Everest Trail Race, Nepal
The amazing trails that lead to the stunning vistas of Everest from the Tengboche Monastery are some of the most memorable moments any trail runner can encounter. Organizers of the Everest Trail Race ( etr) tell all participants before the race that Nepal will change you, and not just because of the extraordinary terrain, but because of the kindness of the Nepalese people. From the frenetic streets of Kathmandu to the isolation of camping under the stars at the monastery at Kharikhola, Nepal and its people cemented themselves within the heart of etr participants.
Winding through the remote Solukhumbu region of the Himalayas in Nepal, the etr takes place over six punishing days and covers 160 kilometres, with over 25,000 m of vertical gain. That’s like climbing the namesake of this event nearly three times.
Terrain is mixed and the daily distances are, on paper, relatively short. Don’t be fooled, though. Altitude and technical trails make the etr a very specific challenge. Daily altitude gain starts at 3,000 m and goes up to 5,950 m. It’s a breathtaking route that starts in Jiri and follows an incredible route to Tengboche – the gateway to Everest Base Camp.
Runners will trace the footsteps of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the first men to reach the summit of Everest. En route, participants will experience breathtaking views of several of the world’s tallest mountains: Everest, Lothse, Ama Dablam, Tamseku, Kangtega, Makalu and Kanchenjunga. On the fifth day, arriving at Tengboche the Himalayan backdrop is magnificent and provides a wonderful boost before returning to Lukla via Namche Bazaar.
When reaching the highest point of the day, your breathing is hard, with short shallow breaths. You think you must stop, that you can’t go on, but then you settle into a sustainable rhythm. Your body is adapting to the workload, and the altitude and with that realization you feel a rush of empowerment that motivates you to continue to run with the stunning
Everest as a backdrop.
etr is a self-sufficient race, meaning that participants must carry all they need except for food for meals and a tent. Breakfast and dinner is provided and all the runners sleep in two-person tents. Temperatures vary greatly from warm sunny days to icy cold nights. Remember, the runners carry everything they need, including shorts and T-shirts for the day and a down jacket, multiple layers and a very warm sleeping bag for the night. As with most multi-day races, a change of clothes is a luxury and a shower probably not an option. The route is only accessible by foot or helicopter, so the challenge is equally tough for the race team.
The Everest Trail Race is without doubt the journey and experience of a lifetime.
The race offers an entry fee with or without f light arrangements from London to Kathmandu, then on to Lukla, the launching off point for the event. If you choose to get there yourself, a few major airlines, including Air Canada (in conjunction with its Star Alliance partner airlines), Cathay, Air India and Qatar Airways f ly to Kathmandu. Most f lights include at least one layover.
Where to Stay
The race offers four nights’ hotel accommodation in Kathmandu, with breakfast included as a part of the entry. Most meals are also covered throughout the trip, including welcome and farewell dinners. The bus and entry fee into Sargamatha National Park is also covered.