The Everest Challenge Marathon 2011

In the middle of the Himalayan 100 Stage Race Mark Lyons takes on The Everest Challenge Marathon and finishes seventh!
This is a totally separate race open for entry to anyone looking for a one day ultra marathon in the Himalayas, it is also day three of the Himalayan 100 Stage Race and it was good to join some new fresh faces in what was to be the longest of my runs in the Himalaya.Marko Everest MarathonIt follows an amazing trail from the Sherpa camp of Sandakphu along a ridge line which marks the boundary between India and Nepal. We negotiated trails as the terrain varied in altitude from 12,815 to 10,900 back to a checkpoint at 11,815 ft where we started a huge descent from the high mountain trails to the jungle below, breathtaking views of Mt Everest, Lhoste, and Makalu were off to the west, with Kanchenjunga coming closer as we ran northward. The event has been called "the world's most beautiful marathon" because four of the five highest mountains on earth can be seen at all times during this run.It's billed as 26.5 miles long but that's not correct, it has a reputation for it measuring well over 31 miles and it certainly felt that way, my legs were shredded after this one, it has a descent straight down of nearly 6,000 feet over the most horrendous technical trail imaginable, many runners were sporting cuts and bruises at the bottom of this one.Loading...
The Everest Challenge Marathon 2011
I had a great run, really inspired by the trail and the people I started with, I had a hard fought race with a Spanish Ironman called David, a big guy who wore a bright orange headband tied at the back and ran with his huge chest popping out his top, every time I looked back it was like Rambo chasing me through the bushes, he tailed me for the best part of eight miles before he wore me down and managed to pass me in the last two miles, he patted my back and said "we run together friend", but my legs were done and I told him to go ahead, he deserved to beat me on this one.My highlight would have to be the views again, as a one day event you will not get a more amazing and staggeringly beautiful race anywhere in the world, also the contrast between the high mountain passes we started on, then finishing the race in a Jungle over 6,000 feet below.Pretty much a male dominated race again, only three extra ladies joined the marathon, but there were a few in the stage race so someone wanting to race the marathon only wouldn't be alone. Advice would be the same as the stage race, hills, hills and more hills, there's a huge super steep descent in there too, so dont neglect your quads, but mostly enjoy and take loads of photos...
For more from ultra madman Mark Lyons, check out his blog: www.runner786.com

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