06/03/2010, 00.00
NEPAL
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Nepalese Sherpa wins “highest marathon in the world” on Mount Everest

by Kalpit Parajuli
In just three hours, 41 minutes and 20 seconds Phurba Tamang finished the eighth edition of the Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon in the same week in which, for the first time, five cameras are installed on Everest to monitor the melting of glaciers.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - It only took Phurba Tamang three hours, 41 minutes and 20 seconds to cover 42.19 km on the slopes of Mount Everest and win the Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon 2010, on 29 May. The marathon started from Everest Base Camp at an altitude of 5.365 meters, and ended at Namche Bazaar at 3,446 meters.

Phurba Tamang, a native of Nepal, works as a Sherpa or porter in Lukla, is only twenty-two and has claimed his second consecutive victory in the competition: "I am very happy to have won, I will run again next year," he tells AsiaNews.

The "highest marathon in the world", now in its eighth edition and is not to be confused with the Everest Marathon which starts at Gorak Shep (5184 m), founded in 2003, organized to celebrate the "golden anniversary" of the first ascent of 'Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, May 29, 1953. The peculiarity of this eighth edition is that some of the 104 participants from around the world have carried rubbish collected on the summit by the Extreme Everest Expedition, which campaigns to keep the highest mountain in the world clean.

In fact only last May for the first time ever, five cameras were installed on Mount Everest to monitor the melting of the glaciers, every 30 minutes for two years. The installation of cameras by EIS, Extreme Ice Survey, aims to find reliable statistics on the melting of Himalayan glaciers. A necessary measure after the admission by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that they published erroneous data on the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas, which, according to the false forecasts made in 2007, would disappear by 2035.  

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