With a scant three minutes to spare, Cory Wallace rolled into Beni, Nepal, to complete a sub-24 hour ride of the famous Annapurna Circuit trek. Starting his ride Saturday at midnight, Wallace finished just under his target time in 23 hours 57 minutes. Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit is a trek is a 215-km stretch from Besi Sahar to Beni. The route tops out at the 5,416 m Throlong La pass, but Wallace accumulated more than 6,500 m of elevation along the way.
Rory O’Connell, an experienced XC Marathon racer who’s tackled Pemberton’s challenging NIMBY50 on several occasions, recently returned from bikepacking Annapurna Circuit. Having spent 11 days on the Circuit in November, O’Connell noted that riding at altitude in the unforgiving shadow of the world’s tallest peaks, even with proper acclimatization, can have unpredictable effects on the body, making Wallace’s effort all the more remarkable.
While the ride is impressive, this feat was more than just an attempt to record a new fastest time. Wallace was also riding to raise funds for coaching and equipment support for Nepalese mountain bikers. The GoFundMe campaign is intended to provide financial backing to get a full-time training and coaching centre project for Nepal’s growing mountain bike scene off the ground.
Wallace’s Annapurna sub-24 hour ride follows on the heels of defending his Yak Attack stage race victory from 2016, and the eight-day MTB Himalaya race. The 10-day Yak Attack, now in its 11th year, is the world’s highest elevation stage race, covering the Annapurna Circuit (in more than several days, instead of one) before heading higher up into the Upper Mustang in Central Nepal. Featuring massive elevation, along with run-ins with chickens and the race’s namesake yaks, you should definitely read his race report here.
To support Wallace’s GoFundMe for a Nepalese coaching and training facility, contribute here.
To see most of Wallace’s record 215-km, 6,500-m Annapurna Circuit ride, creep his Strava file of the effort.
For more from Wallace’s Annapurna Ride, and racing in Nepal, follow his Instagram:
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Finally got the 5416 M Thorong La pass picture but man did I suffer for it😖. A bad stomach and no food for the last 8 hours nearly derailed this effort but I managed to crawl in at 23hrs 57 minutes to complete the Besi-Beni Annapurna Circuit in a day 🏔🇳🇵. Huge thanks to everyone that donated to the linked fundraiser as over $2100 USD was raised for the soon to be Nepal Cycling center! There's still time to donate if you wish to help a great cause. https://www.gofundme.com/annapurna24 @konabikes @wildernesstrailbikes @jakroousa @girocycling @squirtlube_sa @julbousa @himalayansingletrack @pancbike @rideshimano @mtbww1