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Gurung clinches Tenzing Hillary Everest marathon title

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KATHMANDU, May 30: Bhim Bahadur Gurung has clinched the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon 2018 title that was held in the Everest region of Solukhumbu district on Tuesday.

Gurung, also the winner of the 2015 edition, finished the highest-altitude marathon in 4 hours 02 minutes 30 seconds, ahead of the defending champion Suman Kulung and Bed Bahadur Sunuwar who finished the race with the timing of 4:06:10 hrs and 4:28:35 hrs, respectively.

Tirtha Tamang of Nepal clinched the title of 60-kilometer Everest Ultra Run, clocking 6:56:13. He finished the race ahead of Kiran Kulung (7:41:08) and Mohan Dev Joshi (8:34:31) who finished the ultra run in the second and third positions, respectively.

In the women’s category, Purnima Rai finished first with the timing of 5:20:56, ahead of Nirkala Rai (5:27:22) and Padam Kumari Rai (5:52:21), who finished the marathon in the second and third positions, respectively.

The 15th series of Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon kicked off at the Mount Everest Expedition Base Camp at 7am, and passed through Sherpa villages of Gorakshep, 

Lobuche, Dokla, Dingboche and Tengboche before concluding at Namche Bazaar.

Over 200 runners, including 139 foreigners from 31 countries including the US, the UK, Germany, New Zealand, China and Peru among others, participated in the marathon.

Likewise, in the foreigners’ category, Manuel Seyr of Germany finished first with the timing of 5:59:29, ahead of British runner Jonathan Bamber (6:13:06) and Joshua Blyleven of New Zealand (6:30:38), who finished the marathon in second and third positions, respectively.

Similarly, in the half marathon category, New Zealander Jayden Klinac finished first with the timing of 2:59:35, ahead of Don Kook Won of South Korea and Dipesh Sabharwal who finished the 21-kilometer race, clocking 3:19:45 and 3:37:32, respectively.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari gave away awards to the winners and the runners-up. 

Marathon winner Gurung said he was happy to win the race again. 

“After the Everest Marathon victory in 2015, I have participated in many national and international running events. Experience of those events helped me win this race again,” he added.

Similarly, winner of Women’s category Rai, said it was good to return to winning ways. “Last year I finished the race in the second position. This year I am happy to finish first,” Rai, who won the category in 2016, said.

Likewise, Tamang, who completed hattrick of wins in the Everest Ultra Run, said he was happy to set the rare feat. 

“Running this trail gives us confidence that we can run anywhere in the world,” he added.

Bamber, who finished second in the foreigners’ category, said Everest Marathon was a tough race but one of the most beautiful ones. 

“Today, the weather worked for me because it was a bit cloudy - not too hot and not too windy. I and Manuel, who came first, did the Island Peak (6,189m) before this marathon. Maybe, that is why we performed better,” he added.

Himalaya Expeditions has been organizing the marathon regularly for the past 15 years to commemorate the first ascent of Mt Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa on May 29, 1953.

May 30, 2018 04:12 PM