James Borrett, of Faraday, came 6th in the Himalayan Kingdom Marathon in Paro, Bhutan on 27 May 2014. He ran this race to raise money and awareness for Myositis, an illness his sister has been suffering from for the last 10 years. Myositis is a rare, debilitating disease where the muscles become inflamed leading to severe fatigue.
Having trained on flat roads in Peterborough and less than three days to acclimatise, 26 miles between 7,000 and 8,500 feet on the slopes of the Himalayas was always going to be a challenge for James. However, all the runners were lifted by Bhutan, a country where gross national happiness, a core Buddhist value, is a counterpoint to gross national product; where economic growth is a means to achieving more important ends such as cultural heritage, health, education, good governance, ecological diversity and individual wellbeing.
An inspiring pre-race talk was given by world champion ultra-runner Lizzie Hawker and following a small but evocative Buddhist ceremony at the start line everyone was ready. It was an eventful race which included runners falling into streams and paddy fields much to the amusement of the locals, a participant being bitten by a dog and a number of wrong turnings especially on the isolated tracks high above Paro. Helped by the friendships and camaraderie built up in the days before the race, nearly everyone overcame the mental and physical challenge and managed to reach the end. The resulting feeling of euphoria and accomplishment just reflected what a tough race it had been.
If you would like to make a donation to Myositis UK, please visit www.justgiving.com/James-Borrett.
For more information visit www.myositis.org.uk