Race Day 2019

 

Suman Kulung Winner

Months of preparation has come down to the final race Day 2019 which started at Gorak Shep 5200m.

Two race starts were trialed this year. The faster runners which included all 16 nepali, started at 7.00am whereas most others had a slightly earlier 6.30am start to avoid congestion on the Gorak Shep moraine.

The winner was Suman Kulung (Nepal) who managed a record finishing time of 3 hours 39 minutes beating the previous record by 2 minutes.

 

The full results list can be found here Results 2019

 

The temperature range of this race is vast; -15C to start and upto +15C in Namche Bazaar at the finish line - although the actual temparture drops sharply when the sun drops below the skyline.

 

Other notable times include Barry Edwards (GB) which was the fasterst ever M60, Chris Brown (GB) (famous seven summiteer) oldest ever completer (M70) and Isobel Turner (GB) completing 34k as an 18 year old. Rashila Tamang (Nepal) won the Women's race with Sabrina Vergee (GB) first non nepali female.

 

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Trekking to Machermo 4410m

Original everest marathon machermo

Leaving a very cold Dole behind we climbed once more with a view to getting to Machermo for 3 nights camping and acclimatisation. A handful of people are starting to feel the altitude and some symptoms of AMS is present although easily treated by our doctors. Machermo sites on a remarkably level site amid steep ridges and mountains. We would eventually spend 3 nights here so it is very important to have a good camp site. Machermo site is simply outstanding.

Original everest marathon machermo

Trek to Dole 4110m

Hilary_Chhorten Day 7 finds us trekking up to the capsite at Dole which is the first time above 4000m. This is when the altidue starts to bite and the climb up and over the Mong La pass is a true test of fittness and acclimatisation. We leave behind the tree line and enter a wholely different climate band of grasses and low lying shrubs. This is Yak territory and an altogether more brutal landscape. The really big mountains now come into view. It is interesting to note that, despite having climbed to over 4000m, the mountains are still 3-4000m aboe our heads. Spectatular!!

Recce to the Thamo Loop

thamorunners 2019 Blog   The Thamo loop is one of the most distinctive aspects of the Original Everest Marathon route. Having started at Gorak Shep (5200m), whch incidentely is the original everest base camp used for its first ascent, the marathon route descends to Chhorkung just above Namche Bazaar 3446m. However, at this point, the route heads of west and away from the town towards to incredibly beautiful village of Thamo with its Monestry sited well above it. Generally this is a relatively level path so today becomes an opportunity to walk the route to learn about a couple of minor route options and again to stretch ones legs and enoy the breathtaking views on this much more remote part of the Khumbu. 

 

 On our return, our camp has been moved up the mountain to Khumjung 3780m and it is this extension to the day which proved the hardest element for some. it would be fair to say that we were all relived to see everyone arrive safely in camp as dusk was creeping ever more rapidly in. Khumjung is a beatiful but more dramatically remote location and over night temparatures drop to well below zero fr the first of many very cold nights. Those who decided to heed te warnings about the need to have sleeping bags capable of -40c slept well!

Acclimatisation day to Kanguma

campingChhorkung 2019 Blog We awake to a perfect blue sky and breathtaking views above Namche Bazaar 3446m. Today is the first of two more days sleeping at this altidude as we plan a short walk to Kanguma, which is control point 7 on Marathon day. This gives a chance for a shorter day for those who needed a rest of a more challenging one for those keen to burn up more calories. Eventually, we will walk the entire marathon route to attempt to 'learn' about the terrain and any possibile error points. The route is relatively easy to follow but is not necessarily marked as such. The roughness of the terrain does take some a little time to get used to. 

Walk to Namche Bazaar

aboveToktok 2019 BlogThe following day, after a camp at Toktok just above Phadking, we set off towards Namche Bazaar which is the Sherpa capital. Initially this is easy walking but the ground soon steepened to give some breathless climbs as we ascend towards 3446m.

 

Mood in the camp is good and so far, people are acclimatising well and not feeling any significant effects of altitude. However, as we get closer to Namche Bazaar, the impact of walking above 3000m starts to impact on our pace and some take the very sensible approach of slowing their rate of walking. It is here that we also hit the traffic (walkers, porters, Dzokio trains) mainly coming down at the end of the main trekking season. This will prove to be the busiest of all days on our trek. Mid to late November is a good time to be ascending the valley system as most of the crowds are leaving. 

 

The weather is chilly at night but warm and sunny during the days which is a welcome sight for the UK based trekkers - and also our Austrailian contingent, although for very different reasons.

 

This is a hard day but the welcome sight of Namche Bazaar makes all the hard work much  more pleasurable.

 

namchebazaar 2019 Blog

 

 

 

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