A challenge of mountainous proportions is putting a team through their paces.
The Marlborough Mount Everest challenge got underway earlier this month.
And one Nepalese team are reaching new heights, taking the leader board by storm.
A group of Nepalese friends taking part under team name The Nepalese Sherpa have already clocked up 24390 metres between the eight of them.
The Marlborough Mount Everest Challenge is a run and walk event where the goal is for participants to travel the elevation of Mount Everest (8800 m) in the time that it took Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953 (7 weeks).
Padam Prashad Adhikari says some of their crew even hope to climb the equivalent of Mount Everest twice.
“We wanted to do it to represent our country and some of us are doing it for our own health.
“We’ve got to know more people in Picton and Blenheim who we meet while walking and who comment on the photos we put on Facebook – it helps encourage us on,” he says.
Organised by staff at the Port Marlborough Pavilion in Picton, the challenge is proving popular with 131 competitors currently taking part.
Port Marlborough Pavilion Project Coordinator Regan Russell says the event is going well.
“We have 131 competitors that have so far logged bang on 600 climbs. We have had some big numbers already with Iwan one of the individuals climbing to an altitude of 6396 meters in the ten days since we have started.”
“We aim to encourage local people to not only utilise the amazing local walking tracks that Marlborough has to offer, but to get fit while doing so,” Regan says.
The tracks chosen will allow participants to accomplish the goal by running or walking the Tirohanga track 36 times or the Mt Vernon Track 25 times during the seven-week period.
“We usually go out before or after work and try to do two walks back to back and we are certainly getting faster,” says Padam.