Galwayman wins extreme racing challenge

Galwayman Richard Donovan has won the Everest Marathon en route to winning the Himalayan 100-mile stage race in Northern India, which concluded yesterday.

Galwayman Richard Donovan has won the Everest Marathon en route to winning the Himalayan 100-mile stage race in Northern India, which concluded yesterday.

The Himalayan 100-mile stage race concluded on Thursday with another emphatic stage victory for ultra marathoner Richard Donovan.

Donovan's high altitude week of competition saw him win each of the five stages of this

extraordinary event to win by a convincing 46-minute margin.

"It was a tough week of running at that altitude coving those kinds of distances on difficult terrain," commented Donovan from his base in Rimbik, India.

The five stages covered distances of 24 miles, 20 miles, 30 miles, 13 miles and 17 miles respectively at altitudes over 11,000 feet.

On stage one the competitors covered the twenty-four miles, which included almost 10,000ft of ascent.

Stage three involved the running of a separate race, the Everest Marathon.

"I'm familiar with the understanding that country miles tend to be longer than the real thing but I thought that was an Irish expression. It seems to have been embraced in India as the Everest 'marathon' turned out to be thirty miles long," he joked.

Donovan's experiences over the course of the year, where he has claimed victories in Australia, the South Pole, the North Pole, and Peru stood to him as he coped with the conditions quite well.

"I've competed at altitude, experienced the frigid conditions of the poles, and endured the heat of

America this year and was able to call on those experiences to acclimatise to the conditions for this race" said Donovan "

It probably wouldn't feel the same if there weren't some difficult aspects to the race".

Steven Seaton and Tim Phillis respectively of the UK followed Donovan in second and third places.

Other Irish competitors included the second overall-placed female, Jane Watt, and Graham Porter who had two very credible third-place stage finishes.

Donovan leaves the scenic vistas of the Himalayans, where four of the five highest peaks can be viewed from the racecourse (Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga) for a fund-raising event at home on Wednesday next.

The Seven Continents Fun Run takes place in Salthill, Galway and features the themes of the continents for the participants. All of the fundraising will benefit GOAL and the GSPCA.

Donovan has embarked on a year-long mission to raise awareness for these projects by attempting to become the first person to complete an ultra marathon on each of the seven continents in one calendar year.

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