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Conquering Nepal - Nicky's Mustang Race Report 2023
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Conquering Nepal - Nicky's Mustang Race Report 2023

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Feel inspired with Flanci's Nicky, and a glimpse into one of her most challenging races yet!
 Join us as we catch up with Nicky from Flanci and discover how she persevered through one of her toughest races to date.

 

We know you love a challenge but why did you decide on this particular race?

Part of the thrill is the joy of anticipation and seeking adventure in far-off places. 
For many of us, there's nothing quite like having an exciting adventure on the horizon. Something to look forward to, something to plan for. Personally, I crave the thrill of a big trip to a new and unfamiliar location, one that comes with a significant challenge. I've already tackled staged races in Africa, Australasia, North and South America, and the UK, so naturally, Asia was next on my list!

 

What preparation did you do?

To be honest, I haven't done as much training as I would have liked. Last September, I completed a staged race in Chile, and my fitness has been riding on that high ever since. However, I know that won't be enough for the Mustang Trail Race, which involves over 11,000 meters of climbing. I had planned to do extensive hill training, which is essential for this kind of event.

When I'm not running, I love to mix things up with lots of hiking. Billy, our dog, joins me on many of these long days out. In addition, I took on the "Six Pack Revolution" challenge, which lasted for 75 days. It was focused on healthy eating, detoxing, and a lot of core exercises, all aimed at building strength and losing a bit of weight.

 

What was an essential piece of kit you used?

Can I have more than one? Here are my top 3:

I loved my trusty WAA backpack! Super comfy and fits all my essentials. We wanted to keep the pack as light as possible due to the heat and altitude. I had to make sure the pack was comfortable and well worn in. Piece of advice, don't use anything new on a race like this! It's not the right time for trial and error.

My Monkey Sox and Altra trail shoes were the perfect combo – this is the first multi-day event that I have taken part in where I came away with zero blisters. Needless to say, this was super valuable!

Flanci capri and skort obviously! I had to add a little colour to the event. Everyone else was wearing black! However, I received so many compliments on my kit!

 

Most memorable moment?

The finish!!! Despite our exhaustion, we faced a daunting 2300-meter climb on the final day. However, the breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains that greeted us at the top made it all worth it. The sight was so stunning that it brought tears to our eyes. Standing among some of the world's highest peaks was an awe-inspiring experience that made the pain from the previous three hours vanish into thin air.

 

Worst moment?

The journey to one of the checkpoints involved traversing a narrow path on a steep mountain knife edge. As someone who is not particularly fond of heights, the experience left me in tears due to how frightened I was. Sometimes you need to push yourself but this was very uncomfortable!

 

Type 1, 2 or 3 fun?

Type 2!!! Reflecting on past races and experiences, I can confidently say that my time spent in Nepal was one of the best experiences I've ever had, despite the initial challenges. It took me out of my comfort zone, but it enabled me to develop character in ways I never thought possible. Although I initially said I didn't want to return, I'm now planning to participate in the Manaslu Trail Race in Nepal in 2025! I can't believe I wrote it down, but now I must commit to it.

I'm a bit of a type 2 fun fan anyway, as the activities I like to do always incorporate a degree of challenge. I'm not a fan of type 3 fun but I'm here for the stories!

 

Any tips for anyone thinking of taking part?

That's a good question. I think it's important to train your mind as well as your body as there are so many ups and downs that without a strong mind, it can all fall apart. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

Incorporate hill walking and long-distance running into your training regimen. This will improve your physical endurance and stamina.
Remember that you'll be walking a long trail every day for multiple days. Keep this in mind as you train and set realistic goals for yourself.

Approach the challenge with a positive and determined attitude. You'll be surprised at what you and your body can accomplish when you have a can-do mindset. Avoid negative self-talk and focus on your abilities.

By following these steps, you'll be well-prepared for the rigours of a long-distance trail.

 

So the real question though is: what's next?

I do find it difficult if I don't have a challenge in my diary or something to look forward to! So I'm excited to announce that I'll be participating in the Ultra Race of Romania in 2024. This 150-mile, self-sufficient race takes place in the beautiful Transylvanian mountains of Romania. I'm super happy about that one as it's also completely different and off the beaten track.

In addition, I have my sights set on the challenging Manaslu race in Nepal for 2025 (which I have yet to mention to my husband Alf!). Now I've said it, I guess I have to do it!

By Jack Davey
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