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Ladakh Marathon 2018

 

THE LADAKH MARATHON

The Ladakh Marathon happens every year in September month in Leh District of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir State of India. This is a mega event for the physically fit, health conscious sporty personalities. This event is eagerly awaited after by many marathoners all over the world. Specialty of this Marathon is that the marathoners negotiate extreme high altitude during the races. Lowest height where the race takes place is at 3400 m and highest height which the challenge takes place is at 5370 m.

Ladakh Marathon is also mentioned as Mother of All Marathon and is highest and toughest marathons in the world. The Khardongla Challenge (5370m) is the World’s Highest Ultra Marathon covering a high altitude distance of 72km.  This race  not only tests the limits of human endurance at one of the highest tracks in the world at Khardong La pass (5370), often miss calculated as at 5602 m.

Ladakh Marathon requires you to arrive in Leh at least a week in advance to acclimatize for different race categories. Start of all the 04 races is at 3400 m above sea level. It is inevitable to mention here that any participant should be well acclimatized to the high altitude of Leh before the start of the Marathon.

The various races take place in and around Leh, the historic capital of Ladakh and offer runners the unique opportunity to run with local Ladakhis through the most beautiful landscape offering stunning vistas of mountains, rivers and valleys and which will leave one with lifelong memories and a chance to say  one did the Ladakh Marathon.

ORGANISER OF LADAKH MARATHON

Ladadakh Marathon was first started in 2012. Ladakh Marathon is envisaged and initiated by none other than Ladakh’s own tallest and most decorated with international and national awards in adventure travel company – The Rimo Expedition, started by Mr. Tsewang Motup. His decades of experience in carrying out adventure activities in Ladakh manifested in initiating the Ladakh Marathon as one of the most important event Ladakh’s Tourism Calender, which is not only appreciated by the local government but also by many national and international organizations.

Ladakh Marathon became a full member of AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races) in 2015 and has been profiled in various International Sports magazines and listed as being amongst the most beautiful breathtaking and awe-inspiring marathons in the world.

The Ladakh Marathon Event is divided into the 04 Major Categories and they are:

  1. 7 km Race: This is the shortest form in this marathon. Anyone can participate in this format. Normally school students, children, and tourists and locals alike participate in this event. This short format of race still requires good physical health to run at the height of 11,500 ft.
  2. Half Marathon: 21 km race. It starts from Nawang Dorjey Stobdan Memorial Play Ground, opposite the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Council (LAHDC), secretariat and passes through Choglamsar and surrounding villages and hamlets. This also requires good physical health to run at such height as 3400 m.
  3. Full Marathon: 42 km race. It starts from Nawang Dorjey Stobdan Memorial Play Ground, opposite the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Council (LAHDC), secretariat and ends there. This Full Marathon passes through various surrounding villages like Choglamsar, Shey, Thiksay, Chushot, Shashi Zampa, etc.  This requires great physical health with good training in participating in Marathons and races. Prior trainings should help complete the race at 3500 m.
  4. The Khardong La Challenge: 72 km race. It starts from the village of Khardung and continues uphill to the Khardong La Pass at 5370 m / 17,618 ft. With a distance of 72 km and a height of up to 5370 m / 17,618 ft, it is also known as toughest and most challenging event of the Ladakh Marathon.  This is one of the most challenging races in the world and often named as the Ultra Marathon, the Khardongla Challenge Marathon, Mother of all Marathons, etc. No doubt, this requires excellent physical health with great trainings and prior experience of participating in many Marathons, beside few days to a week of acclimatizing training at Leh Ladakh to complete the challenge successfully.

REGISTRATION

For registration for Ladakh Marathon 2018, you can contact  http://ladakhmarathon.com/registration/how-to-register/ or write to info@ladakhmarathon.com

Ancient Tracks can help you connect to join this very special annual event and organize your stay and acclimatization side treks and tours in Ladakh before the start of the Ladakh Marathon 2018. Majority of the participants of Ladakh Marathon 2017 arrived Leh a week before to enjoy Ladakh while doing some training treks and tours and have enjoyed the experience a lot.

One could also extend ones stay in Ladakh after the Ladakh Marathon 2018 and join some interesting tours around Ladakh like Nubra Valley, Sham Valley, Indus Valley, Pangong Lake, Zangskar Valley, Tsomoriri/ Korzok, Hanle / Anley or Hemis National Park (HNP) / Markha Valley/ Rumbak Valley.

