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Jeroen Vandecasteele finished today, in one of the most mind-blowing marathons of all time, the Everest Marathon. He crossed the finishline in 7h37. The Everest Marathon which is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the highest marathon in the world took start at Gorak Shep 5184m (17,000 feet), close to Everest Base Camp in Nepal where todays temperature was about -15°C. The finish was at the Sherpa town of Namche Bazaar at 3446m (11,300 feet) and the course is a measured 42 km (26.2 miles) over rough mountain trails.

To acclimatize naturally to the high altitude all runners join together for a 26 day acclimatization in Nepal. This acclimatization combines sightseeing in the capital, Kathmandu, a 15 day trek to the start under medical supervision, ascents of Gokyo Ri (5483m) and Kala Pattar (5623m) for the best views of Everest and one of the most grueling races in the world. Although the course is basically down hill, there are two steep uphill sections, which make the race - next to the extreme altitude - a very hard one.

Combining work, building a house and training properly was a quite complex task. But Jeroen managed with slight adaptations of the training plan to for fill it with success. According to proper altitude acclimatization we decided to sleep already in an altitude tent 2 weeks before his 26 days trek begun, so the impact on his body was already minimalized when he arrived on altitude in Nepal.

After his achievement in 2014, by being a real Norseman, he can call himself today a Norsman-Everest-Athlete which you can also read as R-I-C-A-R-D. (Which revers to an internal joke several years ago). But really, all my respect towards achieving one of your 'highest' goals of all time!!

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