HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
Image: Pemba Sherpa holds the certificate after winning the first Royal Penguin Ultra Marathon in Namche.
NAMCHE: Pemba Sherpa and Ang Chhuting Sherpa won the titles of the first Royal Penguin Ultra Marathon here on Sunday.
Pemba completed the 60km race in seven hours and 24 minutes, While Ang Chhuting took nine hours and 11 minutes. Pemba and Ang Chhuting bagged Rs 30,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively. The race started from Namche Bazaar and went uphill through Dole, Gokyo Renjo-La, Thame Valley before ending at Namche.
Pemba said the route was tough and challenging. “I had to push myself hard in the mountains to finish the race, said Pemba.” Ang Chhuting is the winner of Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon held last year.
Upendra Sunuwar and Karma Sarki Sherpa completed the race in second and third positions respectively in the men’s category, while Pasang Dikee Sherpa and Canadian athlete Elka finished behind Ang Chhuting in women’s section.
“This is the first marathon that required participants to climb uphill before going down to the lower elevation. So it is one of the most difficult races,” said the organisers. In all, 19 runners — including 12 athletes from Nepal — participated in the race. Nine runners completed the marathon, while three failed to do so. The marathon was organised by Royal Penguin Adventure under the sponsorship of Royal Penguin Boutique Hotel of Kathmandu.