Marathon men complete Everest challenge

Stuart (left) and Andrew arriving in Kathmandu.
Stuart (left) and Andrew arriving in Kathmandu.
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Two men have returned home after completing a once-in-a-lifetime challenge.

Andrew Travis from Heysham and Stuart Reynolds from Carnforth both took part in the Everest Marathon.

Andrew at the start of the marathon.

Andrew at the start of the marathon.

The pair trekked for two weeks to arrive at base camp and were among 32 people from the UK to enter a field of only 131 entrants.

They went to a height of 17,500 feet and ran the marathon in nine hours and 56 minutes.

They then undertook a two-day trek back to Lukla airport before a flight to Kathmandu, arriving home on Sunday having been away from home for three weeks.

Builder Andrew, 50, and Stuart, a 53-year-old sports therapist, took up the challenge after Andrew decided he wanted to take part for his 50th birthday.

Andrew at the end of the marathon.

Andrew at the end of the marathon.

He has been a keen trail runner for a few years and has completed an Ultra Run in the Lake District, but had never tackled something as challenging as this.

Training began in June/July 2017.

He suffered a couple of niggling injuries which meant that Stuart, who had been supporting him with sports therapy for a number of years, got involved.

Stuart is a keen walker but had never run competitively. One Saturday morning, while Stuart was treating Andrew’s injury, the subject of Everest was discussed, resulting in Stuart deciding to join Andrew on the adventure.

Stuart at the end of the marathon.

Stuart at the end of the marathon.

The pair flew out from Manchester on May 13 and arrived in Kathmandu, where they spent a day and met the rest of the UK entrants before flying out to Lukla, the Tenzing-Hillary Airport (ranked the most dangerous airport in the world).

They then undertook a 13-day trek up to Everest Base Camp, a height of 17,500 feet (5,334 metres).

The trek was hard and the lack of oxygen made sure that they had to take it slowly. They slept in lodges on the way up and under canvas for two nights, when temperatures dropped to minus 15 degrees.

On their way up, as part of their assessments, they trekked the last 6K loop of the marathon which took more than five hours.

The Everest Marathon. Photo: EverestMarathon.com

The Everest Marathon. Photo: EverestMarathon.com

They arrived at Base Camp on May 27 and then climbed another 1,000 feet as part of their altitude training.

They were cleared by the doctors on numerous stages of the trek before they were allowed to go any further and had their final check the day before the marathon.

After both were given the all clear, the marathon started at Base Camp at 6am. The pair completed the course in a time nine hours and 56 minutes, crossing the finish line together to be placed a respectable 81st and 82nd place in a field of 131 entrants, 32 of which were from the UK.

Both Andrew and Stuart said it is the hardest thing they have ever undertaken, adding that they realise now why this marathon is classed as one of the hardest in the world.