May 29, 2009
Today is the day of the Tenzing/Hillary Mt. Everest Marathon Run. The race starts at Everest Base Camp and ends in Namche Bazaar. The worlds most elite runners participate in this grueling run.
Here’s the shocking story, which will come as a surprise even to my family. Before I left for Nepal, I signed up to run this race after my Everest climb. When I came off the mountain on May 25 after my summit on May 23, the big storm hit Base Camp and I was stuck there for 2 days. Base Camp was inundated with snow and was in no condition to handle tents to house all the runners. So, I asked around, and the consensus was that the race would be canceled or re-routed so that the runners would not have to start at Base Camp. I packed up my gear and headed down to Pheriche. That’s when I learned that the race is still on and, somehow, they were going to find a way to handle all the runners at Base Camp. Too late for me. Given the condition of the trail from Base Camp to Lobuche, I predict there will be lots of bumps, bruises and even broken bones in the race today.
You’re probably wondering how many marathons have I run and what are my qualifications to run a marathon of this type. The answer is none, zero, zip, nada. I am totally unqualified. But, my thought was that I could open this race up to “runners” of my ilk by changing the race from a “run” to a “run/walk/crawl.” Frankly, given the short lapse of time between my coming off the mountain and the date of the race, I am relieved that it worked out this way. Maybe they will be gracious and at least give me the runner’s shirt given the entrance fee I paid.
Lest you think I am a total idiot, I want you to know that, last year, I ran a 5K in Costa Mesa with Ollie, who I pushed in a stroller. We took first place and got a nice ribbon. Well, first place in my age category (66 at the time). Please check out the photo of Ollie and me proudly holding up our prized ribbon. The photo is posted on my website under “My Training Partner.”
I am now off to Lukla.