Cameraman Quentin Bedwell wanted to kill ultra-marathon runner Lisa Tamati on the first day of her 240km seven-day race in the Himalayas.
Mr Bedwell, manager at iStudios Multimedia Marketing in New Plymouth, recently returned from accompanying Tamati on her latest adventure to Nepal, to film her competing in the Manaslu Mountain Trail Race 2012, but said that it was more than he'd expected.
He said Tamati and co-producer Chris Ord may have glossed over the finer details of how torturous the extreme event was.
"It was toned down from what it actually was. On the first day I was about ready to kill them both," he laughed.
But Mr Bedwell said he loved the experience.
"It was great to test my own limits. To go from the first day wondering whether we could do the rest, to getting stronger and pushing through barriers."
The Manaslu Mountain Trail is a part-circumnavigation of Manaslu in Nepal, the world's eighth highest mountain.
Mr Bedwell said focusing on his work helped him get through the ordeal.
"I kept plodding along. If I didn't have the filming to focus on I don't know if I would have done it."
The day they crossed the 5100 metre mountain pass was his worst, he said.
"On the way down I puffed up like a marshmallow.
"I started at 5am and didn't reach the village until 3.30 or 4 in the afternoon.
"That was the hardest because I didn't realise the pass was going to be so long."
He said the support of his Nepalese porter Maila Gurung was greatly appreciated when the going got tough.
"He kept me going and carried half my weight.
"I am sure had I not been able to walk he would have carried me."
Tamati said the race was the most brutal she had ever done.
"The terrain was extremely rough, the altitude, the average speed was slower so you're out there for longer."
Eight of the 30 competitors had to be flown out by helicopter after falling ill with altitude sickness or other ailments, she said.
Tamati said Mr Bedwell was ready for the challenge but had not anticipated how tough it would be.
"He was more worried whether he had the skills as a cameraman and the dude ended up racing."
She said he was the most dedicated cameraman she had worked with.
"To keep focusing on your job in those conditions takes a certain type of person.
"I think he's going to be New Zealand's next intrepid cameraman."
Despite the death threats, Mr Bedwell said he was already looking forward to the next adventure.
"If anything came up again I'd jump at the chance."
The documentary about the race will be out in three to four months.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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