Day 5 #ETR2017
Many say that the 16km route from Phakding to Tengboche is one of the most beautiful trails in the world. The view of the Himalayan peaks is beyond mind blowing. Especially when you arrive at the monastery and Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam await. It’s quite the picture postcard and the perfect finish line for the ETR.
However, to take in this spectacle a journey of 20km and 2124m of positive incline waits. It doesn’t sound too much does it? However, many runners crossed the line saying, ‘that was a seriously tough day!’
Departing Phakding (2700m), Namche Bazar (3600m) is the first port of call then Kumjung and Cp2 and Phungi Tenga (3300m) before the tough and steep ascent to Tengboche at 3900m.
Today was all about Luis Alberto Hernando and Suman Kulung. On past days, it was expected that Luis Alberto would have an advantage with the uphill tough finish. This proved to be true!
Luis Alberto won days 1 and 2, Suman days 3 and 4 and now the Spaniard takes day 5 and an invaluable 1-minute 57-seconds to extend his overall lead by 6-minutes 23-seconds. He is going to need all that time on the last day which will suit the Nepali runner as much of it is downhill! It is going to be an epic battle to the finish line.
As in previous days, Sondre Amdahl and Jordi Gamito were once again consistent placing 3rd and 4th.
For the ladies, it was expected that maybe Ester Alves would steal some time back today on Nepali, Chhechee Sherpa. It was not to be. As the days have progressed, Chhechee has got stronger and despite not climbing to expectation on day 2, today she pushed on the final climb to finish ahead of Ester by 6-minutes 53-seconds. The Nepali runner now has an overall lead of 12-minutes 22-seconds and it will take a disastrous last day for her not to be the 2017 ETR champion.
Ester had a solid day but had no extra energy to fight Chhechee and Elisabet Barnes safe in 3rd took a more relaxed approach to the penultimate day safe in the knowledge that 2nd was unattainable this late in the race and secure that the 4th lady could not catch her.
The finish line at Tengboche is arguably one of THE most amazing finishing lines of any race and this was reflected in some of the emotions shown as runners crossed the line today.
Tomorrow is the final day of the ETR 2017 and the runners run back to Lukla via Namche Bazaar.
- Luis Alberto Hernando 2:33:47
- Suman Kulung 2:35:44
- Sondre Amdahl 3:00:34
- Chhechee Sherpa 3:50:26
- Ester Alves 3:57:19
- Elisabet Barnes 4:08:42