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"After the race, I limped around as first one leg and then the other started to cramp."
- Mike Dennison

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Rapture of the Steep - the Everest Marathon
by Mike Dennison, Utah, USA
Aug 19, 2000

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Beyond The Edge - the book by Mike Dennison

Not, as they say, in this lifetime. Instead, it took me over two hours. The runners ahead of me on the loop shouted encouragement; on my own return segment, I did the same for those behind me. We were all still moving and most of us ran almost all of it.

After the race, I limped around as first one leg and then the other started to cramp. Worse than that was the dull ache of muscles strained to their limit. I had finished. I might have been one of the least prepared but I had placed 31st and had completed the course in just over six hours.

My limping carried me past one of the race doctors, Dr. Jennie Oliver from New Zealand. Jennie was her usual smiling and untroubled self - wandering among the more seriously afflicted and offering encouragement.

When she saw me, she couldn't wait to tell me how emotional the entire experience had been for her. Working at the first of the aid stations, at mile three, she had been so enthused by the runners that came through her post that she decided to run the rest of the course.

"Including the loop?" I asked.

"Including the loop," she replied. Twenty-three miles with less training than any of us - and carrying her medical pack. As I looked at her smiling face, I thought that if I had to have my "I haven't trained for this" excuse eclipsed by anyone, it would be this smiling doctor from New Zealand.

As she walked away, I started to formulate my plans for my next trip to Nepal. And my next marathon.

Beyond The Edge - the book by Mike Dennison

Beyond The Edge

Mike Dennison has written a book about his fourteen-month backpacking trip around the world -- BEYOND THE EDGE. He and his wife, Jodi, conduct guided tours to Nepal, India, and Thailand for a wide variety of fit people. His web site is: and his e-mail is:

Many people fail to realize their dreams. They have them, hold them and then realize that it seems to be too late. Mike Dennison was in danger of doing the same thing. It took the persuasive efforts of two friends to break him free from one culture and to plunge him into many others. His story is an inspiration to those who are waiting. He is the friendly persuader for dreams of all kinds.

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