A British wildlife photographer completed the Everest marathon while wearing a tiger suit in order to raise over £100,000 ($126,198) to help protect the endangered predators.
Paul Goldstein spent more than 12 hours running the grueling Everest marathon carrying the nine-foot tiger costume that weighs about 15 kilograms (about 33 pounds).
The race starts at 17,000 feet above sea level and took place on Sunday. It is considered to be one of the toughest marathons in the world, even for those not wearing a 30-pound apparatus.
“That was the most miserable 12 hours I’ve had in my life. It was agony,” Goldstein tells the Times.
Everest. Tamed. Never in doubt. That’s just not true. More to come. @broken
To catch up with 12 years of Tiger feats please see the links in my profile https://t.co/o9Wc1hYDPH
and donate via https://t.co/8qIScLvNt0#worthmorealive #tigerconservation
— Paul Goldstein (@paulgoldstein59) May 29, 2022
“The majority of that mountain was above 4.500m — you’re up the height of Mont Blanc or above. At that sort of altitude, you should be walking with the speed of a pensioner,” he adds.
“The altitude takes it out of your legs, it takes it out of your lungs. The first two miles are ice, rock, and loose scree. So you’ve done an hour and only about a mile and three quarters. There were a couple of hours where I had a headwind so you can imagine that the tiger on your back is like a sail.”
Goldstein, who has captured remarkable images of tigers, is passionate about animal conservation and particularly the mistreatment of the apex predators in nearby China which motivates him to raise money for them.
“I’m fuelled by rage. When you’re at Everest base camp, you’re only a couple of miles from the Chinese border and when you realize they’re still harvesting tigers over that side of the border, it makes me incandescent.”
Goldstein finished the epic marathon in 12 hours, 47 minutes, and 37 seconds but somehow still beat around 30 people, despite the massive tiger on his back slowing him down.
He claims that this is the last marathon he will do after raising £100,000 ($126,198) to protect endangered Bengal tigers. The money was raised after running both the London and Everest marathons.
Goldstein has been running the Worth More Alive campaign since 2010 and has ran 20 marathons with the 9ft tiger costume in that period.
The money raised will go towards protecting the tiger habitat and improving the lives of local people living within the boundaries of Bandhavgarh National Park in India.
Image credits: Header photo by Paul Goldstein.