2023 Empower Challenge

How to join

Join the Empower Challenge to challenge yourself and empower women from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our new course is in Annapurna, Nepal!

This year, we’re partnering with Racery for our virtual challenge. Exercise anywhere you want, then log the activity and see your avatar move across the route.

The 2023 Empower Challenge will run from 1-31 January. You can take part as an individual, or form a team of up to 40 people and take on the challenge together!

The entry donation for the Challenge is US$38 (for either distance).  Simply choose your distance, register with Racery using the link below, and start logging your activities. 

As well as running, you can log a huge range of activities including swimming, cycling and yoga – Racery’s system converts effort to running distance.

The entry donation (less online race platform fee of US$10.70 per registration and credit card fees) will go to support Exchange and Empower.  It is possible to top up your donation by making an additional contribution. Then, once you’ve signed up, you can ask friends and family for support with a personal fundraising link.

All additional contributions less credit card fees will go to support the Exchange and Empower program, so please give generously!

Finally, don’t forget to join our Facebook group for regular updates, and share your bib and photos with our participants from around the world!

42 KM Route

100 KM Route

The 42km route starts from the beautiful town of Manang, which sits at 3,519 metres above sea level in the valley of the Marchyangdi River.

From here, you’ll follow the classic Annapurna Circuit trekking route as it slowly climbs to the 5,416m Thorong La pass before descending to the sacred temple of Muktinath.

The final stretch will take you to Kagbeni village, gateway to the ancient kingdom of Mustang.


The 100km route begins in Chame, a small village nestled between the towering peaks of Manaslu and the Annapurna range.

You’ll follow the Annapurna Circuit to Manang – with a brief detour to Kicho Tal, the ice lake at 4,620m that’s a popular day trip for hikers seeking to acclimatise to altitude.

From here, the route crosses the Thorong La pass to Muktinath before winding its way down to the finish point at Jomsom.

2023 Program

As you know, the last couple of years have been difficult. With global travel restrictions and social distancing requirements, we haven’t been able to send our athletes overseas to race and experience other cultures – a significant part of our original program.

At the same time, with no in-person fundraising events, particularly in our base in Hong Kong, fundraising has been very challenging. 
As the world opens up again, we’ve decided to take a pause in training new athletes, and provide our alumna some of the opportunities they’ve missed out on.
In 2023, we target to send selected Nepal Exchange and Empower Training and Education Scholarship graduates on Overseas Exchanges for racing and educational experiences. We are excited to bring this important part of the program back with your support!

We’ll also be making Opportunity Grants in Nepal, and also for the first time in Hong Kong, to support education, sports training and racing. We can’t wait for the year to begin!


As Mira herself says, there are countless Mira Rais in Nepal – women who dream of doing something more with their lives, but lack the means or opportunity to do so. The Exchange & Empower program may be a small step, but it will help to change the lives of the women involved, and hopefully inspire a new generation of Nepali women to follow their dreams.