The Ladakh Marathon takes place in Ladakh, a predominantly Buddhist high mountain desert region that was a central stop on the historic Silk Route between Central Asia and India.
The race day is on the 14th of September (Sunday) 2014 with four events including the world’s highest ultra-marathon run “The Khardung La Challenge” where runners cross one of the world’s highest motor-able pass at 5360 metres (17,586 feet) and reach the highest point of the marathon at 5370 meters!!!
It is an opportunity for the runners and their families to acclimatize in the high altitude, to explore and to run in a race like no other. Also, this is an opportunity to discover the unique and ancient culture that has seen the peaceful co-existence of Buddhism, Islam and Christianity.
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. It is an opportunity for runners from across India and around the world to Run Ladakh shoulder to shoulder with the local residents of Ladakh.
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 inception of this marathon was a sign to say that “Ladakh is back and running”. The 2012 event saw almost 1,500 runners take part and show their social concern for Ladakh.
The second edition of the event that was held on the 8th of September 2013 was even bigger with more than 2200 participants from all over the world! It was definitely encouraging to see this effort and enthusiasm.
To attract more participation in our 3rd edition of this event we have reduced the distance of our 10 km run to 07 km and have named it “Run Ladakh for Fun”. This makes it the shortest race but it doesn’t mean that this race is the easiest. You will still need good physical condition to run 0.7 km at 11,500 ft. As suggested by the name, this race is for fun and for all kinds of people from students to elders, armed forces and families stationed at Leh, and tourists who happen to be in Leh during the marathon time. We expect this run to have the widest participation with most enthusiasm.
The main aim of the event remains 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. Our goal is to become a key stop on the marathon calendar for runners, not just from across India but the world over.