When Deepa Bhatt and Taher Merchant raced across the finish line at the recently concluded Everest Marathon, little did they know that they would be declared the first Indian’s the complete the grueling course. The extreme ultraton race begins at the Everest base camp and runners have the race down to the bottom while passing 5 Himalayan passes through the course.
Finishing the race course in more than 19 hours the duo set a record of sorts by becoming the first Indian’s the finish the course. The two had met earlier at the Khardungla Challenge (one of the highest motorable passes in the Ladakh region). The training schedules were intense and the two runners had dedicated quite a few hours to conditioning their bodies, building stamina, focusing on nutrition and reaching optimal weight levels.
The first task was trekking up to the Everest Base Camp which is a 11 day trek. The trek helped them acclimatize to the conditions of the high altitude that helped them prepare for the actual race. The race is grueling to say the least and runners are provided rest areas along the course. Deepa has trekked down through the night with the help of her guide while Taher chose to rest and finish his race in the morning when he felt his energy was flagging.
But overall the task is a stupendous achievement and these two extreme runners are already planning their next run.
*This article is collated from several new reports*