A woman from Hayes scaled Mount Everest to take part in the ‘highest marathon in the world’.
Helen Stow, 32, trekked through a blizzard, was snowed in while sleeping in her tent, and dined on tinned spam and garlic soup to complete the revered 26-mile Tenzing Hillary event.
The admin worker, who is currently based in the French Alps, took on the 10-day journey as a member of running group the ‘Neverest Girls’.
Ms Stow started her adventure flying to Lukla, known to be one of the most dangerous airports in the world, and from there ascended thousands of metres to Everest Base Camp (EBC) before the race.
Describing the first part of the expedition, where she was walking for six hours a day, she said:
“This was it – there was no easy way out from here and today the mountains made me feel very small.
“We climbed slowly over nine days of trekking to try and avoid altitude sickness. We stayed in small yellow tents that luckily the porters carried and assembled for us each night.”
Along the way Ms Stow suffered sun burn, a lack of oxygen, and the worry of avalanches.
But also passed Buddhist monasteries, saw the Everest National Park, and enjoyed views of the Himalayas many only see in the movies.
Alongside others brave enough to compete, including a father and son coupling from Belgium and a 72-year-old from Australia, Ms Stow made it to the race finish line at Namche Bazaar – 11,306ft up – in just over 10 hours.
She said: “This was a very testing adventure, both mentally and physically.
“I'm really glad I did it as it has always been a dream to go to EBC. I'm also very glad that I did it in a team as this support was much appreciated during the low times.”
Mum Marageret Stow, 60, of Courtlands Avenue, told News Shopper: “I was really worried about the snow storm but pleased she’s done it.
“I’m so proud.”
The Neverest Girls raised over £12,000 for ‘A Chacun son Everest’, a Chamonix charity helping women with breast cancer reach their 'Everest'.
Last year marked the 60th anniversary of when Sir Edmund Hillary became the first person to reach the summit of the world's tallest mountain.