The Ladakh Marathon is a unique opportunity for runners from India and around the world to run with local Ladakhis through a high mountain desert region, once a central stop on the historic Silk Route between Central Asia and India.
The various races take place in and around Leh, the historic capital of Ladakh and offers runners stunning vistas of mountains, rivers and valleys and will leave you with lifelong memories and a chance to say you ran Ladakh, the world’s highest marathon.
Race day which takes place on 14th September (Sunday) 2014 consists of four races:
- 07 KM Race: This is the shortest race but you still need be in good physical condition to run at 11,500ft. It is also the most fun and enthusiastic race featuring everybody from school students and tourists jostling for space at the start.
- Half Marathon: The half marathon takes you through the town of Leh and its outskirts and includes a loop that starts at the Shanti Stupa and goes past the village of Choglamsar.
- Marathon: The world’s highest marathon begins and ends in Leh but the route takes you through the outskirts and the stunning Leh Valley where the road crosses the Indus River several times.
- The Khardungla Challenge: This ultra-marathon is a 72km race for the elite runner who wants to push the limits of endurance. It starts in the scenic Khardung village and then goes uphill all the way to the Khardung La (17,618ft) along the world’s highest motorable road past summer yak pastures and stunning views of the East Karakoram mountains of Ladakh. The good thing is that once you reach the pass, it’s all downhill
The first eco-friendly “green” marathon took place in 2012; two years after the devastating flash floods tore through the region, leaving a trail of death and destruction. The marathon was a way to say that “Ladakh is back and running”. The 2012 event saw almost 1,500 runners take part.
The second edition of the event that was held on the 8th of September 2013 was even bigger with more than 2200 participants from Ladakh, India and around the world
The Ladakh Marathon remains a way to encourage the young people of Ladakh to live a healthy lifestyle by taking up running, and by becoming more aware of the need to protect a stunningly beautiful, yet environmentally fragile region. As the event grows we hope to attract the best of runners from around the world and our goal is to become a key stop on the global marathon calendar.
The event is organized by Rimo Expeditions, India’s leading Adventure Travel Company with the support of the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council.