Original Everest Marathon FAQ

There are the most commonly asked questions but if you do not find an answer here, use the "Ask a Question" form.

Can I bring a companion?

Yes, but they must be fit enough to complete the high altitude trek. They will not be allowed to run unless they have made a separate application and cannot switch to being a runner during the trek. We need 12 non-running companions to work as race marshals on race day. Apart from race day, their holiday is exactly the same as for runners, and it is the same price.

In the past we have had husbands and wives and other couples, mother/father + son/daughter combinations, trainers/coaches, kidney donors/recipients….

Can I join just for race day?

No, this is not permitted. Our medical team must supervise your acclimatisation and there is a pre-race medical 2 days before the race. It is essential to get to know the other runners, as you may be required to help each other on race day. Throughout the trek there are important briefing meetings. The course is not marked, so you must know the right route and where the aid stations will be.

Can I make my own arrangements in Kathmandu as I have friends living there?

Yes, but you will have to attend all briefing meetings at the Hotel Shanker in Kathmandu. You must also be at the hotel or airport in time for the flight to Lukla. The cost of hotel accommodation will be deducted from your bill.

Can I sign up for future races?

Yes. We're considering having the event every year and very soon we will be putting an additional registration page up for 2020. However, we will still need to review your entry one year before to check that nothing has happened to your health to prevent you from coming in the interim. 

Do I have to raise sponsorship money?

We expect you to pay the trip cost from their own funds. Quite separately, we also ask you to raise money for a charity of your choice.  This is not compulsory but we feel it will enhance your experience of your time in Nepal. We use Virgin Money to organise the sponsorship.

The trip cost does not include any charitable donation.

Do I make my own flight arrangements to Nepal?

Yes. You need to arrange your own travel to Nepal, joining the group in Kathmandu on Friday 15th November 2019, before 18.00hrs. Currently the cost of a return flight is £400 - £500.

If you decide to fly out early or return home on a later date, we can make arrangements for extra hotel bookings in Kathmandu to suit your flight dates and any additional trekking arrangements.

Do I need a lot of expensive kit?

No. It is possible to hire a very good sleeping bag and down jacket from our trekking agents. Other warm clothing can be bought cheaply in Kathmandu and Namche Bazaar. Good footwear is important - for comfort and grip. It's possible to trek in the same shoes as you'll run in as there's no need to wear boots if you're used to trail shoes. 

As part of your entry fee you'll receive an OEM technical top, hat and buff - maybe more if we have a clothing sponsor. 

Do you have age limits?

Yes, is the short answer.  On race day you must be at least 21 and under 66. For the 2019 race this means birth dates November 1953 and November 1998.

But that said, we are all different and if you are younger or older and feel that you have the necessary experience and the good health, please send in your application and the race director and doctors will have a look at it. 

Marshals who won't be running the marathon may be 18 – 69.

Do you have any connection with the Everest Marathon which is held in May?

No. This is a completely different race organised by a Kathmandu trekking agent with a different course, different rules and different standards.

The Everest Marathon in May is is a 'for profit' race, not a charity event. 

How do I apply?

The application process is through this website. 

Selection will depend on the running experience you are able to provide (including any planned races). If you have suitable experience you will immediately be offered a place and invoiced for the deposit of £500. This needs to be paid within 2 weeks to secure your place. 

I am Nepalese and live in Nepal. What arrangements do you offer Nepalese runners?

There is a maximum of 20 places for local Nepalese runners. 

If possible, you should send in an application form through the website so that your name can be put on this list in advance.

Even if you register on line, you still need to attend the  Nepalese briefing meeting in Namche Bazaar on six days before the race, on 25th November.

The registration fee is NR 4,000.

We will check that you have the minimum kit and understand the race rules.

We do not provide accommodation or meals for Nepalese runners but you are welcome to trek with the foreign runners from Kangjuma to Gorak Shep if you want to.

You must report to the team leaders at Lobuche on 1st December, the day before the race, at 9am for  the compulsory medical and kit check. After this we all go to Gorak Shep to practice the race start. 

