We’ve been informed by the organiser that, due to the unfortunate withdrawal of the main sponsor, this edition of race has been cancelled. We pass on apologies to all entrants and hope it works out next year.
Saturday April 9th 2011: This is one of the highest ultras in the world running from near to Everest Base camp at Gorak Shep down along the Everest trekking route to Lukla, so pretty much the entire Everest trek in reverse in one go.
Because the entrants need proper acclimatisation, there is a fixed group departure to ensure all runners are properly prepared – essentially it’s a fun and inspiring trek to basecamp. Unlike many treks and runs, a) you know that any profits being made are going to a good cause** and b) it’s a compact trek timewise as you run back to the starting point!
Whether you can race this race depends largely on how you manage at altitude. Having experienced the Everest Marathon I can attest that running above 5000 m is hard. On the flat or downhill is ok, but even the slightest incline will send your blood oxygen levels diving. Beyond Dugla there is a great long downhill stretch and thereafter, given your acclimatisation, the running is a dream. There is a tough downhill after Tengboche and a tough uphill on the other side of the river but then the famous level path to Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa capital, which again is a dream to run on.
On arriving at Namche, your legs will be fresher than you think. Perhaps much fresher than at the end of a road marathon – which is just as well as you have a way to go down the valley to Lukla.
See some pictures of the Everest region here on the GHT website. Don’t forget to run around the stupas and chortens the correct way!
The race comes highly recommended. See the website for more details. http://www.everestultra.com/
** Last year’s winner, Sudip Rai, a porter working the trails of the region, ran to the start of the race only learning about it a few days before. His win was a surprise for the well trained Nepal Army runners who followed him to the finish.
From that performance Sudip was given the chance to train for an international ultra-marathon race in Switzerland. Recently he came second in a crazily steep mountain race in Malaysia up Mt. Kinabuloo. Much of this was made possible through fund raising through events such as this and the Annapurna 100. So enter and know that the minimal profits will be going back to a good cause!