Mountain Marathon

Hardest thing I've ever done (tried to do)

21 to 30 of 30 messages
17/07/2003 at 12:03
firemonkey - are you the guy who has decided it's better to live in Italy than here in smouldery old UK? I dream madly about all things Italian (my parents met there in the war & married in Roma in July 1946 - are still together and loving life!) and also of challenges like that mountain marathon

I have huge admiration for you - and for your courage to pull out - a trial in itself when you had gone so far

I was going to ask where you hear about these events - but obviously you are in Italy so !! thanks for telling us all about it - I enjoy hilly marathons and have done the Dartmoor Discovery Ultra for the last 4 years (4,000 ft of climbs & descents - BUT none of it off road)

the closest terrain I have done to a mountain marathon is the Cornish Coastal path, which descends into nearly every cove from here, Penzance, round to Lands End, so steep that steps are necessary - and hands used (I wear my cycling gloves!)
Please keep us informed of your next challenge!!
17/07/2003 at 12:54
Himalaya 100 is a stage race, with one day being a full marathon. It is held at heights up to 11,000 ft, if you do a google search you should be able to find it, if not, and you are interested, e-mail me, and I am sure I can find the site address.

Impressive peaks. I've done Kilimanjaro, and doing, I hope, Mont Blanc, in four weeks. I do fancy Aconcagua at some stage, and then maybe Cho Oyu
17/07/2003 at 16:40
Hi Pashka, yes I decided to live in Italy - came here about 24 years ago. It's not perfect but I think it's a lot better than living in the UK. The Cornish Coastal path sounds interesting - must be great views.

Thanks for the info on Himalaya 100 Pat, it sounds interesting - maybe some time in the future. I'll be in Chamonix in four weeks time too, but probably won't be doing any climbing on Mont Blanc as I'll be there with my family and one year old son. I've been up twice (both from the Italian side) once by the normal route and once by the Brenva Spur. I think you'll have a great time but may find it quite crowded since I imagine you'll be doing the French normal route from the Cosmiques and it gets a little over frequented in August. Anyway I hope you get to the top because it's a wonderfully satisfying experience.
Aconcagua is quite straightforward and there is not even any snow or ice to talk about, but the winds and cold can be quite ferocious. Cho Oyu is a completely different kettle of fish - you're going to have to be extremely fit and extremely motivated. Good luck though.
17/07/2003 at 16:58
Nice posts! I ran the Sierre-Zinal (in the Valais in Switzerland) many years ago and it was a brilliant experience. The advantage over other mountain races is that it is only 30K, although the climb is from 400-500m to a max of 2,400m, with the finish at 1,600m. But the shorter distance makes this a realistic option, rather than killing oneself over the traditional 42K in the mountains. I think the Swiss refer to this as the 'Queen of the mountain races'.

Btw, any reasonably fit road runner who has trained for a marathon can do this sort of run!
17/07/2003 at 19:26
Oh! these foreign runs sound great-one day!!
18/07/2003 at 11:05
Hey Guzzle when is the Sierre -Zinal race held. It sounds really great and could be the sort of thing that interests me.

Hilly - one of the great things about southern Europe is that there are races nearly all year round and nearly always in decent weather. Last year I ran a marathon on 15th Dec. and apart from a little nip in the air it was great.
18/07/2003 at 11:51

This year's race is on the 10th August. See the following web site, I couldn't get the English translation to work, but it says that you have till the 25th July to register. Really worth the effort. If you really want to make a week of it, get to the Valais in time for the 16K Thyon to Dixence on the 3rd August. This race starts at 2,100 and finishes at the great dam of Dixence at 2,400. Many Sierre Zinal runners run this as part of their prep for the big day. The web page is You can enter the T-D on the day (well, I saw people entering on the day in 1996!). I see you live in Parma, so this means you can drive there realtively quickly (er 5/6 hours?).

As a result of this post I've discussed the run with a few of my North Downs Nomad colleagues and we are now planning to do this race next year, followed by a week in Italy, possibly Perugia. Mind you, we've discussed loads of holiday runs like this before - so I'm not holding my breath!
18/07/2003 at 13:28
I'm going to do the Himalaya 100 mile stage race next year. I have to keep telling people so that I'll not chicken out.

"The Event
The race takes place over 5 days in manageable chunks between the altitudes of 6,500ft and 11,800ft and on rough tracks with some long and difficult climbs, but essentially if you have a reasonable running background and could manage a marathon you will do fine. "

The daily stages:
Stage 1 - 24 miles to Sandakphu.
Stage 2 - 20 miles with views of Everest
Stage 3 - 26 miles with views of Everest & Kanchenjunga
Stage 4 - 13 miles on rural roads
Stage 5 - 17 miles

There are no time limits on any stage, and all distances are approximate - due to the terrain covered - in most cases the actual distance will be (or seem) a little longer than those indicated.

...must start training. Any ideas anyone?
18/07/2003 at 14:02
Excellent. Very jealous.

FM, Cho Oyo, yeah, more a pipe dream at the moment, but I would like to go to my grave, many years later having done an 8000m
21/07/2003 at 08:20
Guzzle - thanks for the info. Don't think I'll be able to make this race though, as will be in Chamonix for most of August. Interesting thoughts for next year though.
Why Perugia? Strange place for a holiday in August.

Womble - good on you. Training should be lots of hill work - sustained uphill for numerous kilometres and interval sessions. One piece of advice - use trail shoes rather than normal runnig shoes, thy're heavier but give much more support. Be careful of the downhill bits on tracks, I just got a nasty sprain (with hairline fracture) on Saturday running downhill in a training session. Fifteen days of bandaging to look forward to.

Pat. Sorry, don't agree with you about the 8000m. The height is just a convention due to the way we measure. If they had decided that metres were slightly longer there might not be any 8000m mountains, if they had decided slighty shorter there would be many tens instead of only 14. There are so many beautiful mountains to be climbed that the criteria should be the beauty of the mountain and the surroundings, not the height. One other thing - my experience of base camps of 8000m mountains (K2 and Broad Peak in Baltoro) is that they are very dirty, full of rubbish etc. and close by you will find areas full of human excrement - pretty disgusting. There are just too many people staying, visiting or working in these base camps. Much better to choose a slightly smaller mountain with far fewer people.
At the same time I understand the lure of the magic 8000 figure so if you decide to go - good luck.

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