gender assigned accommodation for all participants and staff for the entire duration of the event.

 

In Kathmandu, comfortable and modern-furnished hotel and guesthouse twin-share rooms (with complementary wifi, attached toilets & showers, running cold/hot water, close proximity to shops & restaurants, limited laundry facilities, wall electrical sockets, etc) will be a standard feature on the nights of 7,8, 15, and 16 October.

 

In the Manang District, twin-share rooms in village hotels and teahouses will be a standard feature on the nights of 9 to 14 October. These smaller, more cosy rooms will have warm bedding (essential in the alpine regions – you may request for additional blankets), attached or shared toilets & shower facilities (with running cold/hot water), wall electrical sockets, and in-house dining.

 

Full details of accommodation location each night is listed in the detailed Yak Ru 2017 itinerary. Please inform us in advance if you prefer to have a private room to yourself, or are attending the race as a couple / with friends.

  

Q: High altitude may affect my performance and health. How is the Yak Ru Enduro itinerary and organization structured to mitigate or treat Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)?

A: The Yak Ru Enduro has the majority of its riding route – including all timed stages – taking place at elevations in excess of 2000m above sea level. The organization has appointed a doctor trained and experienced in high altitude medicine to head and advise all medical and first responder staff. Likewise, all event safety staff and first responders are trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) in participants. Regular mandatory blood oxygen-level monitoring for all participants will take place daily – led by the aforementioned event doctor - by means of an optical oximeter.

 

Event medical staff will be fully equipped to swiftly deal with any AMS occurrences. In the event of anyone experiencing AMS, a single of combination administration of descending to a lower altitude, drugs, and/or bottled oxygen therapy will take place at the direction of the event doctor. If necessary, an air evacuation by helicopter to a lower altitude can be effected.

 

Q: How can Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) be prevented for Yak Ru participants?

A: AMS can be prevented through careful acclimatization (chiefly: ascending gradually, avoiding overexertion, having adequate sleep/rest, and staying well-hydrated and fueled). AMS can affect a group of people at varying rates, and often bears no correlation to individual fitness level or level of training entering the event. Persons who have suffered AMS before are more prone to a recurrence of AMS.

 

It is important for the entire participant body to ascend gradually - in order to reduce the chances of anyone experiencing AMS. The itinerary of the Yak Ru Enduro affords this through a gradual approach to the race location, taking one-and-a-half days to reach an altitude of over 3000m - from the capital city of Kathmandu (situated at 1600m altitude). This ascent includes a gentle, non-competitive acclimatization ride scheduled prior to the first day of racing.

 

Participants may consider taking drugs to speed up their acclimatization rate to high altitude. A prescription of Acetazolamide (Diamox®) may be obtained from a GP doctor. There is also evidence that dexamethasone – a form of steroidal medication – can prevent AMS.

 

Please be aware that the above advice should be considered with a professional consultation from a GP doctor, and that side effects and allergies from drug intake may manifest themselves.

 

Q: What kind of main meal options do I have?

A: Nepali cuisine suits a wide range of palates, whether in the capital city of Kathmandu or in the mountain towns and villages. For the Yak Ru Enduro, catering at official mealtimes consists of buffet-style meals where a combo of simple yet tasty and nutritious food options are available to choose from:

 

For breakfasts: porridge/cereal, bread (including Tibetan bread, pastries, or sliced loaves), eggs, and condiments; plus coffee, tea, juice and bottled water

 

For lunches: dhal bhat (both vegetarian as well as meat options), rice/noodle dishes, soup/stew/finger food options; plus coffee, tea, juice and bottled water

 

For dinners: dhal bhat (both vegetarian as well as meat options), rice dishes, soup/stew; plus coffee, tea, juice and bottled water

 

Additional food and drinks – including alcoholic beverages – may be purchased at one’s own expense outside of mealtimes as well as during mealtimes.

 

Q: What kind of bike should I use for the Yak Ru Enduro?

A: While any mountain bike – including hardtails – may adequately complete the route for the Yak Ru Enduro, it is recommended to equip oneself with a bike that is:

 

-    Able to take the punishment of very rough, exposed, and long descents

-    Agile and maneuverable for technical and steep trail sections

-    Light enough to pedal and carry/push uphill for extended periods of time.

 

A reliable bet would be to take a full-suspension all-mountain or aggressive trail bike equipped with:

-    Suspension travel between 120mm and 180mm

-    A dropper seatpost

-    Powerful disc brakes

-    A burly wheelset, including tubeless tires with tough sidewalls & aggressive treads

-    A wide-range drivetrain, including a clutch derailleur and/or chain retention device

 

Q: What works better: clip-in pedals or flat pedals?

A: Clip-in pedals are suitable and offer good attachment when going fast or pedaling on technical terrain. But do keep in mind that due to the decent amount of walking & bike-carrying you will encounter during the race days, there is a strong case for choosing comfortable, high-grip, rubber-soled ‘trail’ or ‘enduro’ style mountain bike shoes rather than stiff, narrow ‘cross-country’ style ones with carbon or hard plastic soles. While some clip-in shoes offer good grip and walking comfort, you may opt for full platform/flat pedals and shoes with no cleats.

