Today I begin my journey to Nepal once more.
I am returning with my great friend Wilco Voulon to trek, in The Himalaya, with a large group of enthusiastic travellers from his home of town of Zwolle in The Netherlands; on behalf of Autisme Sportief and Autism Care Nepal.
I am excited to going with such a lovely bunch of people.
I am excited to be trekking in on The Old Expedition Route from Jiri to Mount Everest Base Camp.
I am excited to be attempting The Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon on May 29th.
I am excited to be returning to one of the worlds most beautiful countries, inhabited by beautiful people.
I now have many friends in Nepal and I am excited to see them all again. They make me smile.
I fly initially to Amsterdam and take a train on to Zwolle for the night.
On Saturday we begin the long journey to Nepal.
Flying from Amsterdam via Dubai and New Delhi before finally arriving in Kathmandu on Sunday afternoon.
I am looking forward to guiding such a large group and the challenges & rewards that it will present.
The route in from Jiri is more beautiful than you can possibly imagine and the high Himalaya is all that you can imagine. The scale of these mountains is impossible to convey with words and images alone. They are colossus’s in every sense of the word. I will try, when connection allows, to give you a taste of this magical place throughout our journey.
I am going to try and make a short video too, of the people, places, and sights.
Thank you to Carolyn at Derby Runner for the sound advice on trail running shoes, and to Osprey Packs (Europe) for helping me out with a pack.
My thanks also to the knowledgeable staff at Outside in Hathersage, Derbyshire for their advice (and fab cafe).
But most of all my sincerest thanks go to my old friend Wilco for presenting me with such a great opportunity. And to my mate Mitch for being such a great source of inspiration and for always beasting me whenever we train or ride together.
Thanks to Phil Evans of The Yak Attack for his inspiration and for proving that ordinary people can achieve the most extraordinary things. Phil also happens to be the only person in the world to have completed both the worlds highest marathon (Everest) and the worlds highest mountain bike race (Yak Attack). On May 29th I hope to join that very exclusive club!
When Wilco conceived this adventure a little over a year ago I had no idea that it would become as personally significant to me as it has. With the loss of my beloved cousin Darren last October (a passionate mountain runner) it has become a personal pilgrimage to honour his memory in the most fitting way I can. We loved him more than he will ever know.
On May 29th I will crawl across that finish line on my hands & knees if I have to.
|Darren Holloway. August 10th 1970 – October 7th 2012.