Royal Penguin Marathon
Date Fri 05 Oct 2018 Stages 1
Category Single day race Altitude 5350m
Website Race website Distance 52km
Elevation change +/-3000m Organiser Royal Penguin Hotel, Thamel

I found out about this marathon via three signboards carefully placed on the trail out of Namche Bazaar to capture the attention of the 2014 Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon participants. ‘Every year since 2014’ it said. “Wait a minute, I thought, it is 2014, and the race is in October.” That’s marketing for you.

The location is undoubtable beautiful, stunning. However the altitude is extreme (for running) and would advise anybody considering this to study altitude, acclimatization and AMS affects very well before participating.

Results 2014

  1. Pemba Sherpa Male 7 hrs 24 min
  2. Upendra Sunuwar Male 7 hrs 30 min
  3. Karma Sarki Sherpa Male 7 hrs 48 min
  4. Man Bahadur Rai Male 8 hrs 53 min
  5. Nima Tsering Sherpa Male 9 hrs 2 min
  6. Ang Chhutin Sherpa Female 9 hrs 11 min
  7. Pasang Gyalzen Sherpa Male 9 hrs 11 min
  8. Pasang Tenzing Sherpa Male 10 hrs 5 min
  9. Kiran Kulung Male 10 hrs 31 min
  10. Janata Rai Male 10 hrs 31 min
  11. Pasang Dikee Sherpa Female 10 hrs 56 min
  12. Elka Female 14 hrs 16 min
  13. Bo Male 14 hrs 22 min
  14. Ekaterina Female 16 hrs 25 min
  15. Rikki Female 9 hrs 11 min upto Gokyo
  16. Olga Female Upto Dole

2 foreign participants (Germany and Netherlands) only reached Mong and were not ranked.

More information from the website which will be updated for 2018:

Registration and approval of the Royal Penguin Marathon is a fact.
Organization of the Royal Penguin Marathon is pleasant activity.
Preparation to the Royal Penguin Marathon is a delight for the mind and body.
And the whole thing about Royal Penguin Marathon – is a dream.

Starting 5th October 2014 year, you can join our Marathon and accept the challenge.
If you are super strong, you will make the full race (Namche Bazar – Dole – Gokyo – Renjo Pass – Marlung – Thame – Namche Bazar). If you are strong enough, you can reach any of these intermediate points and get the corresponding amount of points. And come back next year, to make it – Longer, Faster, more Regular.

Here is the route:

royal penguin marathon nepal route map

The route description is as follows, with the promise of personal change at the bottom line:

The route goes through the most beautiful places in the world. One of the main advantages of the Marathon is that you will be able to feel Himalayas with all your entity, having rounded the huge mountain range and absorbing its nature in one day, while other people only see Himalayas piece by piece, incapable of holding the whole range of emotional experience you will get.

The route starts in the exit of the Namche Bazaar, a Sherpa village.

It will start near the beautiful stone with tibetan letters on it. About 30-minute way to Sanasa, little bit up and down – depending on the moon and your mood you will decide whether to use the headlight or not. Our assistants will be leading on the junctions.

The way Sanasa to Mong needs some efforts to climb up, followed by about 30 minutes getting down to Phortse, and it’s already light.

The route to Dole goes through the forest, small waterfalls, little bridges and you are reaching the first intermediate point – Dole.

If you feel like it’s enough for you for the first time – you can stop in Dole, fix you time, enjoy and rest, and get back to Namche Bazaar on the same day or the following day (make sure you manage to reach Namche Bazaar by 18-00 on the following day for the closing ceremony.

But if you are still up to a fight, another few hours will bring you to Gokyo – among the glaciers, amazing lakes via rocky path. At Gokyo you will get your tough choice: whether to go to Renjo Pass, or save it for the next time and stay in Gokyo. Is it the second intermediate point.

Probably the toughest part of the Marathon is the trail from Gokyo to Renjo Pass. And the last acsent as well. If you are up to it – you can probably be sure you will reach Namche from the other side. Get all your will power and spend 2-3 hours climbing the pass, and you will reach the 3rd intermediate point. If you feel like you are so tired that you want to stop for the time being… then you will have to go down anyway to sleep over, but remember: descending back to Gokyo will take no more than 1 hour, and getting to Marlung (the next intermediate point) can take even 4 hours (going down as well).

If you are still on the route, you are passing few blue lakes and start your long yet victorious descent. After Marlung (the 4th intermediate point) you get to Thame, and that’s the place where you will want to reach Namche within only 2 hours to finish this tremendous route.

Going the last few kilometers, you will have the increasing feeling of a sheer triumph, and suddenly you understand that you are not a person you used to be. A different person – more motivated, more confident and more aware of your capabilities

Useful links


Date Fri 05 Oct 2018 Stages 1
Category Single day race Altitude 5350m
Website Race website Distance 52km
Elevation change +/-3000m Organiser Royal Penguin Hotel, Thamel

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