Everest Marathon all set to begin tomorrow

Posted: May 28, 2014 by kirisyko in Marathon, SykOtic, Trail Running, Ultra distance running
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KATHMANDU, May 27: The Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon and 60K Everest Extreme Ultra Marathon is all set to kick off on Thursday, May 29, marking the first ascent of the world”s highest peak 61 years ago, the organizer Himalayan Expedition said on Tuesday.

Himalayan Expedition has been organizing the marathon for the past 11 years on the same date, and introduced the ultra race last year as part of diamond jubilee (60 years) celebrations of the first ascent of Everest. Both the races begin from the Everest base camp located at an altitude of 5,364 meters and traverse through the beautiful landscape of the Everest region before ending at Namche Bazar (3,440 meters). 

The most distinct characteristic of the race, held at the highest altitude in the world, is the thrill and adrenaline rush it provides to the participants on the challenging terrain. 

The 60K race has also received overwhelming responses from participants from across the globe. A total of 17 runners — 10 foreigners and 7 locals — have confirmed participation in the second edition of the race introduced last year. 

Event manager of both the races, Shikhar Pandey, said, “We have finished all the preparations. Check points are set up at every 5-7 kilometers distance for the main event — marathon. Water supply and medical facilities will be available at the check points where needed.” 

As the organizer of the toughest race in the world, Himalayan Expedition is also equally concerned about the safety of the runners. 

“Besides the basic safety measures of keeping marshals and doctors at different check points, there are trail markers such as ribbons and flags so that the participants do not get lost. We also have a helicopter on standby at Namche for emergency rescue if any participant gets injured,” Pandey said.

Runners from across the globe, including from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the USA, will join local runners in the marathon. So far, the locals have had the most successful record on the race track, winning all the titles in the thin air of the mountains to which the foreigners find it difficult to adjust.

Adding more excitement, the races are set to begin at 8:8:48 am, so timed to match the height of Mt Everest. 

Frank Rocktaschel, a German runner said, “More than a competition, the marathon will be a lifetime opportunity for me to witness nature at its best. I think I will be the happiest person after I overcome the challenge of the rough terrain.”

Brazil”s renowned ultra-runner Bernado Fonseca, the winner of the Antarctic Ice Marathon and 100K ultra race, is set to compete in the 60K race.

He said, “I want to test and challenge the limits of my body. Sherpas (the locals) seem as if they are from another planet. It is almost impossible to beat them.”

The marathon starts from the Everest Base Camp at an altitude of 5,364 meters and passes through Gorakshep (5,160 meters), Lobuche (4,928 meters), Thukla (4,611 meters), Bibre (4,492 meters), Dingboche (4,530 meters), Pyangboche (3,995 meters), Tyangboche (3,890 meters), Lobisasa (3,495 meters), Kangjuma (3,592 meters), Chortern (3,560 meters) before concluding at Namche Bazar (3,440 meters). 

The ultra race takes the same route until Pyangboche, from where it changes track toward Phortse, continuing on the uphill trail toward Nhala, the highest uphill trail running stretch of the world. Crossing Nhala, a small pass below Gokyo, runners descend toward Machermo, Dole, before finally crossing the last pass of Mong La toward Kyanjuma junction and down to the finishing point. 

Altogether 135 runners — 96 foreigners and 39 locals — are competing in the marathon. There are five foreigners in the half-marathon, and 10 foreigners and 7 locals in the 60K race.

see more:http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=75758

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