Friday, April 27, 2018

Nepali Runner Bhim Gurung Ready to Take Over the World

A few years back I asked, "Where are the Tibetan Marathoners?" There have been shocks to the long-distance world when formerly isolated but innately genetically gifted groups of people started competing - first East African highlanders, and more recently Raramuri from Mexico's northern highlands (of "Born to Run" fame.) The adaptations of living at high altitude for many generations, plus limited access to roads, naturally produces gifted endurance athletes. So where are the Tibetans?

Well guess what! Here comes Bhim Gurung. He's already blowing away Kilian Jornet's records in Europe. American ultra stars, take notice! Soon he will be here burning up the Western States Trail and the Hardrock 100 and who knows what else.

And one last thing - I should still get partial credit for the fulfillment of my prophecy dammit, because although I predicted the appearance of a Tibetan (not Nepali) ultra-running beast, what counts is genes, not passport - and surprise, this guy happens to be from a group of people in north-central Nepal closely related to Tibetans and who speak a Tibeto-Burman language. And I'm sure there will be more where he came from! That's one of the things I love about distance and especially trail racing - competitors can arise from anywhere, and no one group ever really owns the sport. (Image of Gurung below from, Matterhorn in background.)

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