THE EIGHTEENTH EVEREST MARATHON
The Everest Marathon is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the highest marathon in the world. The start line is at Gorak Shep 5184m (17,000 feet), close to Everest Base Camp in Nepal. The finish is at the Sherpa town of Namche Bazaar at 3446m (11,300 feet) and the course is a measured 42 km (26.2 miles) over rough mountain trails. It is the world’s most spectacular race and has been held seventeen times since 1987.
To acclimatise naturally to the high altitude all runners join together for a 23 day holiday in Nepal. This holiday combines sightseeing in the capital, Kathmandu, a 15 day trek to the start under medical supervision, ascents of Gokyo Ri (5483m) and Kala Pattar (5623m) for the best views of Everest and one of the most gruelling races in the world.
Although the course is basically down hill, there are two steep uphill sections. There may be snow and ice on the upper part and there is considerable exposure along much of the route. For this reason the race is only suitable for runners with recent experience of cross country, fell or mountain running and endurance events. Experience of rough terrain is essential and road marathon experience is not sufficient on its own.
The race is a non-profit-making venture. Until 2017 the race was organised by Bufo Ventures Ltd with all profits put into the Everest Marathon Fund, a UK registered charity (number 1005422). So far this has raised over £670,000 to support health and educational projects in rural Nepal. Most of the money has been raised by the runners themselves and many divide the amount raised, with 50% to the Everest Marathon Fund and 50% to a charity in their home country. In this way the race has also raised large sums of money for a wide range of good causes around the world. Each runner can set up his own web site page on the Virgin Money Giving web site inviting donations to made online directly to the Everest Marathon Fund.
From 2019 the race will be organised by Community Action Treks, the commercial arm of Doug Scott’s Community Action Nepal (http://www.canepal.org.uk) with profits and fund-raising going to that charity.
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