Nepal’s Himalayas – the battleground and training zone for Mira Rai

The ultra-runner started her career as an athlete in Nepal when she was a child soldier. Now she’s an international star and national hero

I grew up in a village of only four houses in the middle of the jungle in the hills of Bhojpur district, eastern Nepal. Our family was poor so I had to work alongside my parents and brother, and walked for hours every day to collect firewood and grass for our goats and cows. I had to climb trees and got so good at it my friends said I was like a monkey.

I carried 10kg on my back since before I can remember and would frequently walk for two days up and down steep hills, just to get salt, cooking oil and other goods from our nearest market. Slowly, I started to love those walks.

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