Woman preparing for marathon on Everest
PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 April 2018
A Backwell woman is preparing to take on one of the world's toughest marathons - running 5,400ft up on Mount Everest.
Elizabeth Mackenzie, aged 41, is training for the Tenzing Hilary Everest Marathon, which will take place on May 29.
She will arrive in Nepal two weeks beforehand to trek the 40 miles to basecamp and acclimatise to the high altitude.
Elizabeth visited Everest last year, and the marathon was on while she was there.
She spoke to one of the runners at the airport afterwards, who told her to have a go – and she booked a place just a week later.
Her first experience of running a marathon was in 2016 when she joined Portishead’s Ben Smith, who completed 401 marathons in as many days.
Elizabeth said: “He is a massive inspiration for me. I didn’t set out to do the whole run with him, but I was so inspired.
“He was going to do a speech at the end, and I didn’t want to miss it so I just carried on.”
Elizabeth was so inspired by Ben’s efforts, she has decided to raise money for his 401 Foundation, which supports grassroots projects and individuals who tackle mental health issues in their communities.
Elizabeth said: “Mental health is a much talked about subject with a growing profile.
“I want to do what I can to help, and the 401 Foundation’s ethos is close to my heart.
“I hope people will be able to pitch in and donate an amount, however small, to help this excellent cause.”
Everest will be a very different experience to running with Ben.
Elizabeth said: “There is a 14-day trek up the mountain to start with. The terrain is difficult, there will be boulders in the way, it could be snowing, or icy.”
One person who is used to running sub-three-hour marathons told Elizabeth it took him eight hours to complete the Everest challenge.
She has been increasing the miles she runs every day as part of her training, and she has been helped along the way by her friend Mike Paul.
Elizabeth is hoping to raise £1,000 for her marathon, and her colleagues at Water2Business have helped her raise close to £400 already.
To donate, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ElizabethMackenzie3