Third THEM Victory to Lukla Competitor
Held every year on May 29, the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon (THEM) commemorates the pioneering Everest expedition by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. The 2012 event had a total of 155 competitors for the marathon and half-marathon events, of which 93 were visitors from foreign countries including Britain, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, India and the United States. The event, which is in its 10th year, was won by 24-year-old Phurba Tamang from Lukla who completed the marathon in 3 hours, 41 minutes and 31 seconds, making it the third time he has claimed the victory in this challenging event. The half-marathon race was won by 29-year-old American, Tempe Caldwell.
The Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon, with its high altitudes and rugged terrain, is considered to be an extreme sport and one of the toughest marathons in the world. The event starts at the Mount Everest (Qomolangma) Base Camp at a height of 5360 meters. Competitors follow the historical route pioneered by the two legendary climbers, passing monuments, monasteries, rhododendron forests, crossing suspension bridges, and covering a distance of 42.195 kilometers to the finish line at Namche Bazaar. Apart from the reward of a sense of achievement and experiencing the camaraderie this event engenders, competitors will enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery imaginable.
The journey to the starting point of the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon is an adventure in itself. Following a period of acclimatization and sightseeing in Nepal’s capital city, the marathon starts with a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, offering a bird’s eye view of some of the scenery Nepal has to offer. Participants trek to Everest Base Camp, passing through the Everest National Park and taking the opportunity to visit the Buddhist monasteries of Thyanboche and Pangboche along the way. The group overnights at the base of the awe-inspiring Khumbu Icefall in preparation for an early start to the Marathon. Supporters accompanying participants can enjoy the trek to and from the marathon route, and be there to welcome runners as they cross the finish line. If this type of adventure appeals to you, start making plans now for the 2013 Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon.