Witnessing the Ladakh Marathon

Racing in Ladakh is more than just running. The experience of fleeing away on nimble feet amidst the fierce yet tantalizing beautiful landscape is an experience which only a few lucky souls experience in their lifetime. The Marathon as commonly known is a long race and in case of the Ladakh Marathon it’s divided into 7 km race, half marathon and full marathon. I had the opportunity of witnessing the Ladakh Marathon once when I had gone there with a friend who was participating.

Ladakh Marathon
Source: farm8.staticflickr.com/7357/9716423206_264395fc25_z.jpg


The race through the landscape of Ladakh took her through craggy mountains, gleaming rivers and deep gorges. Every moment was captured in amazing pictures which are reminiscent of the exotic beauty of the terrain. The experience has the capacity to exhilarate the body and drive away the very vestiges of fear and timidity from the mind and spirit. I had witnessed the psychological transformation of my friend after the Ladakh Marathon and saw how strong she had become after participation.

History of Ladakh Marathon

Just before my friend participated in Ladakh Marathon, we dug up a wealth of information on how and why the event was conducted. This led us to appreciate the unique spirit of sportsmanship and commitment to fitness which the marathon signifies. Just two years back in 2012, a barrage of heavy floods destroyed the Ladakh region leaving an ugly trail of destruction and ravages behind. It’s impressive how Ladakh has geared itself to prepare it for the 2014 Marathon of Ladakh which will happen in the capital town of Leh at an altitude of 3524 meter. This will be superseded by the Khardhung La Challenge where the participants will have to cross the highest pass of Ladakh of 5602 meters.

History of Ladakh Marathon


Hundreds of local people of Ladakh will run with the participants who fly in from various national and international locations. The aim is to celebrate the spirit of freedom, unity and solidarity of spirit. The event of Ladakh Marathon is organized by Leh’s top travel and sports events Management Company called Rimo Expeditions. The event has full support and cooperation of L.A.H.D.C. or Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council and Jammu and Kashmir Tourism.

Registration for Ladakh Marathon

Last year my friend who lived in Delhi enrolled for Ladakh Marathon online and also paid the fees for the event through her Visa Card (Master Cards and Debit Cards are also accepted). Conveniently, the option of online registration has been kept open by Marathon Management authorities. The website http://www.ladakhmarathon.com/registration/ has all the details of how to proceed for online application for participation. If a runner lives in a different state or a nation than Ladakh then it’s a simple matter to select the race in which participation is wanted, fill in identification details and make the online payment. A unique i.d. number will be generated which will be the participation code for the event of Ladakh Marathon.

Schedule of 2014 Ladakh Marathon

The Ladakh Marathon will start from September 14th and last for next 2 days. Every year this event happens in September. The 7 km race is the smallest distance race in Marathon and it is open for all. This is also the easiest race in the event. Half Marathon covers distance 21 km and takes you on full tour of Leh past the Shanti Stupa. The 42 km Marathon begins and ends in Leh town but crosses all through the Leh Valley and Indus river junction.

About the Ladakh Marathon

Participation Fees for Ladakh Marathon

I have jotted down the fees required to participate in Ladakh Marathon.

10 Kilometer Race

Details of 10 km race....
  • For Ladakh local people - INR 500
  • For other Indians (outside Ladakh) - INR 1000
  • Runners from outside Indian nation- USD $25
  • Ladakh students with I.D Free
  • Ladakh students without ID- INR 400
Registration is valid until a day prior to run

21 Kilometer Race

Details of 21 km race....
  • For Ladakh local people - INR 700
  • For other Indians (outside Ladakh) - INR 1500
  • Runners from outside Indian nation- USD $35
  • Ladakh students with I.D- free
  • Ladakh students without ID- INR 400
Registration is valid until 5 day prior to run


42 Kilometer Race

Details of 42 km race.....
  • For Ladakh local people- INR 1000
  • For other Indians (outside Ladakh) - INR 2500
  • Runners from outside Indian nation- USD $50
  • Ladakh students with I.D- Free
  • Ladakh students without ID- INR 400
Registration is valid until 5 day prior to run

Khardung La Challenge Race

  • For Ladakh local people- INR 3000
  • For other Indians (outside Ladakh) - INR 5000
  • Runners from outside Indian nation- USD $100
  • Ladakh students with I.D- free
  • Ladakh students without ID- INR 400
Registration is valid until 2 Weeks prior to run

How to prepare for Ladakh Marathon   

There are a number of things you need to do in order to prepare yourself physically and mentally for the Ladakh Marathon. It’s not an easy feat to run the Marathon (the smallest distance is 7 km) as the terrain is quite fierce. There are a number of areas you need to pay attention to but the basic areas are nutrition, preparatory exercises and correct running gear.

Participating in Ladakh Marathon

Nutrition

You need to consume a lot of carbohydrates as you will need a lot of instant energy on the day of Marathon. My friend used to consume 2000 calories per day but if you are a man you need to be on a 2500 calorie per day diet. You also need to drink a lot of water to keep your body properly hydrated on the day of the Marathon.

Exercise

Include 3 types of exercises in your training regimen for Marathon; cardiovascular exercises, strength training and endurance training. Consult an appropriate trainer who will teach the correct types of exercise in each variety. Ideally like my friend, you should begin training for the marathon 3 months before the actual event.

Running Gear

Wear proper running gear as running a marathon needs a good pair of running shoes. You will also need an air circulation enhanced running vest along with thermal wear enhanced tights (Ladakh is cold in September). Not wearing the proper type of clothing can sabotage your entire Marathon program by making you feel unduly exhausted and sapping away your strength.

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