The Annual Everest Marathon, the world’s highest Marathon successfully finished on 29th May, 2018. I am sure that you all know that this marathon is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records, as the highest marathon in the world. A number of runners determined to complete it at all costs from various countries of the world and local Nepalese runners participated in this very tough race.
The marathon started from Gorak shep near to Everest base camp at 5184 M and finished at Namche Bazar at 3446 M switch covers 42 kilometres.
I, Prena Senchury, was one of the participants in the marathon and I was the youngest runner amongst many. For acclimatization, people arrived a month earlier, likewise, we, our group from Kailash went there only a week before the event . We flew to Lukla from Kathmandu there was no other option than walking towards Everest Base Camp. This took us seven days. Well, it also became a fantastic training opportunity for us. It was quite challenging for the group, sometimes having to walk for a whole day and having break for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each night we stayed at hotel. Sometimes we stayed at same hotel for two nights and most nights were in different locations.
We walked for like at least three hours or more and less than that each day.
We enjoyed the trek by singing, dancing, playing music and keeping our group positive. I was amazed to see the variety of delicious foods and facilities that exist in this area above the height of 3000 km where even transportation is very difficult. The people who live in the area are very hardworking and determined to do anything and focus on making other people happy with the different services. It is amazing to witness how people live there with such a breath-taking scenery but harsh conditions. Everest Trek is an amazing choice for anyone who wants to spend their long holidays. We learn a lot and we will be challenging the nature with its altitude being strong and healthy.
Before the day of marathon all the participants stayed for a night at Everest base camp. I felt very happy and relaxed to reach there and to enjoy the Vampire-white mountains. When travelling to Base Camp, a wall of snow came crashing down, this was quite scary but we were at safe distance. As we came closer to the base camp, the air became arctic cold.
It was astonishing for us to see the breakfast, lunch and dinner provided at the Base camp. Congratulations to all the people who gave me and my friends such a great experience in cooking and eating adventure. Camping was a little uncomfortable for us because we had to sleep where the tent is placed over the ice rocks maintaining the level. It was very cold. We slept inside the sleeping bags wearing many clothes to keep ourselves warm. Yeah, it was memorable one. I slept quite well that night. I was nervous and excited that night thinking that the day after is the marathon and I am going to complete 42 km running.
Finally, the day came for the race. We stood together all waiting for. The World’s highest marathon day. I was little nervous when I woke up at morning and realised breakfast needed to be eaten. That morning the marathon started at 7 a.m. as it was announced to everyone the day before. My nervousness disappeared, I was moreover excited looking at everyone. We, Kailash group (Laxmi Tamang, Mangal Tamang and Samdup Tamang), Kiran Sherpa brother and Caron brother were also with us in our group. We were always encouraging each other to do our best. According to someone’s countdown saying 1-2-3 and go, some runners started to run faster, it was difficult for us to take a fast pace because there were many people ahead of us who were walking the way that was narrow. After some time, the path seemed to be wide, our group was separated. I started running with hope to finish the marathon in 7 hours. Our guide, Tsewang Dai, had advised us before the run. I am thankful to him now when I look back because the advice worked for me. I ran as much as I could. I had chocolates and lots of water on the way. I walked towards uphill and ran as fast as I could on the downhill to save time. The places we passed by on the way to running from base camp was Gorak shep, Lobuche, Dingboche, Pangboche, Tengboche, Kyangjuma and finally Namche Bazaar. The most discouraging part was when we had to run from Dingboche for many kilometres and coming back the same path. It was a little discouraging to see people already coming back when you are just going there. There were many check points on the way and also many small green flags to guide us the right way.
I also faced some troubles on the way. I had very bad ear pain which prevent me from running. It wasted my time. I saw two Europeans on the way, I asked for pain killers and luckily, they had some. I took four pain killers that made my earache bearable. I am very thankful for this relief, I had another issue. My water finished and the checkpoint was too far. I was really dehydrated, I was lacking energy. Again, luckily a Nepali guide on the way gave me an instant energy juice that boosted my energy level and I started to run as fast as I could.
Finally, I saw Namche Bazaar. I felt so excited to see everyone waiting for me, I began to run faster. I completed the marathon crossing the red ribbon in front of all the special people waiting for us. My goal was to complete the marathon in 7 hours however I succeeded in 8 hours 1 second. I felt great.
Everyone received certificates and medals. After, I met Steve and I was interviewed by a reporter, I went to room when someone called me to take prize. I thought that everyone would get something. To my greatest surprise I held 5th position in the female category and got prize and certificate. This became my tremendous achievement of my life. I was in cloud nine. I didn’t regret even though I completed in 8 hours 1 second. At least I had tried my best. After all, I waited for my friends to complete the race. All the boys from our group had already arrived (Laxmi Tamang and Caron brother were left). They also successfully completed the race.
Other runners came in the morning too after the marathon day. At least we all completed. It became the biggest achievement of our life. Unfortunately, one of our friends (Kailash Home group) didn’t make it to participate in the marathon. He hurt his leg hurt while doing a photoshoot which was sad moment for all of us because he couldn’t take part in it. It happened just the day before the marathon. This was his second time to participate in the everest marathon. He had already done the marathon in the previous year too. He is a good and passionate runner after all.
The time had come for us to return back to Kathmandu. We went back to Lukla. Unfortunately, our flight was cancelled because of the weather. It took us 3 days to return back to Kathmandu. We walked for whole day and on top of that it was raining. The next day we walked and finally jeep was acquired by our guide. We reached Kathmandu on the next day. Therefore, it took us 13 days for the whole trek to Everest base camp and the way back to Kathmandu. It is the most memorable trek of my life.
I would not have got this golden opportunity to go to the Everest Base Camp and participate in world’s highest marathon if Kailash home did not exist. I am from Kailash home (Himalayan Children’s Foundation). I believe that there is no other NGO like this in the world that gives intense love and care with all facilities like we are experiencing. I am very grateful for my Kailash home, donors, Lobsang Sir who put up great effort for this successful marathon and thanks to all the supporters. A BIG thanks to all of you. Without you, it would have been impossible for us to make it till here. I am proud to represent my Kailash Home and family. I am also very glad that we completed the marathon, which helped the three charities in the US, UK and Andorra to raise funds for the new building of Kailash Home which is now under construction.
This was a dream team work. Thanks to everyone.