It is almost 7:00 a.m. on a clear November morning in Nepal. First light bathes the pyramid contours of Mt.Everest to the south of where I am standing, in confused and cold silence. It is 20 degrees below zero and I have just put a perfectly good and warm sleeping bag into a stuff sack, hence, the confusion.
There isn’t much oxygen at the Omega Replica 17,500- foot elevation of Gorak Shep --- a three hut village near Everest base camp. I mill around with more than 90 others and try to recapture some of last night’s warmth.
“ You have trekked for sixteen days to reach this moment. I hope that you achieve all that you want and have a safe and enjoyable race. Ready, steady, go!” our group leader said. And we all went. There were two hundred yards of level ground before a steep hill and the jumbled rock that made up the glacial moraines. Within a hundred yards, there were a great many walkers. We gasped our way through the first few miles to the first of ten aid station.
After the moraines, the trail settles down to merely “difficult”. The marathon course winds steeply down from the start until the seven- mile mark just after the small village of Pheriche , where a small medical facility has been established.
From Pheriche to the thirteen – mile mark, we encountered both downhill and level running. Then, we crossed a small suspension bridge and some of the nearly 4,500 feet of elevation gain begin.
As the race continued toward the twenty- mile mark, I thought back on why I was here. Almost nine months before, I had Omega Seamaster Replica sold everything I owned, resigned from an excellent job in Seattle, and bought a one- way ticket for Singapore. The nebulous goal had been to backpack around the world.
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