Day 2 #ETR2014
Day 2 of the Everest Trail Race is the toughest of the race: fact! It’s a brutal exercise in climbing and one that takes place at attitude stretching each and every participant to the limit.
Starting in Bhandar runners have the pleasure of running downhill along some twisting and technical trail before crossing a suspension bridge that stretches over Kinja Khola River. What follows is a lung busting and leg-sapping climb to Golla at just over 3000m. A little respite and then climbing starts again firstly to Ngaur and then onward to the highest point of the ETR; Pikey Peak at 4063m. From the summit at Pikey Peak an amazing Himalayan vista awaited but the runners had to work for it… really work for it! Dropping down a tough technical descent for several kilometres, a tough short climb is the sting in the tail to the arrival at Jase Bhanjyang at 3600m.
As one would expect Nepalese runners Samir Temsang and Phudorje Lama Sherpa set the pace for today. To be honest, they have a huge natural advantage on this high altitude terrain and they put this to great use. One again they ran together all day and in a repeat of day-1, Samir opened up just a short gap in the final meters to take the stage win and a slender lead overall. Zigor Iturrieta ran a stronger race today and looked in his element on the tough terrain. At the summit of Pikey Peak he laughed and joked and ran away sprinting… he may just get better as each day passes?
The ladies race was a repeat of day-1 with Anna Comet running strong and controlled from the front. Poles in hand, Anna powered her way up Pikey Peak with a huge smile and after the technical descent crossed the finish line with a repeat stage win. Kerry Sutton from the UK performed exceptionally well at altitude and produced a strong consistent performance to consolidate her 2nd-overall. Yangdi Lama Sherpa finished 3rd but says that she isn’t feeling too great at the moment. These things happen in multi-day racing and as we all know, anything can happen!
It was a tough day with many runners coming close to the cut-off time. Officially we only have one runner not making the cut-off and although he will be allowed to continue (if he feels he can) he will be withdrawn from the overall classification.
As camp settles to what will be a cold night under canvas (-12) ladies race leader Anna Comet has been sick and so we have some question marks for day-3.
- Samir Temsang 4:14:06
- Phudorje Lama Sherpa 4:14:12
- Zigor Iturrieta 4:31:05
- Anna Comet 5:01:46
- Kerry Sutton 6:10:00
- Yangdi Lama Sherpa
Day 3 Jase Bhanjyang – Karikola
is 37.4km and for a change has more descending (4110m) than ascending (2512m).
Starting in Jase Bhanjyang runners will pass through Jumbesi, Phurteng, Salung, Taksindu and then from Jubhing the race finishes with a tough climb to the stunning monastery at Kharikola.