Record number of runners confirmed
NAMCHE BAZAR, May 28 - The preparations for the fifth edition of the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon known as the world's highest altitude marathon have been completed, the organizer confirmed on the eve of the event.
The event organized by Himalaya Expeditions will feature record 130 runners with 53 foreigners including 10 women. “The exact number of Nepali runners can be confirmed only late tonight (Monday) as late entries for native runners are entertained at the base camp till tonight,” Sushil Bista of the organizers told the Post.
The 42.195 km (Olympic standard) race starts from the Everest Base Camp at 5,364 meters making it the world's highest marathon and finishes down at Namche Bazar situated at an altitude of 3,440 meters passing through Gorakshep (5,140 m), Lobuche (4,930 m), Dingboche (4,410), Pangboche (3,930 m) and Syangboche (3,720 m).
The tough race through the highest glaciers and moraines also passes through the world famous Tengboche monastery at 3,860 meters. “There will be 10 water-points that also include medical facilities,” former Nepali marathoner and technical director of the race Krishna Basnet said.
Defending champion Deepak Rai, who set the record of 3:28:27 secs last year, two-time winner Dangima Sherpa and former winner Uttar Kumar Rai set up the men's section while young upcoming Sherpa girls are expected to provide tough competition to last year's winner Ang Dami Sherpa.
The foreign category includes record-chasing blind runner Mark Pollock and Japanese Toshio Ohmori, who at 66 years is the oldest participant in this year's race. Ohmori has also completed more than 140 full marathons. Young Dutchwoman Jonna Snoek provides glamor as well as competitive edge to the female category that also includes television journalist Miki Upreti working with NHK.
The top three of the main category will bag US $ 1,000, 500 and 300 respectively while the ladies' section (for both Nepali and foreigners) carries cash award of US $ 500, 300 and 200 for the top three finishers. There is also cash prize in the men's category for foreigners equivalent to the ladies' category.
Chief guest German Ambassador to Nepal Franz Ring, Pakistani Ambassador Sohil Amin and Secretary of Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Madhav Prasad Ghimire will award the winners.
Posted on: 2007-05-28 21:15:47 (Server Time)