Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race
The Himalayan adventure ends with a jungle race
This is the last page of my diary of the 100 Mile Stage Race across the Himalayas - the final stage.
Palmajua (2150 m) to Maneybhanyjang ( 2134 m), 27 kilometers
Finally, the end is near, but at the same time – sadly – it’s the end of the adventure race across the Himalayan mountains. But first, we have 27 hard kilometers to go. The course is easy to describe: First up on a mountain ridge and down on the other side. But let me be more specific: Almost 700 meters in altitude uphill on an asphaltic road and then again 700 meters downhill.
The start is exactly at yesterday’s finish line. In three buses we are driven from Rimbik on the same course like the day before and I can compare my running time with the bus time: 2:24 hours I needed to reach the finish, the winner 1:33 hours. The bus struggles through serpentines for 1:15 hours – in comparison with the motor-driven vehicle muscle power doesn’t come off too bad.
On the steady rising road through the jungle the runner’s field spreads out quite fast. Now I am trying, on the last day, to move up a gear to keep up with those runners, who usually ran away from me. Passably, I can keep up. The scenery is made of jungle-like vegetation and large pine woods.
Short before getting to the ridge, the jungle gets lighter and admits a gigantic view. Below us the huge jungle with all the different greenish and yellowish colors and on the other side of the valley looming snow-capped mountain giants out of the clouds. With such an overwhelming scenery I have to let go the other runners. I stop enjoying the view and taking pictures.
We keep moving on the mountain ridge and a little village sticks to it. Almost all inhabitants seem to gather together to encourage us enthusiastically. I have to think about the hard life up here on the ridge being in the mercy of the forces of nature.
From now on up to the finish of the 100 mile torture we „only“ have to run downhill. After my downhill-experience of the marathon I am getting a little nervous, but that’s fully without any reason. Because as steady as before, the serpentines go down the road.
Sometime I arrive at bib number 123, a runner from Japan. On each stage I outran him – and he catched me all the time. I wonder, if he did realize anything of the splendid area we ran through. The head downward, the eyes tend down, slurping over the asphalt. No look at the right or left side, no salute to other runners.
„I’m gonna show you what I can do,“ my ambition spurred on 10 kilometers short of the finish line. The Japanese braces against. But the flatter the course, the stronger I am and I ratchet up the pace. I am going to outclass him by two minutes. And he will take it calmly being far better than me in the overall ranking - without saying anything.
The last kilometers lengthen enormously but finally it’s done. The other runners who have already finished, cheer me on strongly. Children in school uniforms wave flags and applause and after running through the finish line there is a big hug from race director Pandey for each runner.
100 miles, 160 kilometers in five days lie behind me – all embedded in an absolutely reliable and well-attuned organization. Six days before I had big concerns, if I could cope with such a challenge. But those were gone soon, because my attitude changed soon. I have learned: „patience“. A new, wonderful discovery. And with needful patience enjoying a unique running route in an unforgettable surrounding started.
Pictures of the 5th stage you will find here.
The report of the 4th stage you will find here.
Pictures of the 4th 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.