The Everest Marathon is a charity race and one of the main reasons for organising the race is to raise money for various Nepalese charities.
To this purpose the Everest Marathon Fund was registered as a UK charity to promote health and education in rural Nepal.
The race starts at Gorak Shep (5184m), just below Everest base camp, and finishes in the Sherpa ‘capital’ of Namche Bazaar (3446m). The course is a measured 26.2 miles/42 km and, although it is basically downhill, the trail undulates and there are two steep uphill sections. The race starts at 6:30 am and there are cut-off points at Tengboche monastery (14 miles – 12.15 pm) and Chorkhung (20 miles – 2.15 pm), just above Namche Bazaar. The last 6 miles, out to Thamo and back, are on an exhausting undulating trail. It is essential to finish by nightfall at 6.00 pm.
There is likely to be snow and ice at the start of the course. The terrain is very varied: boulders, grass, sandy screen, stone staircases, trails through forest and exposed paths which contour the mountain sides. The trails will seem quite good to those used to mountain or fell running but there are additional hazards by way of narrow suspension bridges and yak trains. The race course is not marked and it is the responsibility of each runner to learn the route on the trek up.