You will be given your race number on the morning of the race. 

Nepali start time is 07.30 - one hour later than the slower international runners.

We will arrange for your surplus kit to be brought back down to Namche Bazaar.

These arrangements are only available to Nepalese citizens who live in Nepal. They are not available to Nepalese citizens who do not live in Nepal or to non-Nepalese citizens who live in Nepal.

I have an unusual medical condition. Can I discuss this with your doctor before applying?

It is best to send in an application form first, so that we can check that you would be selected and your name can go on the list. At the same time you should state that you wish to discuss your medical condition with one of our doctors.  You would not have to pay any deposit until the doctor has OK'ed you to come and race.

What is Acclimatisation and Altitude sickness?

theOEMTrek Everest Marathon FAQIt is insufficient oxygen getting into the blood stream for one of many reasons: for example, reduced oxygen in the air, respiratory problems (eg the common cold), the inability to transfer oxygen from the lungs into the blood stream, reduced haemoglobin (the red blood cells which carry oxygen), various other haemoglobin conditions (eg sickle cell anaemia). Reduced barometric pressure may also be a contributory cause.

The best way to acclimatise is to do it naturally. By increasing height slowly, the body has time to adjust to the reduced oxygen level and altitude sickness should be avoided. The height at which one sleeps seems to be more important than the height gained during the day.

On our trek we quickly reach 3500m (Namche Bazaar) and then ascend very slowly. There are several ‘rest’ days when you can climb higher during the day but return to the same altitude to sleep.

The OEM allows for far more days of acclimatisation than other races or commercial treks to EBC to allow athletes to be at their best when it comes to race day. We have met many groups on the way up the valley who are returning as we're still ascending. They talk of feeling really ill and some people having to turn back. Our schedule doesn't indemnify you from getting ill, but we do the best we can to prevent it. 

Read the full article on acclimatisation and altitude sickness

What kind of running experience is required?

The OEM is unlike other races in that we don't accept anyone who applies. We are limitted to taking 90 international athletes and want to make sure (as much as is possible), that everyone has a reasonable chance of successfully completing the marathon. We can't predict how well any individual will cope with the altitude but we can look at how well people will cope with the terrain. 

Off-road running, orienteering or mountaineering experience is essential because of the nature of the Everest Marathon course. There are so many races on the international calendar now that it would be pointless to list all the possiblities, but some suggestions of races that provide a great background are:

  • UK: Mountain marathons and any Long A races in the Fell Runner Association calendar
  • New Zealand: Kepler
  • USA: Pikes Peak
  • Europe: Swiss Alpine Marathon Davos, UMTB, UTMR, La Plange....
  • Africa: Marathon des Sables, Kalahari Augrabies, La Grand Raid de la Réunion
  • Asia: Mongolia Sunrise to Sunset, Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon.
  • Sky Races in any part of the world
  • Impact Marathons - Kenya, Gutamala, Malawi and Nepal.
  • Endurance events such as Ironman 

We don't want to use qualifying races as a means for gaining entry to the OEM as this may preclude people who don't enter races but are very mountain fit. 

What kind of training is required?

Concentrate on uphill and downhill work. The Everest Marathon course is basically downhill but there are two steep uphill sections which will be particularly difficult at altitude. You should log at least 50 miles (80 km) per week with a 15 – 20 mile run every weekend and a competitive event about once a month. Train on track, road and cross country terrain. 

Whilst the trek is specifically designed to provide you with enough time to acclimatise naturally, if you haven't experienced what it's like to be at high altitude before you may want to do this before entering the event. 

evaxyx Sponsors the OEM



RAB Sponsors the OEM

RAB and the OEM





Up and Running Sponsors the OEM

Up and Running and the OEM


Injinji Sponsors the OEM

injini and the OEM





Ultimate Direction Sponsors the OEM

Ultimate Direction and the OEM


Pete Bland Sports Sponsors the OEM

petebland Everest Marathon FAQ