Brit becomes first and only to finish Himalayan ultramarathon

 Brit becomes first and only to finish Himalayan ultramarathonWashington, Sep 1 : A Briton has become the first and only one to finish a two-day Himalayan ultramarathon run over a 17,700-foot Indian mountain pass – and an unexpected small avalanche.

In late July Englishman Mark Cockbain accomplished the feat and finished the ultramarathon called "La Ultra – The High" in Leh, India.

His time was 48 hours, 50 minutes to cover 138 miles.

On the way, he narrowly avoided being swept off a 17,700-foot mountain pass by a small avalanche.

Then he passed into a valley of searing heat, and up over a frigid second mountaintop.

"When I got to the top of the second summit, I was really suffering. I could see double. I couldn''t breathe properly," the Christian Science Monitor quoted Cockbain as saying.

"Apparently I was veering to the right" – cliffside – "which wasn''t good, because it was a long way down,” he added.

The race takes place entirely above 11,000 feet. It climbs up and down two of the world''s highest passes – Khardung La and Tanglang La – on the Leh-Manali highway.

Organizers call it the highest ultra ever. An "Everest Ultra" starts at roughly the same elevation but runs mostly downhill, for "just" 40 miles.

Only three runners could be persuaded to show— Cockbain and Americans Bill Andrews and Molly Sheridan.

Even with a couple weeks of acclimatization, the altitude still socked them.

"You feel like you are on the moon. You are in slow motion," said Sheridan, as she jogged down Khardung La some 40 miles into the race on the second day. (ANI)