Hotelier Craig Jarvis is still feeling the effects of his latest challenge, two weeks after returning home.
The 54-year-old - who recently completed the world’s highest marathon - now has ‘Khumbu cough’, a dry, persistent cough resulting from damage to the lining of his lungs.
Of the condition, which restricts breathing and is caused by the dry, freezing air experienced at high altitude, Craig said: “It’s scarred my lungs. I am struggling.”
High altitude took its toll on Craig during his two-week trek to Everest base camp, where the gruelling 26 mile Everest Marathon begins.
Loss of appetite and sleep left him weak and tired, while temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees created tough conditions, made worse by blizzards, snowfall, and avalanches that forced his group to evacuate their camp.
Other runners in the 60-strong international team were also affected.
Craig, owner of the Ravewood Hall Hotel, in Rougham, said: “Altitude sickness is something that affects people differently. One man ended up in intensive care and had to be helicoptered down.”
The father-of-two also ruptured a muscle in his leg, got severe windburn and was forced to run through the night after getting delayed helping a runner who had been knocked unconscious.
But he has not ruled out returning, when fitter, to improve on his time of 13 hours and 29 minutes, or to, perhaps, climb to the summit.
“It did whet my appetite to try and get to the top,” he said.
Reflecting on the experience, Craig said: “The climb itself is fascinating because there’s only one route up to Everest. The trail goes through about five villages and anybody who goes to Everest has to go through them.
“It’s fascinating to think of all the famous explorers that have done it and that you’re climbing in the same footsteps as those guys.
“I think of the achievements of people like Mallory - what they must have done to get up there is incredible compared to modern mountain climbers.”
Craig, whose past fund-raisers have included the Marathon des Sables and Jungle Marathon, added: “They’re all totally different. With the desert you have the heat, with the jungle you have the animals and with Everest you’ve got the altitude and constant climbing.”
So far, his Everest challenge has raised around £15,000 for charities supported by the Ravenwood Children’s Trust - St Nicholas Hospice Care, West Suffolk Hospital’s rainbow ward and the Odanadi Seva Trust, which helps trafficked and sexually exploited women.
To donate, go to www.justgiving.com/ravenwoodchildrenstrust craigjarvis13