 

The final decision rests on how you regard the inevitable task of uphill walking – pushing/carrying your bike - in alpine conditions that include steep inclines, loose scree, and possibly wet rocks with mud/water/snow. There will also be technical descents where you may have to put your foot down (unclip) while riding your bike.

 

Q: What kind of technical support can I expect at the Yak Ru Enduro?

A: The event takes place far from any bike shops or bike servicing facilities, and so self-reliance on an individual basis as well as within the event body will be paramount.

 

We are engaging the services of bike mechanics from Kathmandu who are well versed in servicing and maintaining high-end mountain bikes and their components. These mechanics will serve as neutral technical support for the entire race. Apart from workstands and a wide range of tools, they will be bringing along a small selection of spare parts for repair and maintenance.

 

Participants are strongly advised to bring maintenance items and spare parts specific to their bike make/model. These include (but should not be limited to):

 

-    Chain lube,Multitool, Tire lever + patch kit, Pump and/or CO2 inflator + canisters

-    Spare inner tubes (2 minimum),Spare chain & chain links, Spare tire(s) (1 minimum)

-    Spare brake pads, Spare pedal cleats & bolts, Spare derailleur

-    Replacement rear derailleur hanger, Electrician’s tape & cable ties

 

As a general rule, as many things as you can reasonably fit into your official event duffel bag is a good idea; to prevent having to use any of them, do yourself a favour and check your bike for worn out or underperforming components and replace them accordingly before they start causing you problems on the event itself.

 

Q: For the time of year we will be in Nepal, what will the weather be like?

A: The Yak Ru Enduro takes place in a high-altitude, high-exposure alpine environment of the Annapurna Conservation Area, specifically the Manang District. While the climate is humid sub-tropical (up to 30 degrees C in temperature) during a portion of the vehicular transport phase of the trip from Kathmandu, in the alpine region where the race takes place, temperatures can drop to as low -15 degrees C (or even lower, not counting wind chill) should bad weather take place.

 

October/November are the most desirable months to visit the Annapurnas in terms of stable weather patterns, but we cannot discount the possibility of freak weather leading to rapid changes in temperature and the arrival of thick cloud/mist, rain, hail, blizzards, high winds, and/or storms.

 

Q: What kind of protection and bike apparel do I need?

A: Helmets are mandatory to be worn whenever a rider is pedaling their bike. The helmet can either be full-face or half-lid according to the individual’s comfort level. Helmets with a removable chin guard/piece are also acceptable. Knee pads are the other piece of mandatory apparel (for timed stages).

 

Other recommended apparel include:

 

-    Additional body armour (elbow pads, chest protector, back protector, etc) according to the individual’s comfort level

-    Padded shorts or bib shorts

-    Full-fingered gloves

-    Eye protection (sunglasses or goggles – see answer to next question below)

-    Two or more sets of comfortable riding shorts + jersey

 

Q: What other equipment and apparel is required, especially with regard to an alpine environment?

 A: As part of their packing list, all participants must bring along:

 

-    A minimum 0-degree C-rated insulated sleeping bag

-    A Gore-tex or equivalent material hooded, storm-shell/waterproof jacket

-    A down/synthetic insulated jacket or insulated fleece/wool mid-layer

-    One or more insulated beanie/balaclava/head scarf

-    A pair of sunglasses or goggles (with tinted lenses for bright sunlight)

 

In addition, recommended equipment includes (but are not limited to) the following:

 

-    One or more sets of insulated synthetic or wool baselayers (for both top and bottom)

-    Warm gloves, Warm socks, Lip balm, Sunscreen, Ear plugs, Head torch

-    Baby wipes and/or anti-bacterial hand sanitizer gel

 

Q: How much luggage can I take with me?

A: Yak Ru Enduro participants will each be given a 80-litre duffel bag as their official luggage. No other bag may be used due to the strict weight and space constraints in place for the logistics convoy. A day in Kathmandu is set aside to allow you to re-arrange your packing list and sort out your bags.

 

Any items not needed for the journey can be left for safekeeping in secure luggage storage at the hotel/guesthouse in Kathmandu and retrieved upon your return.

 

Q: How will me mountain bike be transported during the transfer to/from the Manang District?

A: Your mountain bike will remain packed in its bike case between Kathmandu and Lower Pisang for the outbound trip; and will be assembled at the village of Lower Pisang by you to commence your acclimatization ride.

 

Your bike will be packed (by you) once you arrive at the village of Tal - upon the conclusion of the non-competitive group ride. It will remain in its bike case all the way till you reach Kathmandu.

 

You may have other items packed inside your bike bag as well, but please note that access to your bike bag is only available up to the time you assemble your bike in Lower Pisang; you will only see it next when you conclude your riding and commence packing your bike in Tal 5 days later.