Ladakh Marathon 2018,  Prior Training and Acclimatizing Treks and Tours one can opt for:

Stok Kangri 6150 m Expedition

This is for the marathoners participating in the Khardungla Challenge 72 km. Ultra Marathon Race. Stok Kangri 6150 m expedition can be done in 4 days from the town of Leh.  First day is a jeep ride for 1 hour and trek to Mankarmo 4300 m for 6 hrs. Second day is another 6-7 hrs trek uphill trek to the Base Camp Stok Kangri at 4800 m. and rest till mid night.  Third Day or second day late night /  morning  around 12 a m start the expedition to the Stok Peak and scale or summit the Peak at around 8 a m. Enjoy! And return back to Base Camp Stok. Fourth Day is an easy long trek down to Stok village and drive to Leh.  

Short 3 Nights / 4 Days Homestay Trek

Trek from Zingchen to Chilling through the famous Hemis National Park (HNP) also called the Hemis High Altitude National Park across Ganda La Pass 4950 m into Markha. This is a perfect acclimatizing trek before the Ladakh Marathon race to test one’s physical health and to experience Ladakh – its nature, village lifestyle, culture and more over adventure.

Markha Valley 4 Nights / 5 Days Home Stay Trek

Trek from Chilling across Zangskar River to enter the Markha Valley through Skyu Kaya and end the trek at Chogdo across the Kongmaru La Pass 5150 after Nimaling Pastureland camp near Kang Yatze Peak 6400 m. This is another trek for the participants of the Ladakh Marathon 2018 to do before the Khardongla challenge.

Sham 2 nights / 3 days Trek cum Cultural Tour

Drive to Likir and Trek to Tingmosgang via Yanthang village and Hemis Shukpachan. Visit the Likir, Rizong, Lamayuru and Alchi monasteries and back to Leh. This could also be an acclimatization short homestay trek in Ladakh one could do before the Ladakh Marathon.

Jeep Tours to Nubra and Pangong 2 nights 3 days

Drive to Nubra Valley across Khardong La pass (5370 m, visit Deskit and Hundar and drive further to Pangong Lake via Shayok River route and drive back to Leh via Chang La pass 5360 m. This is not a trekking in ladakh trip, but before participating in the Ladakh Marathon races, this tour could be considered as acclimatizing tour where in you cross two highest passes in the world – Khardunla Pass at 5370 m and Changla Pass at 5360 m. Overnight stay at Pangong Lake at 4370 m another booster to acclimatization is.

Birding Tour around Leh 1 Full Day

Indus River Belt bellow Leh Town is a Birding Hotspot in ladakh region. One could target species like Ibisbill and White-browed Tit Warbler, etc. on this Day Birding Trip. This is leisure Jeep Tour with easy walks through bushes, marshes, and little paths to explore the area in search of some rare birds of Ladakh region. This is especially interesting for people interested in avian life of Ladakh- the Birders or Bird Lovers.

Wildlife and Birding Trip to Tsokar Lake 2 nights / 3 days

This is another tour especially for Birders or Wildlife enthuisists of Ladakh. Drive to Tsokar Lake via beautiful Rumtse Valley and across the Taklang La pass 5329 m into the Changthang plateau before Mori plains. Tsokar Lake, Tasabuk Tso, Polo Kongka La Pass, Puga Hotspring Valley and Puga Sumdo are birding paradise in the eastern Ladakh for birders.  One could target Eurasian Eagle Owl, Tibetan Sand grouse, Tibetan Snowcock, Black-necked Crane, Little Owl, Ground Pecker and many rare Birds of Ladakh, besides rare mammals like Tibetan Argali, Tibetan/ Himalayan Wolf, Blue-Sheep, Pallas Cat, Eurasian Lynx, Wooly Hare, Himalayan Marmot, Stolicska Vole, Silvery Vole, Plateau Pica and plenty of Kiang / Tibetan Wild Ass. The region is also popular for many varieties of pollinators especially butterflies of Ladakh, One could also see some rare reptiles like Toad Agamas on the route. This also helps acclimatize before the Ladakh Marathon 2018, as one cross the Taklang La pass 5329 m to get into Tsokar Lake basin. Overnight stay at Thukjay or Tsokar Lake is at 4600 m which helps in naturally adjusting to Ladakh’s high altitude life.

If the above programs do not suite your time and taste, you can write to us for customised treks and tours and we will be glade to do our best.