Twenty-nine complete Everest marathon

A total of 29 runners on Monday completed the world’s highest marathon, from Everest Base Camp to the Himalayan town of Namche Bazaar, organisers said.

Among the finishers of the 42,2 kilometre rugged event run along mountainous mule tracks were two women, they said.

“The contestants started their run in patchy fog with the blowing of a whistle at 7:00 am,” an organiser said, adding that a number of climbers and Nepalese Sherpas gathered to give the runners a rousing send-off.

Base Camp is at a height of 5 400 metres and Namche Bazar at about 3 500 metres, but the route was not all downhill, with runners having to negotiate several big

ascents, two glaciers and testing steep rocky paths.

While no official results were immediately available, athletes had been expected to complete the route—which takes hikers a good two or three days to traverse—in something like three-and-a-half hours.

The event is part of the Everest Golden Jubilee celebrations being held to mark the conquest of Everest on May 29, 1953.

Participants included marathon runners from Canada, South Africa and the United States, although the majority were Nepalese runners who have grown up in the mountains.

Winners of the race were to be honoured at the main Golden Jubilee celebrations, to be held in Kathmandu next week. - Sapa

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