 

Q: So what is the final luggage count I can realistically take along?

A: Your official 80-litre duffel bag, your bike bag (with bike packed inside), and stuff that you need for riding – helmet, body armour, riding shoes, hydration pack including your race repair kit, tools, and spares inside.

 

Q: Do I need insurance to take part in the Yak Ru Enduro?

A: Yes. The event passes through remote and hard-to-access areas. A helicopter evacuation maybe necessary in the event of an emergency. All participants must have insurance that will cover this and any medical treatment that may be required.

All successful entrants to the event must show proof of insurance by 1 September 2017. Anyone without adequate insurance will not be allowed to take part.

 

Q: How will the route be marked?

A: For untimed and non-competitive sections of the route, prominent arrows using temporary paint will be used to mark critical junctions, along with brightly-coloured survey tape at regular intervals.

For timed sections (on race days), brightly-coloured survey tape will demarcate the rideable sections of trail and to keep riders away from any ambiguous, illegal, or dangerous shortcuts & line choices.

Marshals, supplemented with safety staff, will be positioned along the route to ensure the correct/safe lines are taken in both cases.

 

Q: There are sections of the route that are very technical, while other sections may not be rideable – can you elaborate further?

 

A: All timed stages of the enduro component of the route are 100% rideable: any drops encountered are all rollable and there are no blind jumps or gaps; stream crossings are shallow enough to ride through; any sections with steep gradients or exposure are safe as long as riders keep within the tape markings/heed the direction of marshals.

 

For the transfer (untimed) stages, some uphill portions are steep enough that you have to get off and walk with your bike – due to a combination of gradient and high altitude.

 

Each race day, rider will be expected to do a single big ascent of around 1.5 to 2 hours’ duration - involving a combination of riding as well as walking/carrying their bikes uphill - prior to that day’s first stage. While this is regarded as the most physically demanding aspect of each day, it is fairly manageable for the average rider. Ample time is allocated to complete each ascent, and safety/sweep staff will bring up the tail end, accompanying the slowest riders up the hill as needed.

 

Q: How long can I be expected to be riding each day, and from what time of the day?

A: For the 3 days of enduro racing, you can expect to be out on the trails between 3 and 5 hours per day. Days start early: you will typically be on your bike by 6.30am, but will wrap up each day’s riding in good time for lunch.

 

The mandatory pre-race acclimatization ride takes place in the afternoon, and is expected to take around 2.5 hours.

 

The post-race non-competitive group ride starts later in the morning (exact time to be confirmed), and will include stoppage for tea-breaks and lunch along the way, for a total time of between 5 and 6 hours.

 

Q: What kind of vehicular uplifts can i expect in this event?

A: The vehicles used for uplifts are Mahindra 4WD vehicles. They can take up to 5 riders and their bikes comfortably for short distances (or 4 riders, 4 bikes, and their belongings for longer distances). Full details of the sections where vehicular uplifts are available can be found in the detailed itinerary.

 

In summary: vehicles will be used to shuttle riders and their bikes through uphill sections of dirt road where necessary. Riders are advised to follow the instructions and be punctual with regard to timings given during daily briefings to avoid delays in loading and transport.

 

Q: I want to take part in the Yak Ru Enduro but am not sure how prepared I am / will be for it - can you advise me?

A: The event is a ‘blind’ enduro, and hence having the skills and confidence to ride technical and rugged descents without prior practice is a must.

 

Being a multi-day event on steep terrain, endurance and stamina play important roles, as does having the physical strength to manhandle/carry your bike over unrideable portions of the route.

 

Previous experience with big-mountain ‘alpine-style’ riding is beneficial, as is experience with touring or expeditions in remote regions or at high altitudes. If you do regular cross-training by trail running, hiking, climbing, or mountaineering, you will also be at an advantage.

 

If you do not have sufficient experience, we do not recommend that you take part in this event.

If you are unsure, do submit your application form first. We will contact you after assessing your suitability on the merit of your submission and advise you accordingly.

 

Q: Are there route briefings each day, and must I attend them?

A: Yes, each evening riders will be briefed on the following day’s stage. It is very important that all riders (and their non-racing companions, if any) attend this briefing from a safety prospective. Important updates regarding the each day’s stages, trail conditions and weather will be announced, together with discussions relating to logistics, timings, and safety matters.

 

Briefings will generally be carried out before dinner unless otherwise stated. A noticeboard will be placed for everyone to refer to for exact briefing timings as well as other relevant scheduling and event information.

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Supporters
  • Nepalese Army supports Yak Ru race
  • Pipe Dream Cycles supports Yak Ru race
  • Sony supports Yak Ru race
  • Blue Ocean Systems supports Yak Ru race
  • DirTraction supports Yak Ru race
  • NCA supports Yak Ru race
  • Tripcaptcha supports Yak Ru race
  • Grande International Hospital - Yak Ru Medical Partner
  • Big Mart
  • Bikersnepal
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  • Setopati