NAMCHE, May 29: Phurba Tamang completed a hat-trick in the Coca-cola 10th Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon that concluded on Tuesday as local Nepali runners were on the forefront while descending on the rough terrain from the Everest Base Camp to Namche Bazaar.
Tamang took three hours 41 minutes and 31 seconds to complete the race. Kumar Rajbhandari finished second in the marathon clocking 3 hours 54 minutes 51 seconds. Defending champion Sudip Kulung Rai finished third in 4 hours 54 seconds.
Tamang had taken lead from the base camp and continued his pace till the finishing line. Tamang informed that he had trained only for a week in Lukla. “I want to thank Tara Air for sponsoring me and also motivating me to take part in the race,” he said, adding, “I want to compete in the race next year and make a new record,” he added.
Along with the title, Tamang bagged a purse of $1000. Similarly Rajbhandari and Rai bagged $500 and $300 respectively.
Likewise, in the open female category, Ang Futi Sherpa of Nepal won the title for the fifth time, completing the race in 5 hours 14 minutes 44 seconds.
Mingma Lama finished the race in 5 hours 15 minutes 56 seconds and Tashi Jangmu Sherpa clocked 5 hours 43 minutes 23 seconds to secure the second and third positions respectively.
Winner Sherpa, who has been participating in the marathon since 2007, has finished second only once in 2008. Sherpa said she has not yet faced a tough competitor.
The first, second and third position holders bagged $500, $300 and $200 respectively.
Similarly, in male foreigner category, American James Scott won the marathon clocking 5 hours 22 minutes 7 seconds. Kelsang Dorjee of India finished second with a timing of 5 hours 38 minutes 22 seconds. Ryan Wolfarm of USA finished third clocking 5 hour 48 minutes and 7 seconds.
Likewise, Tsering Palma (6:25:33) of India, Annette Wolfrom (7:16:50) of Germany and Jeniffer Waldren (7:37:40) of the USA secured the top three positions in the female foreign category.
In the half marathon category, 29-year-old American lady Tempe Caldwell clinched the title. Anthony Hull of Australia finished second with a timing of 3:12:12 and Joseph Kurt Kowalchuk finished third.
The marathon was organized by Himalayan Expeditions to commemorate the first successful ascent of Mt Everest by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary on May 29, 1953. This day is also celebrated as the International Everest Day. A total of 93 foreigners and 62 Nepalese runners took part in this year´s race.
Tamang receives award from Indian ambassador to Nepal Jayanta Prasad. (Courtesy: Bharat Bandu Thapa)
Participants of marathon. (Photo: Bijay Gajmer)
Zameel Olutgil of Italy (Photo: Bijay Gajmer)
Daniel Maxwell of New Zealand (Photo: Bijay Gajmer)