April and I will be the first of our group to arrive in Nepal, which gives us two days to explore the great Kathmandu on our own. Once the rest of our group arrives in Kathmandu, we’ll be taking a small plane to Lukla (2850m) which apparently landing on the short sloped runway is an adventure in itself. From Lukla we begin our trek upwards, first stopping in Namche Bazaar (3440m) and the Thame Monastery (3800m). Next we’ll climb elevation on route through Phortse Tenga (3675m), Dhole (4040m), Machermo (4410m), Gokyo (4750m), Dragnag (4700m), Lobuche (4930m), Gorakshep (5288m) and finally Kala Pattar and the Nepal Everest base camp (5545m).
Once reaching base camp, we begin making our way down to Gorak Shep, where the rest of the group will continue the decent to Lukla. But myself, Danny and Clint will be staying behind to run the Everest Marathon.
“The Everest Marathon is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the highest marathon in the world. The start line is at Gorak Shep 5184m (17,000 feet), close to Everest Base Camp in Nepal. The finish is at the Sherpa town of Namche Bazaar at 3446m (11,300 feet) and the course is a measured 42 km (26.2 miles) over rough mountain trails. It is the world’s most spectacular race and has been held twelve times since 1987.” – Everest Marathon
It definitely will be challenging running at that altitude, I’m just glad I have two strong teammates to run with.
We’ve been keeping a close eye on the political situation in Nepal, especially with it’s recent election voting in Maoist communist party, ongoing Tibetan protests and Chinese torch controversy. Nepal not wanting to upset relations with China, recently deported a climber for having a pro-Tibet flag in his backpack. One thing is for certain, it definitely is an exciting time to be visiting Nepal.