Everest Marathon Medical Report 2015

The Everest Marathon this year had fewer contestants than usual but the Medical Team were still very proud that every competitor arrived at the start line in a good condition to run the race.

While we would love to take credit for this, however, in fact the main reasons were:

  • An exceptionally sensible group of runners.
  • Very good leaders.
  • Ever increasing qualities of hygiene and care in the food preparation by the Sherpas and attached staff.

Nothing was too much trouble for the kitchen staff and the cries of “hot towels, bed tea” will live in Marathon folk lore.

We were reminded early in the trip just how rapidly altitude sickness can strike and how it is no discriminator of fitness or strength as one of the stronger members of the group was struck down with a severe bout of Pulmonary Oedema. He showed his strength of character by returning to Namche and it was wonderful to meet up with him again later in the trip.

Otherwise the trek was largely uneventful.

Race day went well; the Marshalls should be thanked for shouldering a lot of the burden with expertise and without complaint.

The team itself consisted of:

Dr Christine Bradshaw  returned for her 3rd trip and, as always providing a safe pair of hands in all events. Her wisdom and humour were much valued.

Dr Nishma Shah was a first timer who has lots of experience in the mountains of Africa and was in charge of the medicine/yoga interface which so many runners found useful. She, with Cath, was part of the mighty apple pie buying team of Tangboche.

Dr Heather Lovatt followed her husband who was a medic on the last trip. She was a joy, unstoppable throughout the trip and provided great support in the back up team.

Dr Eamon Staunton had more altitude experience than the rest of us put together after serving at the Himalayan rescue post in Dole. He gave top advice and very instructive lectures and was never once seen without a smile on his face.

Dr Tom Davies stepped in at short notice and proved to be wise above his years. He had experience of doing research in the Everest region before. He also ran the race and recorded a superb time.

Dr David Buckler returned for his 6th Everest Marathon as Chief Medical Officer. He basked in the reflected glory of the excellent doctors around him, talked too much, and came last in the race for the 4th time.