Phurba Tamang won the Coca Cola 10th Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon—the world's highest marathon that starts from the Everest Base Camp and ends at Namche Bazar—finishing ahead of Kumar Rajbhandari on Tuesday.
Tamang, who also won the race in 2009 and 2010, took three hours 41 minutes and 31 seconds to won his third title. Rajbhandari was second in the marathon finishing the race in 3 hours 54 minutes 51 seconds. Defending champion Sudip Kulung Rai finished third at 4 hours 54 seconds.
After completing the hat trick Tamang was delighted and said that he wanted to win the race at any cost. “I had to leave the race in middle last year due to bad health condition and this year I was determined to win the race.”
Tamang had taken lead from the base camp and maintained it till the finishing line. Tamang, A Tara Air staffer, informed that he had trained only for a week in Lukla after being granted a week of leave from his employers. “I want to Thank Tara Air for sponsoring me and also motivating me to take part in the race.”
“I want to compete in the race next year and make a new record by winning the marathon the fourth time.” With the title Tamang bagged the US$ 1,000 prize money. Similarly Rajbhandari and Kulung have bagged US$ 500 and US$ 300 respectively.
Likewise, in the female category, Ang Futi Sherpa of Nepal won the title for the fifth time in 5 hours 14 minutes 44 seconds ahead of Mingma Lama who finished it in 5 hours 15 minutes 56 seconds while Tashi Jangmu Sherpa was third at 5 hours 43 minutes 23 seconds.
Sherpa who participated from 2007 has finished in the second position only once in the year 2008. Sherpa said that she has not yet received tough competitor. “I have not yet decided to quit the race.”
The first, second and third position holders bagged US$500, US$300 and US$200 as prize money respectively.
Similarly, American James Scott won the male category for foreigners clocking 5 hours 22 minutes 07 seconds. Kelsang Dorjee of India finished second at 5 hours 38 minutes 22 seconds. Ryan Wolfarm of USA finished third with a timing of 5 hour 48 minutes and 07 seconds.
Similarly, Tsering Palma of India won the women category for foreigners clocking 6 hours 25 minutes 33 seconds. Annette Wolfrom of Germany finished second at 7 hours 16 minutes 50 seconds. Jinnifer Waldren of USA finished third with a timing of 7 hour 37 minutes and 40 seconds.
In the half-marathon category for foreigners, 29-year-old American lady Tempe Caldwell clinched the title a timing 2:55:34. Anthony Hull of Australia finished in the second position with a timing of 3:12:12 and Joseph Kurt Kowalchuk Canada finished in the third position with a timing of 3:37:08.
According to Shikhar Pandey, the event manager," Everest Marathon is a unique adventure sports and such an event require all the assistance it deserves to develop the country’s tourism industry. “Innovation is the key and our tourism industry needs to do it on a large scale,”
May 29 is also celebrated as the International Everest Day to mark the first ascent of Mt Everest by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. A total of 93 foreigners and 62 Nepalese runners took part in this year's race.
Renowned Himalayan expeditions, a travel agency based in Nepal has been organizing the event for past ten years.