Everest Trail Race – Day 1 Jiri Bazaar to Bhandar
As the sun disappeared last night, so did the temperature but by Nepal standards it was a warm night! Just a base layer upper and bottom required inside the sleeping bag.
Morning came with a welcoming hot tea delivered to every tent by the Sherpa’s who are helping us. Organization is excellent. ETR have one advance team everyday, so as we are looked after in Jiri and new base camp, tents, eating tents, media tent and so on are being assembled in duplication. As Jordi Abad explains, “it’s the only way it can work here. The terrain is too difficult and too arduous to try and transport the same facilities day after day.”
At around 0700, villagers from Jiri came to observe the ETR roadshow and they played music to announce the start as they have done for the past several years.
On the stoke of 0900 the runners departed and the cold chilly of the early morning had disappeared with the rising of the sun. The contrast between just a few hours extremely noticeable.
Starting at 1890m the runners had a short descent and then immediately the first climb of the day to Mali at 2200m. Pasang Lama dictated the early stages followed by Casey Morgan and Miguel Capo Soler.
Jennifer Hill bided her time in the early stage but took a convincing lead and looked relaxed throughout the stage. Andreja Sterle Podobnik and Janine Canham pursued.
Deurali Pass via Khasrubas (2173m) was the toughest climb of the day and the highest point 2715m. Pasang, only had a slender lead over Casey and Miguel. A long descent to the finish and anything could happen – Pasang prevailed and took the stage win in Bhandar.
Andreja couldn’t pull back time and Jennifer and the British athlete secured a stage one victory with Janine taking 3rd.
Runners now have the opportunity to relax, eat and prepare for tomorrows stage. It’s a tough day!
Stage 2 preview:
Leaving Bhandar, non-stop climbing follows a short 4km descent; firstly, to Gompa (Golla) at 3010m, a small downhill section follows of 2km and then a climb to Pikey Peak at 4068m. It’s a tough-tough day and the sting in the tail comes at the very end with a very short and steep ascent to Jase Bhajyang. Total stage distance 23.92km
Please note: I am leaving stage 1 camp today and hiking through the afternoon and early evening to hopefully arrive at a suitable vantage point to record images from stage 2. Updates will follow as soon as possible.