Are You Participating In The World's Highest Marathon at Ladakh This September?

Tripoto

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.

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Image credit: wreindl

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

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Image credit: ladakhmarathon.com

When: 9 September, 2018

Distance: 7km

Elevation: 11,500ft.

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. 

Registration Fee: 

Indians (except Ladakh residents): ₹1800

Students: ₹900

Serving Defence Personnel and Ladakh residents: ₹900

Foreign Nationals: $135

Route: NDS Memorial Stadium – Leh Manali Highway – NDS Memorial Stadium

Half Marathon

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Image credit: ladakhmarathon.com

When: 9 September, 2018

Distance: 21km

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.

Registration Fee:

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.

Marathon

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Image credit: ladakhmarathon.com

When: 9 September, 2018

Distance: 42km

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! 

Eligibility: 

One marathon or two half-marathons within the last 1.5yrs.

Registration Fee:

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

Khardungla Challenge

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Image credit: ladakhmarathon.com

When: 7 September, 2018

Distance: 72km

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.

Eligibility: 

Either two full marathons under 5hrs or 2 ultra marathons over 70km within the last two years.

Registration Fee:

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.

Know of more such challenges around the world? Share your story with us and inspire a community of 25 million travellers. 

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