My name is David Cole, I’m 49 years of age, from Australia and working and living in Thailand with my wife and son. I started running just 10 years ago – the catalyst was living in Shanghai where I had little opportunity to exercise having a door to door subway commute between home and my office, so I joined an 8km fun run and it started from there. I found myself quickly running marathons, and then getting in on the trail running boom throughout Asia. I need to be always doing something active; being in the outdoors.
I was born into a farming family in the Dhule district of Maharashtra and through my childhood and youth, I wasn’t involved with any major sport, except for the only consistent outdoor activity in life which was walking barefoot for long distances. My tryst with running started more than ten years ago in 2006 when I was in Mumbai for work and noticed an advertisement for a half marathon, that I then completed in under 3 hours. I did the same race twice the following years and managed good time in it as well, till I graduated to the full marathon in 2009 apart from participating in various other races in the country.
Running 5 back to back half marathon at an average altitude of over 4000m will be a daunting task and one will need serious training. Here’s a 15 week plan to train yourself for this ultimate Himalayan Challenge.
The Great Himalayan Running Festival was truly a journey of a lifetime – running 14 km every day for 5 days, through some of the highest mountain passes in the world along the Manali – Leh highway.