2015 Race Report
After a few doubts caused by the Nepalese earthquake earlier in the year, I am pleased to report that the 2015 Everest Marathon is underway with a reduced party this year of 43 intrepid souls converging on Kathmandu from 7 nations. Despite all the bad news reported from Nepal, we have been made very welcome by the Nepalese and find Nepal very much open and ready for business.
After a brief delay due to early morning fog in the Kathmandu Valley, the group flew into Lukla and started trekking up to Namche Bazar with an overnight stop at Phakding. En-route it was possible to see a small amount of earthquake damage and a few resultant landslides, but the Nepalese are on top of the situation and the paths are good and their houses are being repaired to a good standard.
Namche Bazar is still a thriving village, albeit with tourist numbers reckoned to be reduced by half. However, all the lodges,restaurants, and tea rooms are up and running and very welcoming. The group has been acclimatising by taking day trips to the Everest View Hotel and stretching their running legs with a circuit of the “Thamo Loop”.
Now the group is off sampling the trekking proper by taking an acclimatisation trek to Macchermo and the Gokyo Valley. Meanwhile back in Namche Bazar, it is time for the Nepalese to register for the race. Interest is high for the 20 available places which could mean a keenly fought race…
It has been said that that the hardest part of the Everest Marathon is getting to the start. This year was particularly successful in that all 49 runners reached the start acclimatised and in good health. The weather was good and not too cold at the start making ideal running conditions.
As expected the Nepalese runners excelled in their natural environment, but the course record remained just out of reach by some two minutes. There was much interest in the women’s placings as local favourite, Mera Rai, was the focus of a BBC film crew who are making a documentary to be broadcast in the Spring of 2017.