My introduction to Nepal was Kathmandu. A populated busy city full of history….
Patan– an ancient fortified town. Now a suburb of Kathmandu.
The Unesco World Heritage Site of Swayambhunath. Also known as the Monkey Temple.
Prayer flags– as the wind blows through them the prayers are offered.
Prayer wheels to be spun.
…people (and extreme cabling!)
The race was just apart of the whole experience. It was a race I was set to have a challenge with. I’m no mountain goat and this race is all about the ascending and descending mountains. I determinedly faced the start line.
Day 1 Jiri to Bhandar 21.5km, 1.975m up 1.820m down, 3hrs 1min.
I had two battles this day; one with the ultimate, awesome, winner, Anna Comet from Catalonia; and two with my Mountain King poles. I had never used them before and having four legs instead of two was hard for someone with no coordination (at all!) but I was determined to win that battle and I’m glad I did as they proved invaluable as the race went on.
The sun shone and that afternoon the local village folk came out and danced. We got presented marigold flower garland chains which I soon learnt was very significant in Nepalese culture.
Day 2 Bhandar to Jase Bhanjyang. 23.9km, 3.486m up 1.796m down, 5hrs 26mins.
This was tough up hill day. We camped at 3600m so fairly chilly at night but thanks to my PHD Sleeping bag and booties I was really comfortable. Everyone was jealous of my booties!
Waking up in the morning was incredible as we were above the clouds and the horizon seemed endless reaching towards the highest peaks.
Day 3 Jase Bhanjyang to Kharikhola. 37.4km, 2.521m up 4110m down, 5hrs 46mins.
My descending skills got slightly better in this stage but it was the last few km’s that really got the legs as we ascended up to our campsite outside a monastery. We even got the opportunity to listen to the ceremony inside which admittedly did sound like band practise at school but was none the less another opportunity to learn about the local culture.
Day 4 Kharikhola to Phakding 27.5km 2.479m up 1.975m down 4hrs 52mins
More bridges and yaks to contend with…
Day 5 Phakding to Tyangboche 20km 2.224m up 1.022m down 3hrs 51mins.
The location we stayed in this night was spectacular in terms of surrounding scenery with the mountains of Tawache, Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam in the background.
Day 6 Tyangboche to Lukla 29.5km 2.105m up 3.138m down 4hrs 22mins.
and to the finish where Julia Boettger and I finished together. That night we stayed in Lukla ready to fly out in the morning.
The race was incredibly well organised and the camaraderie that evolved amongst the Spanish, Catalan, French, German and British runners was a real highlight.
The prize giving ceremony was back in Kathmandu.
Me, Jon, Tony, Sue, Ignacio, Julia, Rachel and Louis on one table.
Jon getting the first vet 50 prize #proud
Me getting 2nd female.
It was a race full of swollen sprained ankles, rocks and stones to be travelled over, tender quadricep muscles, emotions on a roller coaster, being humbled, meeting people, yak shit, tears, funny tummy’s, dust and at the end a stinking cold and chest infection but the challenge had been met and success was triumphant.
Thank you to everyone I met for making the race a true experience, my husband for sharing the highs and lows, my Mum for looking after Rufus whilst we were away, Scott kit and the Kinabalu, Bounce balls energy, 32Gi Sports fuel and recovery, Rock tape, PHD Sleeping bags and clothing, Mountain King Aluminium Trail Blaze poles, Sporting Edge Simulated Altitude training, LED Lenser head torch, Zeropoint Compression for Recovery, and lastly but not least my old buddy Hectic Hamster.