Pemba Sherpa and Ang Chhuting Sherpa clinch title

NAMCHE BAZAAR: royal penguin Pemba Sherpa and Ang Chhuting Sherpawon the first edition of the Royal Penguin Ultra Marathon at the Everest region under male and female categories respectively on Monday.
Clocking 7 hours and 24 minutes, Pemba completed the 60 km race ahead of 18 other participants. For female title, Ang completed the route in 9 hours and 11 minutes.
The race started from Namche Bazaar (3440 m) at 3 am in the morning and went uphill towards Dole (4200m), Gokyo (4,800 meters) and then to westwards to the Renjo-La, perched at the elevation of 5,340 m.
“This is the first marathon that requires the participants to climb uphill before nosing down to the lower elevations,” said chief organiser Elka. “This is why the marathon stands out as one of the most difficult one held ever.”
The challenge-factor, however, is surely not the only factor to define the ultra marathon. Climbing through Renjo Pass, the most difficult part of the marathon, the individuals would get the spectacular view of a range of Himalayas, including the Mt. Everest, Mt. Cho Yuo, Mt. Thamserku, Mt. Thamteka, Mt. Amadablam among others.
From Renjo Pass, the sprinters climbed downhill to Thame Valley (3800 meters) and then back to Namche Bazaar. The marathon was supposed to be concluded before 10 pm in the evening.
Out of a total 19 participants, 12 were Nepalis and seven foreigners. Altogether three runners failed to complete the marathon within the given timeframe.
Finishing first towards the ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ categories, Pemba and Ang bagged a purse of Rs 30,000 and Rs 10,000 each. While Pemba took 7.24 hours to complete the cycle, Ang took 9.11 hours to cross the line.
“The route was really hard to complete,” Pemba said. “But I pushed myself into the mountains and finished it first.”
Ang, who is a trekking guide by profession, is also the winner of Tenzing-Hilary Everest Marathon held last year.
Upendra Sunuwar and Karma Sarki Sherpa ended 2nd and 3rd respectively towards ‘Male’ category. Likewise, Pasang Dikee Sherpa and Elka (Canadian) ended 2nd and 3rd respectively towards ‘Female’ category.
The marathon was organised by Royal Penguin Adventure under the sponsorship of Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel, based in Thamel, Kathmandu.