Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race
Downhill in a hobbling easy trot
Only half-marathon: Claus Dahms reports from the shortest stage of the cult "Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race".
4th Stage: Half-marathon from Rimbik (2089 m) to Palmajura (2150)
The half-marathon race from Rimbik to Palmajura is going to be mine. „As made for road race specialists,“ Mr. Pandey describes the course. But right after getting up I become clear, that after yesterday's downhill torture I won't be fast. „Please, could you lift me out of my bed,“ I ask my roommate Jose Manuel Limenez, photographer from Chile. Because he refuses, I have to crucify myself to get up.
Steps are going to be a severe handicap. A little walk through Rimbik brings some relieve. After the gun went off, I do some kind of a hobbling trot.
How an Himalayan race for road race specialists look like, I learn on the next kilometers. 450 meters of altitute to overcome – and the worst: downhill! My muscles haven't deserved that, but they come through. I haven't been so much back in the pack yet, but with so much pain I just can't be faster. There are many many serpentines on our route down to the valley. But at least the ground is made of asphalt. These 21 kilometers are kind a of village run, because this area is inhabited. School kids in uniforms are yelling, women look up to us while cleaning their cloth in the river, men gaze through us boringly. But most of them greet us with a friendly „Namaste!“
Down in the valley we follow the river, flat finally, and I get a move on. If a creek runs across the street, I have two possibilities: either right through and running with wet feet or looking out for a little bridge which the locals use and go for some meters detour. Fur sure, I use the second alternative.
After crossing the river the uphill specialists come into their own. 520 meters in heights the course goes uphill. Everything is great to run, because there are no unhewn stones but „wonderful“ asphalt. There is a big difference to the last day. Running such an altitude in more than 3300 meters would have been impossible. Here, that's no problem. For the first time I trot, except of the short picture stops, the whole stage, and I don't need any walking pauses. Uphill, I collect one runner after the other on the way to Palmajura and enjoy at the same time the sounds in this jungle-like surrounding.
Again and again I have to look down to the valley. Not only the mountains are higher than anywhere else, also the valleys are lower. After 21 kilometers and 2:24 hours I reach the finish. As always, for every finisher the finisher band is strained, because everybody is a winner. Only two and a half hours of running and that's it? I am arranging myself with the „short-time work“ of the day and look forward to the warmth of Rimbik. Because since yesterday we live in 2089 meters „deepness“.
The pictures of the 4th stage you will find here.
The report of the 5th stage you will find here.
Pictures of the 5th stage you will find here.
The report of the 3rd stage you will find here.
Pictures of the 3rd stage you will find here.
The report of the 2nd stage you will find here.
Pictures of the 2nd stage you will find here.
The report of the 1st stage you will find here.
Pictures of the 1st stage you will find here.