Brazil´s renowned ultra-runner Bernado Fonseca is gearing up for a new challenge as he is all set to compete in the Everest Extreme Ultra Marathon for the first time. The Extreme Ultra Marathon, which is run over 60 km in the Everest Region, is the highest altitude ultra-race in the world.
The 33-year-old Brazilian is the winner of the Antarctic Ice Marathon & 100k ultra race and holds the world record of 12 hours 41 minutes 52 seconds in the ultra race. Besides this, he has also participated in numerous other ultra races, including the 206-km Sahara ultra marathon.
Speaking at a press conference organized on Friday by Himalayan Expedition, the marathon organizer, Bernado said he was excited to compete in one of the toughest ultra races in the world.
Himalayan Expedition has been organizing the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon since 2003. It started the 60-km ultra race last year as part of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the first successful ascent of Mount Everest in 1953. The race is held every year on May 29, the day Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary scaled the world´s highest peak.
Both the ultra race and the marathon will be held on May 29. They will begin from the Everest base camp located at an altitude of 5,385 meters and will conclude at Namche Bazar, the gateway to Everest situated at 3,440 meters.
“I think it will be an amazing race,” said Bernado, who has arrived with his Brazilian friend Eugenio Frederico to compete in the race. “As we live at sea level it will be completely different to run at the highest altitude.”
Bernado, however, ruled out the possibility of him winning the race. “Sherpas are from another planet,” he said, referring to the local competitors. “It is almost impossible to beat them.”
The Brazilian described the race as an opportunity to overcome his personal limits.
According to Bikram Pandey, the president of the marathon organizing committee, Bernardo is a celebrity in his country and Latin America and his participation would help promote the region as a tourist and adventure sports destination.
According to event manager Shikhar Pandey, 10 foreigners and 10 Nepali runners have already registered for the ultra race. Registration for international runners has already been closed, while it is open for Nepali runners until May 20.
Date: 10 May, 2014