Breaking News! New route for the 2019 The Elements EVEREST TRAIL RACE #ETR2019

The ETR, The Elements Everest Trail Race, after 8 editions will explore new trails for the 2019 edition.

In 2017 and 2018, it became apparent to the whole ETR team that the development of road networks from Jiri were beginning to impact on the true spirit of the ETR. Some call it progress… But the road network, albeit dirt road, is slowly but surely reaching towards Lukla.

Race Director, Jordi Abad, for the past 3-years has looked at options to explore new trails and go back in time and create a more raw and unique experience as was found in the early editions of the ETR. This is not to say the more recent editions have been compromised, on the contrary, one only has to listen to the feedback form the racers. ETR gains universal acclaim from every competitor as being one of the most exhilarating and awe-inspiring journeys one can take by foot.

In 2019, the ETR may well almost appear to be a new race but rest assured, it goes back to the roots of Jordi’s initial vision and it will still offer a unique journey that covers some of the ground raced in past editions.

So, what is new?

The Everest Trail Race by The Elements is now fully developed within the Solu Khumbu district. In the previous editions the first stage was developed in the Dolakha district and it was not until the second stage that entered into the Solu Khumbu.

The ETR will return to the original inspiration to develop by the rural Khumbu, as far as possible away from the tourist circuits. The first 3 stages will meet this objective and will be developed by rural non-tourist areas. The same will happen in a part of the 5th stage.

These changes will also involve changes in a part of the rules, regarding the water supply in campsites and check points. The difficulties to acquire (buy) water or any other liquid during especially the first 3 stages, as well as, the starting at a higher elevation, make these changes necessary.

For past participants, there is a real incentive to return to the ETR with 70-75% of the race route on new and unexplored trails – 2019 will truly be a unique experience harking back to the first edition.

The 4th stage remains entirely the same as in the previous editions. A change in this sector in the current situation would compromise the safety of the runners due to orographical reasons and extremely dangerous paths.

The 2019 edition will be 12 Km longer with an additional 500m of vertical gain. Importantly, the race starts at a higher elevation of 2800m, therefore, some pre-acclimatisation in training would be advised. In previous editions, Jiri was at an altitude of 1800m, this increase of 1000m is a key and important change.

Adapting to altitude is a key element of the ETR and in 2019 approximately 40 km of the race will be runover 3,500 m altitude, of which approximately 23 km will be made between 3,800 and 4,100 m (19 km entirely in the 5th stage). This is a key difference and truly brings a more demanding Himalayan experience to the race.

Importantly, stage campsites are located below the maximum elevation reached during each day, this will facilitate recovery.

As in 2018, participants will continue to be geolocated, even taking into account the limitations of the system in the Himalayas.

In summary, the 2019 edition of the ETR will be an incredible adventure and one that will be talked about in years to come. With a total distance of 170 km and a whopping 26,000 m of accumulated gain – 13,500 m of positive / maximum elevation 4,104 m / minimum elevation 1,500 m.

Daily distances are as follows:

  • Stage 1 – 25km 3625m+/-
  • Stage 2 – 26km 3735m+/-
  • Stage 3 – 30km 5396 +/-
  • Stage 4 – 27.5km 4130m +/-
  • Stage 5 – 32km 4465m +/-
  • Stage 6 – 30km 4572m +/-

Interested in joining the most awe-inspiring multi-day race in 2019, go to the website HERE

William Sichel planning on getting HIGH!

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Orkney-based ultra marathon runner, William Sichel (61) has announced his race programme for 2015 which includes races as short as 40 miles and as long as 6 days in duration, but nothing as long as the 3100 mile race he finished in August last year. Read my interview HERE

One of the most eye-catching of his races will be his attempt to complete the World’s Highest Ultramarathon – ‘The High’ – in the Himalayas in August. With an average altitude of 14,500 feet/4400 metres and with two mountain passes to tackle at 18,000 feet/5500 metres, that’s almost 3½ miles high, it will require very special preparation if William is to have any chance of success.

“This event will take my right out of my comfort zone as I have never trained or competed at any kind of altitude before. There will be a lot to consider with regards to health and performance at heights like that. I will need to prepare very carefully and seek advice from those with previous experience. I’ll need to be on top of my game to complete that one.”

William will open his season by returning to the Barry 40 Mile track race in South Wales on March 8th, a race he last attempted 12 years ago. Then follows a two week warm weather training spell in Lanzarote followed by the World 6 Day Trophy in Balaton, Hungary from May 6th to the 12th – an event William won in 2011.

August will see William head east to the Himalayas for ‘The High’ – 222kms/134 miles over the mountains of Ladakh in India.

“My main event after the high altitude race in India will be the new indoor 48 hour race in Oslo in November which will provide some new record opportunities for me. This year is a very challenging schedule of races following an epic 2014 when I managed to complete the World’s Longest Footrace – 3100 miles in New York.”

You can follow and find out more about William HERE