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Man in tiger suit completes Everest Marathon

This is the 20th marathon Goldstein has completed with the 33-pound plush tiger

The Everest Marathon is one of the most challenging marathons in the world; now imagine running it with a nine-foot tiger on your back.

British wildlife photographer and conservationist Paul Goldstein is not new to endurance adventures. He has completed 19 marathons and hiked up Mt. Kilimanjaro, an impressive resume for any athlete. Goldstein, or “Tiger Man” as he has fondly become known, has carried his plush tiger along with him on every trek.

Goldstein (and his 33-pound plush tiger) hiked for 11 days to get to the start, located at Everest Base Camp. He endured extreme weather conditions, altitude sickness, food poisoning, and climbed over treacherous terrain, all before the Everest Marathon began. He called the experience “agony” and “the most miserable 12 hours I’ve had in my life.”

Goldstein’s aim is to raise money and awareness for Bengal tigers. Goldstein created Worth More Alive charity with this goal in mind. It is estimated that there are only 3000 Bengal tigers left in existence and they continue to be poached and have their organs harvested. Through his Everest run alone, Goldstein met his goal of raising over $150,000.

Despite the extreme weather conditions Goldstein faced on Everest, he explains that it pales in comparison to the suffering captured tigers endure.

This will be Goldstein’s last marathon with his tiger, “This was its 20th and last and fitting it should be the toughest challenge,” he says.