By Alice Morrison
The racers are four stages in to this epic race in the Himalaya and both the men’s and the women’s competitions are turning into gritty, hard-fought battles for supremacy.
In the Everest Trail Race men’s category, Nepalese runner Suman Kulung has just won his second, consecutive stage victory and is now snapping at the heels of the leader, Spain’s Luis Alberto Hernando. Just 4 minutes and 26 seconds separate the two men. Sondre Andhal is in third place.
In the women’s race ChheChee Sherpa of Nepal won the stage and stays in the lead, 5 minutes and 19 seconds ahead of Portugese runner, Ester Alves. Elisabet Barnes is in third place.
Monday’s stage is a shortish 20km but with a pokey little ascent of 3246m to get everyone breathing nice and heavily. It is reputedly the most beautiful stage of all with spectacular views, although it is doubtful that the leaders will be stopping for pictures. Then, it is the final run in to the Everest Trail Race finish and victory.
With such small margins separating the leaders over this hugely demanding and stunning course, it is shaping up to an exciting couple of days.
All images Ian Corless.