The Everest Marathon; as astonishing as it sounds, certainly lives up to its name. Running along the foothills of the glorious Everest Himalayas, the marathon is one of the longest and hardest marathons on Earth! This marathon was initiated to commemorate the first successful ascent of the Mt. Everest (8848m) by late Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. The Everest Marathon is the ultimate race track for those daring enough to run amid the harsh Himalayan environment. Following the trail through some of the most esteemed destinations in the entire Everest region, the Everest Marathon guarantees entanglement with the mesmerizing Himalayas and local Sherpa culture.
The idea of creating a Marathon on the Himalayas was first introduced by Jan Turner and Tony Hunt in 1985. The first organized event was started in 2003 by Himalayan Expeditions, a Nepali trip operator, with the approval of the Government of Nepal and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB). The first Everest Marathon featured a 42-kilometre long track which was won by Uttar Kumar Rai. Since then, the marathon is organized annually and has gained the attention of the runners aspiring for the thrill of the highest order.
The marathon begins from the Everest Base Camp and takes the runners through the trails endowed by the diverse flora and fauna within the Sagarmatha National Park. Similarly, during the length of the marathon, the Himalayas like the Mt. Everest (8848m), Ama Dablam (6856m), Kangtega (6685m), and Nuptse (7861m) keep enticing company to the trekkers. Furthermore, the trails also cross paths with numerous Sherpa villages like Lobuche, Dingboche, Pangboche, Tengboche, and Namche Bazaar along the way. The runners will have to navigate through trails which are steep and snowy. Although descending on most occasions, there are a few ascents and high passes along the route as well.
Start and Finish Line
The Everest marathon starts from the Everest Base Camp at 5,364 meters and ends at Namche Bazaar at 3,440 meters. This trail covers rocky moraines, meadows, forests, and bridges that go up and down. The runners make a gradual decline in altitude as the marathon progresses. Like the trails of the race consist of more downhill than uphill, this run is very demanding! Thus, it requires strength, endurance, and stamina. The pure adrenaline rush of this event is what attracts marathon runners from all over the world.
Categories of Everest Marathon
Everest Marathon has three different categories. Runners can take part in their desired categories according to their physical capabilities. The three categories are 60 km Extreme ultra, 42 km Full marathon and 21 km half marathon. The 21 km half marathon begins from Dingboche (4,410 m) and ends at Namche Bazaar. However, the 60 km Extreme Ultra and 42 km Full Marathon both begin at the Everest Base Camp and take you to Namche Bazaar. While the 42 km Full Marathon follows the classic Everest Base Camp Trek trail, the 60 km Extreme Ultra heads north to Nha La from Phortse and rejoins the route of the other two marathons at Mong La. The 60 km Extreme Ultra also ends at Namche Bazaar.
Dates for 2019
As the marathon is celebrated in honour of the first successful ascent of the Mt. Everest (8848m), the marathon is organized on May 29 every year. In 2019 too, the 17th edition of the Everest Marathon is set to be organized on May 29.
Application Process for 2019
The Everest Marathon is open for enthusiasts all over the world. As the marathon begins from the Everest Base Camp, the runners will have to trek all the way to the Everest Base Camp following the classic route. Following the arrival at the base camp, the runners will participate in the marathon on May 29. Since the runners will have to trek to the base camp and run all the way to Namche Bazaar, we recommend only seasoned athletes and runners to participate in the marathon. However, anyone with a hunger to participate in this adventure can apply for the Everest Marathon.
With May, just around the corner, we are nearing the date of the Everest Marathon. If you are a runner, you should definitely sign up for this adrenaline-filled race. For any candidate who believes has the potential to participate in this event, get your running shoes and start training. It is your time to conquer the Himalayas!