It was a long tiring day yesterday.
Early morning yesterday, I woke up and drank a cup of tea with Chhitiz. Bikash rose a little late and joined us. We just sat at the dinning hall of Ama Dablam Lodge chatting how slow the life moves in those areas.
At 8:15 AM, Bikash and I went a little bit farther waiting for the marathoner ready with our cameras. To my surprise, Deepak Rai came at 8:30 AM – 110 minutes after the start and was running like he has just started.
At 10:00 AM, we started our journey towards Tengboche filming the runners who would overtake us on the way. It was a long journey but when we finally reached there, Bhaswor and Deep were there. We stayed almost half-an-hour before moving out at around noon for our journey towards Namche.
It was amazing to see Nepali runners, untrained and raw leading and foreigners, who were most probably running their one of many marathons just finding it gruesome. At a stage, the cook who was probably 50 was strolling with a cigrette on a hand and a foreigner was trying to overtake him. He stood a few minutes to talk to us letting the foreigner to go ahead.
Its also amazing that the event created a stir in otherwise peaceful country life in the villages. Everyone seemed to either be running or watching the runners. One of our two porters, Bik Raj Tamang, ran and placed fourteenth. There were a few parent-siblings combination in the event.
We arrived at Namche at 4:00 PM. We took a room and went up to the finishing line. I tried to locate the winner there but it wasn’t official till then. I came back to the hotel where the results were confirmed. The ladies’ winner and runners-up were at the dinning hall, so I talked with them. I filed a story without quote of the winner as I feared the power down.
Later, I found a local boy who ran me five minutes to Misling to find the winner sitting quitely in a tavern with friends. He wasn’t drinking and also didn’t look like the man who had just won a prestigious, the world’s highest attitude marathon. I talked to him and came back to file his quotes from a cyber cafe. I also called office and home and talked with my wife.
Late in the evening, I was at Cafe Danfe for the official reception. I drank a bottle of Fanta but managed to grab two cans of beers which I fizzed out over my dancing friends. It was nice and after almost three years I found myself dancing. The last was in Bangladesh when I attended a marriage there.
The cafe was almost like a disco with everybody, more foreigners than Nepali, dancing on the tune of hit songs. At the cafe, I met Pakistani Ambassador and had a pleasant talk with him about cricket.
I returned to hotel at around half past eleven without my room key which Bikash misplaced somewhere. I broke the lock and found the key inside. Bikash came immediately after mid-night and we found that we were without quilts. We managed to grab a sleeping bag from next room which we used a quilt and slept on the floor.