Name: Chhechi Sherpa Rai
Hometown: Solukhumbu, Eastern Nepal
Chhechi is originally from Solukhumbu, near Everest. She currently lives in Kathmandu with her husband, a mountain guide, and their young son. Chhechi dropped out of school after 9th grade to take up work as a housekeeper. However, she always dreamed of participating in the Everest Marathon, and finally achieved this ambition in 2011.
Since then, Chhechi has taken breaks from her work to train as a runner. Her many accomplishments include recent wins at the Everest Trail Race and Annapurna Mandala Trail. Perhaps most impressive, she was first female finisher and third overall at the 2017 Great Himal Race, a staggering 1,800km traverse of the Nepal Himalaya. “Before this race, Nepali people did not take me seriously. They did not believe that a woman – particularly after giving birth to a child – could accomplish such feat. But since I completed the race, they look at me with respect. I feel proud.”
Chhechi is keen to become a professional runner and travel abroad to broaden her experience.