- 3 November 1969
- Geneva area, Switzerland
- mountain guide and mason
Thousands of kilometers covered on foot around the world, one track...
"I run for the pleasure of discovery on all levels: meeting people, new places, different cultures."
Winning is of little importance
"I've never done anything extraordinary even if a lot of people tell me I am a role model and they started racing because of me... I run for pleasure, to meet people and make friendships. I consider myself an amateur runner. Winning is of little importance to me. If I come first then I am happy. If not, I'm still happy. In each race, I try to understand and feel everything the best I can. My real search is to adapt myself to the terrain, control my stride, forget about the effort, progress technically in order to economize. I try to regulate pain through a mental process. I accept what my body is capable of doing or what it lets me do."
"My main sporting activities are cross-country skiing in the winter and trail running in the summer. In between times I dedicate myself to my profession as a mason on building sites. Getting to work on my bike constitutes my daily training; I do over 5000 km per year. I run once or twice a week and, of course, on the weekends for the joy of being in nature, in my element. I discovered running in the mountains during an event organized by a Swiss guy in Nepal in 1994. It was my first time taking part in such an event. Up to then all I did was kung fu and karate. I have had experience with the mountains since I was a young boy. The forests, the flowers and the animals are all very familiar to me but nothing in my childhood suggested I would become a runner. I wanted to become a shaman, a doctor in other words. I have a really great connection with kids. I sometimes go into their schools for little talks about my life in Nepal. Children are always so eager to know what goes on far away from home."
Search for Serenity
"You don't necessarily need anything special to do what I do, just the will to do it. I find the required energy in my way of thinking. That comes from my Buddhist training at the monastery. I believe that my journey and my detachment from things are what make me seem different from other competitors. Getting to know myself is as important as getting to know others. Continually seeking to open my mind allows me to channel the necessary energy to find calm."
"I would love to create a ski resort and sports school in Nepal to help the youth and to prepare the Nepali bid for the Winter Olympic Games. One of my dreams is to see impoverished kids playing sports and learning about friendship and self respect."
Dawa's anecdote: friendship in New Caledonia
"I went to New Caledonia in September 2009 to do a 107 km race. Each runner sponsored a handicapped child. These children chose us and had to follow us as best they could, at the start or at the finish, or on the Internet. I was sponsoring Alexandre, a paraplegic boy of 12. We met the night before. We had very little time. At the end of the race at 18.30 it was already dark and Alexandre was there at the finish waiting for me. I was so surprised that I wasn't looking where I was going and... I tripped on a root and fell flat on my face. Alexandre had begged his parents all afternoon to cross the whole island to be there at the finish. He especially didn't want to miss me crossing the line. When that kid crowned me with the wreath, I had to stop myself from crying. We spent my remaining two days on the island together. Of course, there were tears when I left. We are still in touch and he tells me what he's been up to. He was already into sport and he promised me that he'd do even more. Yesterday I received a video of him completing the trans-Caledonian voyage on a schooner. For me, this is something incredible."
A different destiny?
"I don't know. I think I am what I want to be during my time on Earth. To be the fairest I can to others. Not to be jealous or envious. Either way, I would love to have the chance to pass on my knowledge of sport to young Nepalis who don't have access to sport."
Winner of the 2003 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc.
Seven trail running victories in 2010:
- Trail de la Sainte-Victoire (France)
- Les Drayes du Vercors (France)
- Verdon Canyon Challenge (France)
- Restonica Trail (Corsica France)
- Trail of Cervinia (Italy)
- Courchevel X-Trail (France)
- Trail des Aiguilles Rouges (France)
- Organized the SoluKhumbu Trail in the Sagarmatha National Park since autumn 2008 in Nepal: www.solukhumbutrail.com
- Extreme Volcanoes Trail being organized for May 2011 on Java
- "Dachhiri Dawa Sherpa – Venu du pays des Dieux" – a film by Jean-Michel Jorda
- "La trace de DAWA" – a film by Joël Doux and Jean François Santoni, DVD 2010
- "Les cinq vies" de Dachhiri Dawa Sherpa – Luc Beurnaux, Outdoor-editions 2010