Khendo Lama, Exchange and Empower 2019 athlete, is from a small village called Bothang in central Nepal, near the holy lakes of Panch Pokhari. As her mother worked abroad, she grew up with her grandparents, working on the family farm before going to school. In 2017, she and her sister, Lambutti, moved to Kathmandu to continue their high school education.
Khendo showed potential as a runner from an early age. She started running trail races in 2017, and has notched up some impressive results including 2nd female at the 2018 Panchase 55km in Pokhara and 3rdfemale at the 2018 Manaslu Trail Race, a 7-day stage race.
She and her sister hope to develop their home village by organizing running activities in the area, which they describe as backwards but very beautiful.
Lambutti Lama, Khendo’s sister, also moved from Bothang to Kathmandu in 2017. Like her sister, Lambutti showed talent in sports from a young age. Since she began trail running she has achieved strong results, including 2 place finishes in the 2018 Pokhara Trail Race and the Manaslu Trail Race.
Apart from running, Lam Butti also loves trekking, bicycling, as well as traveling and exploring new places.
Pasang Lhamu Sherpa
Originally from Khijidemba rural municipality in Okhaldhunga district of Nepal, Pasang Lhamu Sherpa has always loved sports, especially Volleyball and Football. She mostly spent time with the boys, as there weren’t many girls into sports. During the games, she even led the boys’ Volleyball team in her village.
Coming from a financially challenged background, her parents did not support and appreciate her enthusiasm for sports much as it does not have any rewarding career prospect in Nepal. It is also challenging for low-income families like Pasang’s to spend their money on shoes, gear, and any other costs associated with sports where it is not a priority and considered even an extravagance given their circumstances.
In 2019, Pasang was selected for the Exchange and Empower program when she bagged fourth position in the first race of her life in Pikey Demba, which further motivated her to move to Kathmandu.
Born and raised in Taskar village of Bhojpur district in Nepal, Prativa Shrestha’s home is an hour away from the main market. Growing up, Prativa used to race from home to school and vice-versa as there was no transportation around during that time. Her school was in the main bazaar area which also meant that it was an hour commute daily back-and-forth throughout the mountains. However this did not deter her from racing back home with the boys every day from school (and beat them while at it) which subsequently sparked her interest in running.
As an avid lover of nature and outdoor adventures, Prativa loves traveling and exploring scenic natural landscapes. When she realized that trail running was the perfect amalgamation of her passion for nature and sports, there has been no looking back for her as she absolutely fell in love with the sport.
Prativa sees herself pursuing a career in outdoor adventure sports such trail-running or trekking sector. She also wishes to continue her passion for trail running, boxing, cycling, and outdoor adventure sports no matter where life takes her.
Originally from Khotang, in Eastern Nepal, Priya Rai moved to Kathmandu in 2014 and lives a humble and simple life with her mother, elder sister, and brother.
Priya is multi-talented as she is not only a bona fide trail-runner but also a good singer, cook, and national rugby player (under 19 age-group). She also has a passion for outdoor and adventure sports such as canyoning, climbing, swimming, cycling, kayaking, bungee jumping etc.
She is also an advocate of LGBTQ community and their rights and would like to be involved in social work someday. Priya even secured 5th position in the Golden Trail World Series 2019 42 km finale that was held in Annapurna where she competed against some of the best, elite runners from all around the world.
Priya wishes to continue her journey in trail-running and excel at it.