Tenzing – Hillary Everest Marathon is the highest marathon in the world and probably one of the most adventurous trail running races in the world. This event was first organised in 2003 and it was held every year from then celebrating the first ascent of Mount Everest on 29th of May 1953 made by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. 

The adventure starts with a flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, followed by a walk and passing the beautiful Sherpa Villages all the way to the Base Camp of Everest. The race is held in the Sagarmatha National Park where the highest peak in the world is located (Mount Everest 8.848m.). The start of the race is from the Base Camp of Everest (5.364m), passing a lot of villages, the monasteries Pangboche and Dingboche and all the way to Namche Bazar (3.446m.), all that in 42.195km through a tough mountain terrain with 2.777m D+ and 4.579m D-. 

Three races:

  • Halmarathon (21km)
  • Marathon (42km)
  • Ultramarathon (60km)

Starting point: Base Camp of Everest (5.364m.)

Check points:

  • Gorakshep (5.180m.)
  • Lobuche (4.928m.)
  • Thukla (4.602m.)
  • Bibre (4.571m.)
  • Shomare (4.100m.)
  • Pangboche (4.000m.)
  • Phortse (3.820m.)
  • Nha La (4.400m.)
  • Machermo (4.470m.)
  • Dole (4.200m.)
  • Mong La (4.200m.)
  • Namche Bazaar (3.440m.)

Results from the first marathon held in 2003:

  1. Uttar Kumar Rai – 3:34:12
  2. Kanchha Bahadur Sherpa – 3:37:38
  3. Nara Bahadur Shah – 3:41:13

Results from the first marathon held in 2010:

  1. Phurba Tamang – 3:41:20
  2. Kanchha Bahadur Sherpa – 4:02:35
  3. Nara Bahadur Shah – 4:05:10

Results from the first marathon held in 2017:

  1. Mr. Suman Kulung – 3:43:57
  2. Mr. Surendra Basnet – 3:52:08
  3. Mr. Bed Bdr Sunuwar – 4:05:40

Costs

The package in which the 18 day marathon is included cost between 2.500$ and 2.700$ depends of the chosen option for accommodation (tents or huts). The package includes: accommodation, food, guides, carriers, return ticket Kathmandu – Lukla, accommodation in Kathmandu and sightseeing tours.

Additional costs in the huts

  • For charging batteries and phone
  • For using Wi-Fi
  • For having a hot shower

Terrain

The terrain is different in different stages of the race.There is a rocky terrain, snowy and icy sections, hanging bridges, dusty terrain. The marathon is held in one part of the Sagarmatha National park which is very popular and visited by the hikers, mountaineers and adventurers. 

Warnings

All participants must be in Nepal three weeks before the starting date of the race due to a proper acclimatization.

Every participant has a 15kg limit for his personal stuff and it is paid 1$ for every kg that exceeds (both to the airplane company and the carriers). 

Temperature

The temperature in May is warm with long periods of sun during the day and the temperature reaches up to 22°C on the height between 2.600m and 3.400m. During the day the temperature is usually between 5°C and 10°C

On heights above 3.400m during the day the UV index is very high, and the temperature in the evenings goes below 0°C (between -2°C and -8°C). Even in late spring there is a possibility to snow.

Food

The food in the mountain huts is great and rich with carbohydrates. As you go upper the meat is less represented. Above 4.000 you start to lose appetite so it is recommended to have something with you that you like more or eat more regularly. In the mountain huts there are soups, rice, pasta, meat, potatoes, bread, pancakes, boiled vegetables, pizza, cakes, sweet pies, tea, juice, coke…

Equipement which is good to have

  • Mountain boots
  • Sleeping bag
  • Backpack
  • First Aid
  • Down jacket
  • Gloves
  • Bandana
  • Base layers
  • Sunglasses
  • Headlamp
  • Plastic bags
  • Hiking poles
  • Camera
  • Water bottles
  • Book
  • Protection from rain and cold

Couple of Nepali words

  • Namaste – Hello
  • Dhanyabad – Thank you
  • Kasto Chha? – How are you?
  • Uukalo – Up
  • Owarolo – Down