Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race: It’s all about ME!!

Our Day 1 route wat tough: 24 miles of uphill, for a cumulative gain of 9000'. It was unseasonably cold, windy, and it got foggier and foggier as we ascended. Here I am nearing the finish line.

Our Day 1 route was tough: 24 miles of uphill, for a cumulative gain of 9000′. It was unseasonably cold, windy, and it got foggier and foggier as we ascended. Here I am nearing the finish line.

Wow, this is a treat for me! Being the photographer, I don’t often get photos of myself out there running. But the organizers of India’s Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race have actually gone through and created a file of photos of every single competitor in this ultramarathon! So I just received a folder with over 60 photographs of… me! So here are some of the highlights. (If you missed the photos that I took of the race, with our first three days running the mountain ridge that is the border between India and Nepal, you can find them here).

I made it! Arriving at the finish line, just shy of 12,000! (And no, I didn't win. They put the ribbon up for every single finisher to run through, every single day!)

I made it! Arriving at the finish line, just shy of 12,000! (And no, I didn’t win. They put the ribbon up for every single finisher to run through, every single day!)

Day 2 dawned even colder. I made the decision not to risk anything - to hike today's route rather than run, and so I dressed accordingly.

Day 2 dawned even colder. I made the decision not to risk anything – to hike today’s route rather than run, and so I dressed accordingly.

But, once we got going, I found myself running. I had to stop to strip off a pile of the clothing I was wearing. I had brought my big floppy day pack just for that possibility, instead of my little running pack. It actually worked OK.

But, once we got going, I found myself running. I had to stop to strip off a pile of the clothing I was wearing. I had brought my big floppy day pack just for that possibility, instead of my little running pack. It actually worked OK.

Still foggy, and none of the rumoured mountain views to be seen, but it wasn't as cold as I had feared.

Still foggy, and none of the rumoured mountain views to be seen, but it wasn’t as cold as I had feared.

For the whole first three days, ourroute followed the India-Nepal border. There were hundreds of these border patrol guards stationed out there.

For the whole first three days, ourroute followed the India-Nepal border. There were hundreds of these border patrol guards stationed out there.

Nearing the end of our 20 mile out-and-back ridgeline route. It was all between 10,500 and 12,000', hard on the lungs to keep running when you're not acclimatized!

Nearing the end of our 20 mile out-and-back ridgeline route. It was all between 10,500 and 12,000′, hard on the lungs to keep running when you’re not acclimatized!

Last little climb to the Day 2 finish line at Sandakphu.

Last little climb to the Day 2 finish line at Sandakphu.

Day 2 done! In spite of the cold, I made it through - and faster than I had expected.

Day 2 done! In spite of the cold, I made it through – and faster than I had expected.

The first 10 miles of today's route repeated what we ran yesterday. But it seemed completely different in the sunshine. and seeing the views around.

The first 10 miles of today’s route repeated what we ran yesterday. But it seemed completely different in the sunshine. and seeing the views around.

What an experience... rounding a curve on the trail to find M. Everest staring you in the face! Yup, that's a race-stopper!

What an experience… rounding a curve on the trail to find Mt. Everest staring you in the face! Yup, that’s a race-stopper!

Arriving at the finish line after my slowest (but most exciting) marathon ever, in 9:20.

Arriving at the finish line in the village of Rimbik, after my slowest (but most exciting) marathon ever, in 9:20.

First thing to do upon arrival: stretch the hams.

First thing to do upon arrival: stretch the hams.

A calm moment. Stretching in the early morning of Day 4, looking out over the valley.

A calm moment. Stretching in the early morning of Day 4, looking out over the valley.

And now, ready to run! Me and my buddy Thamar, from South Africa.

And now, ready to run! Me and my buddy Thamar, from South Africa.

Mid-route on Day 4, after running down the valley side. Now crossing the Ladoma River to do the big climb on the other side.

Mid-route on Day 4, after running down the valley side. Now crossing the Ladoma River to do the big climb on the other side.

And all the way up the next big hill to the Day 4 finish line - and feeling good!

And all the way up the next big hill to the Day 4 finish line – and feeling good!

(Where lots of food awaits...)

(Where lots of food awaits…)

And more food... digging in to breakfast on Day 5.

And more food… digging in to breakfast on Day 5.

A highlight of Day 4: arriving at the top of the hill, and having the local kids run you in to the 10k aid station!

A highlight of the final day: arriving at the top of the hill, and having the local kids run you in to the 10k aid station!

Now getting stuck in that last big downhil....

Now getting stuck in that last big downhil….

I can smell that finish line! That last big downhill run (17 km of downhill, to be exact) to the finish.

I can smell that finish line! That last big downhill run (17 km of downhill, to be exact) to the finish.

Yay, I made it! Running through the final final finish line, back in the village of Maneybhanjang, where we started five days ago.

Yay, I made it! Running through the final final finish line, back in the village of Maneybhanjang, where we started five days ago.

VERY pleased! With my time, that I was not injured at all, and about the whole adventure! (And oblivous to the armed border gaurds behind me).

VERY pleased! With my time, that I was not injured at all, and about the whole adventure! (And oblivous to the armed border gaurds behind me).

Receiving my finisher's certificate and plaque at the awards ceremony.

Receiving my finisher’s certificate and plaque at the awards ceremony.

Many thanks to the organizers of the Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race and to all of the race photographers for sending me these photos!

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