Gurung, Rai claim Everest Marathon

SOLUKHUMBU: Bhim Bahadur Gurung and Purnima Rai claimed the titles of 15th Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon held in the Everest region in Solukhumbu on Tuesday.

Gurung clocked 4:02:30 hours to complete the distance of 42.19 km to clinch the men's title. Likewise, women's category winner Rai took 5:20:56 hours to finish the race.

In the men’s category, defending champion Suman Kulung and Bed Bahadur Sunuwar secured the second and third places. Kulung clocked 4:06:10 hours and Sunuwar, the winner of 2016 edition, clocked 4:28:35 hours.

In women’s category, first runner-up Nirkala Rai clocked 5:27:22 hours and second runner-up Padam Kumari Rai clocked 5:52:21 hours.

The winner of men’s category Gurung bagged a purse of Rs 200,000 while the women’s category champion Rai got Rs 100,000. Likewise the athletes finishing in the second and third places in the men’s category were rewarded with Rs 100,000 and Rs 75,000 respectively. Similarly, first runner-up and second runner-up in the women’s category were rewarded Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively.

Tirtha Tamang clinched the title of 60 km ultra-marathon clocking 6:56:13 hours. Kiran Kulung and Mohan Dev finished the race in second and third places respectively. Runner-up Kulung clocked 7:41:08 hours and third-placed Joshi clocked 8:34:31 hours. Top three runners of the section were given Rs 100,00, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively.

In foreigners' category, German runner Manuel Seyr clinched the title with the timing of 5:59:29 hours while Jonathan Bamber of United Kingdom and Joshua Blyleven of New Zealand finished the race in second and third places clocking 6:13:06 hours and 6:30:38 hours respectively. The top three athletes of the section were rewarded with Rs 50,00, Rs 35,000 and Rs 25,000 respectively.

Similarly, New Zealander Jayden Klinac won the half-marathon clocking 2:59:35 hours while runner-up Don Kook Won (South Korea) and third-placed Dipesh Sabharwal (India) finished the 21 km distance with the timing of 3:19:45 and 3:37:32, respectively.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari distributed the prizes to the winners and runners-up.

Himalaya Expeditions has been organising the marathon regularly for the past 15 years to commemorate the first ascent of Mt Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa on May 29, 1953.