The race to Sagarmatha: A Doko challenge in Afghanistan
A massive well done and a huge thank you to Platoon Sergeants Man, Dipendra and Indra from C Company Royal Gurkha Rifles currently serving on Op TORAL in Afghanistan.
The trio organised the event ‘the race to Sagamartha’ or ‘the race to Mt Everest’, during which they carried a Doko, a traditional Nepali basket, carrying 15kg for the distance of Mount Everest’s elevation – 8,848m.
While they did that, they also encouraged other serving personnel to get involved. In total, 18 teams entered the event, running 2km with the a Doko basket on their back so that they too could experience the Doko challenge.
For Sgt Man, sourcing Doko baskets in Afghanistan turned out to be the most challenging aspect of the event!
It was challenging for me to find the Doko first as the locals didn’t understand how it looks like and how it’s made. We showed the locals the photo of the Doko and finally they managed and come up with one.
The event raised well over £1,000, which will go towards supporting Gurkha veterans and widows in Nepal.
Photos from the day
What is a doko basket?
The Doko is a traditional hand-woven Nepali basket used to transport goods. They traditionally have both arm straps and a head strap to help with the weight distribution.
As part of the recruitment process to become a Gurkha, recruits are tasked with carrying 25kg bags of sand in their Doko on a 5km uphill run that has to be completed in less than 46 minutes.
The Gurkha Doko Challenge 2019
You too can get involved and experience the Doko challenge by taking on our event in the UK this summer.
The race takes place on the Long Valley Training Area military base in Aldershot on Saturday 22 June 2019. The course is 5km long and primarily uphill. Participants will have three choices for their basket weight 5kg, 10kg or 15kg, all of which are provided.