Reflecting on running the Himalayas
In 1983, two intrepid young men, Adrian and Richard Crane ran the Himalayas in a record 101 days raising £60,000 for Practical Action (then called Intermediate Technology) and drawing significant media coverage.
Adrian, who now lives in California, recalls the experience:
"It is hard to believe that 30 years have passed since ‘Running the Himalayas’. Rarely does a day go by that I do not say a silent thank you for the lessons learned from that run and for the experiences with the people of the Himalayas.
For myself, the Himalayan run gave me confidence in my own self and a certainty that every individual regardless of race, creed, color or politics is inherently a good person.
"My brother and I were greeted with such openness by everyone that we met between Darjeeling and Srinagar. Every villager, monk, yak herder and subsistence farmer offered us a meal and a place to lay our heads. While we had little at the time to offer them it was an honor to represent IT who in the longer term were able to provide some measure of help to those communities.
"At every opportunity I attempt to remind my friends, colleagues and acquaintances in my modern world of California that those in the less developed worlds are worthy of our help.
"I have returned to the country of Nepal several times and have always enjoyed the enthusiasm and optimism that their people have shown. Interestingly enough, the one time I attempted to enter India, I was turned around at the border! I hold them no ill will and enjoy the memories of countless Indians who hosted us many years go.
"In short, I feel guilty that I have benefitted more from my participation in running the Himalayas than the local people have. It is my hope that they have gained in some measure and perhaps our example encouraged others to travel, to understand the problems of those countries and work to improve the conditions.
"Adrian says it all. Being born in western Europe gives us the opportunity to give. The future can be a place where everyone has work and home."