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Nepalese wins highest yearly Qomolangma marathon
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11:19, May 31, 2009

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Purba Tamang from Nepal, 21-year-old, finished first at the highest altitude yearly marathon held in the south side of Mt. Qomolangma (also known as Mt.Everest) Friday, timing 3 hours 40 minutes 47 seconds.

He was the second last year, Sarad Pradhan, Media Consultant of Nepal Tourism Board told Xinhua.

The second is also a Nepalese, Ram Kumar Tamang, timing 4 hours7 minutes 2 seconds. He, 25 years old is the elder brother of the champion, Purba Tamang.

The third is Sudip Kulung, 23 years old, timing 4 hours 9 minutes 48 seconds. He is a Rai ethnic people.

Tamang and Rai ethnic peoples are all Nepalese, traditionally living in Himalayas and hills of the north of the country.

No foreigners have finished the marathon yet.

The highest altitude annual marathon held in the south side of Mt. Qomolangma started at 7:00 a.m. local time (0115 GMT) on Friday as scheduled.

The annual "Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon" has become a household name in the international adventure sports tourism arena.

It is being organized annually as a tribute to Late Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Late Sir Edmund Hillary -- believed to be the first persons to summit Mt. Qomolangma on May 29,1953.

When this marathon was started there for its first time only two international runners, one from South Korea and another from Zimbabwe, participated. There are 52 international participants from 12 countries this year.

Among the international participants, 14 are Indians, nine from Germany, eight from the United States, six from Britain, five from Austria, three from Canada, two from the Netherlands, one each from other countries including Japan, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, etc.

This is the first time for South African and Romanian to run the marathon. The youngest international participant is Catherine Plichta, a 22-year lady from the United States, while the oldest is Hans Schmid, a 69-year-old from the United States.

The champion of General Category will be awarded with 1000 U.S. dollars which has always been Nepali mountain ethnic groups' feat, while the first of the female category (foreign and Nepalese) will receive 500 U.S. dollars and the foreign category (male) will be awarded with 500 U. S. dollars also.

Appreciating the spirit of participants, the organizer will provide a Token of Appreciation to oldest and youngest participants of this event.

The Marathon is recorded in the Guinness of Book of Records as Highest Marathon of the world, with its starting line from Khumbu Icefall, running through the Qomolangma Expedition Base Camp crisscrossing village trails to Namche Bazaar covering the distance of 42.195 kms, fulfilling the Olympic standard.

This marathon just passes through the traditional route to Mt. Qomolangma from the south side pioneered by Late Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Late Sir Edmund Hillary while climbing Mt. Qomolangma in 1953.

Bikrum Pandey, President of the organizing committee of "Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon-2009" said in a press release issued on Thursday night, "Through this Marathon, we would like to convey the message to the whole world that Nepal is the best place for adventure sports event. Our main purpose is to promote Nepal as the ultimate Adventure Sports Tourism Destination where people from all over the world make it a point to participate it as a most beautiful event of their life time."

Pandey also said the organizing committee has started working on organizing Annapurna Marathon on June 3 to celebrate the first successful ascent of the over-8000-meter peak Mt. Annapurna by French team under Maurice Herzog in 1950. "Another Marathon which we are working on to hold is Lumbini Marathon. Lumbini is the birth place of Lord Buddha as we all know who showed the world a world of compassion in place of war, fighting and killings in the human society," Pandey said.


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