The legendary Khardung La Pass may have lost its claims to being the highest motorable road in the world, but every year, it hosts a very important event — the highest Ultra Marathon in the world, Ladakh Marathon. This marathon is held amidst scenic views of Ladakh, between whopping heights of 11,500ft to 17,2618ft. Read on to know more about this ultimate test of human potential.
The marathon is being organised since 2012 and is ready for its 7th edition, with the aim make people aware of this fragile region and the need to protect it. The marathon is now attended by expert marathoners and runners from Ladakh, other parts of India and around the world. Under the Ladakh Marathon, there are four categories you can choose from, varying in difficulty level, elevation and eligibility criterion.
Run Ladakh for Fun
When: 9 September, 2018
This is the shortest race under the Ladakh Marathon banner and is open to ages 12yrs onwards; there’s no other eligibility criteria except your own grit to run the race. For this race too, however, you must be physically fit because running at such altitude is all the more difficult than it is in the plains. So do take that into consideration before registering yourself for the race.
Indians (except Ladakh residents): ₹1800
Serving Defence Personnel and Ladakh residents: ₹900
Foreign Nationals: $135
Route: NDS Memorial Stadium – Leh Manali Highway – NDS Memorial Stadium
When: 9 September, 2018
Elevation: 10,568ft. - 11,142ft.
This is a good preparatory run in case you’re not prepared for the full-marathon yet. The marathon takes you through some of the most picturesque views and villages of Ladakh. It goes without saying, that it’s a great challenge to undertake in order to test yourself. This half-marathon will take you through villages, an uphill terrain, along the residence of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, and majestic sights of clear blue skies and barren, but imposing mountains.
Indians (except Ladakh residents): ₹2500
Serving Defence Personnel and Ladakh residents: ₹1500
Foreign Nationals: $50
Route: NDS Memorial Stadium — Saboo Village — Leh-Manali Highway — Choglamsar Village — Indo-Tobetan Border Police Headquarters — NDS Memorial Stadium.
When: 9 September, 2018
Elevation: 10,715ft. - 11,100ft.
The full-marathon is where the going gets really tough. This full-marathon is only for trained runners who want to increase their level of qualification as marathoners. It’s not a surprise that this marathon is at the brim of every marathoner around the world. This is a step up the half-marathon and takes runners through even tougher terrains. Sights of willow trees, grazing grounds, white-washed stupas and sandy landscapes, however, could keep you going!
One marathon or two half-marathons within the last 1.5yrs.
Indians (except Ladakh residents): ₹3000
Serving Defence Personnel and Ladakh residents: ₹1800
Foreign Nationals: $65
Route: NDS Memorial Stadium — Stakna Road — manali-Leh Highway — Church of Shey — Sindughat — Choglamsar Village — NDS Memorial Stadium
When: 7 September, 2018
Elevation: 14,000ft- 17,216ft.
This is the toughest challenge that is world over renowned for being the ultimate challenge that professional runners must put themselves through. This challenge is only open to expert runners and marathoners whose applications are further strictly screened and checked. There are only 150 spots open for this challenge, which is a standalone event, witnessed by thousands every year. This category comes with various challenges like its distance, difficult terrain and high levels of elevation.
Either two full marathons under 5hrs or 2 ultra marathons over 70km within the last two years.
Indians (except Ladakh residents): ₹9500
Serving Defence Personnel and Ladakh residents: ₹4500
Foreign Nationals: $165
Route: Khardung Village — Khardung la pass — Leh— Nubra Valley —North Pulu
You can register here for all the aforementioned events. Last date of registration in July 15, 2018!
For more details information, you can check out the Ladakh Marathon website here.
Although a lot of you may not fall under the eligibility criteria for these marathons, you sure can start working out and running to participate in Run Ladakh For Fun event. This adventure will give you a challenge that you can work towards this summer and at the same time, running through enchanting landscapes of Ladakh is sure to be an experience of a lifetime. Remember, if you’re planning to participate in Run Ladakh for Fun, please arrive 5 days in advance for proper acclimatisation which should be your top priority at such heights.
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