Run Ladakh is a unique opportunity for runners from around India and the world to run with local Ladakhis through an ancient Buddhist kingdom grappling with the rapid changes of today. The historic capital of Leh, the stunning vistas as you cross the Indus River and the dramatic climb up to the Khardung La from Nubra will leave you with lifelong memories and a chance to say you ran Ladakh, the world’s highest marathon.
Four challenging routes to choose from
10 KM RUN
It may be the shortest race but it doesn’t mean the 10 KM run will be easy. Still, this race is expected to have the widest participation among runners both young and older. We expect lots of schoolchildren to participate in this run and know it will involve the most enthusiasm.
21 KM HALF MARATHON
The half marathon takes you through the town of Leh and its outskirts and includes a loop that starts at the Petrol Pump and back. If you are not ready for the full marathon why not give this run a shot and then come back next year for the big race. Most people run the half marathon to prepare for the full marathon.
42 KM MARATHON
The Ladakh Full Marathon is the world’s highest marathon. It begins and ends in the town of Leh but the route takes you through the outskirts and along the Leh Valley where the road crosses the Indus River several times. If you are a serious long distance runner this is one course you will want under your belt and be talking about for a long time to come.
KHARDUNG LA CHALLENGE
This is a 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 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 from there to Leh.
Every summer thousands of tourists regularly visit Leh situated at a height of 3524 metres (11,562 feet) and the Khardung La, one of the world’s highest passes 5,602 metres (18,380 feet), from across India and around the world without any problems.
Still the altitude can be a problem for some people.
We recommend that you arrive between seven to 10 days ahead of race day to get used to the altitude of Leh and the run to the Khardung La if that is your race. Acclimatization takes time and if there are any concerns about the effects of high altitude sickness we recommend that you consult your doctor and medical experts familiar with it.
The main cause of altitude sickness is the inability to adapt to the lower level of oxygen in the air the higher you go.
Mild symptoms of high altitude sickness include light-headedness, headaches and breathlessness, something that is common even among the locals who have spent a long time at a lower altitude. When these symptoms are accompanied by nausea, dizziness, severe cough, swelling of face/hands (due to water retention), and disorientation, medical treatment is recommended.
The best cure for serious cases of high altitude sickness is for the patient to take the next flight out of Leh to New Delhi.
There is no medicine to cure High Altitude Sickness. Diamox has been used to help in acclimatization but it is advisable to consult your physician regarding it as side effects are there especially for those allergic to sulpha drugs. The best is to take plenty of water. Taking of alcohol is not advised at high altitude.
As long as you take it easy and try not to do much on arrival in Leh mild symptoms of altitude sickness is common not a cause for concern.
Acclimatization or taking time to get used to the high altitude is the best thing to do.
The more serious conditions of High Altitude sickness are High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).
Both these cases can be fatal in less than 24 hours if not diagnosed and treated in time. In both these cases, drugs like dexamethasone and Nifedepine (consult your doctor) are given to ease the symptoms but the only cure is to quickly get to a lower altitude. Hospitalization and medical care comes after the descent.
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE): Symptoms include continuous headache with dizziness accompanied by racking cough (fluid in the lungs), loss of appetite. It commonly affects the un-acclimatized especially who venture too quickly into the high mountain regions.
High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE): It is the swelling of the brain due to damage of brain tissues. The symptoms are headaches, disorientation, irritability, and loss of appetite. HACE is rare but can be sudden and severe. Sudden collapse and death can happen within hours.
Registration for all races closes on 7th August 2013
Runners will receive a free Ladakh Marathon T-Shirt, bibs with their numbers, a cap, water, juices, snacks and fruits along the course at help stations and at the start and finish points. A buffet lunch will also be provided. Those who complete the race will get a certificate of participation.
The race is being organized with the full support of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Council in Leh that will be providing support for crowd and traffic control as well as medical support including ambulances, doctors and nurses on standby.
Volunteers equipped with walkie talkies will be situated at regular intervals along the route as will other volunteers on mountain bikes.
Water, juice, glucose, snacks, fruits, garbage cans and emergency vans and medical support will be available every four kilometres along the route.
Toilet facilities will also be available at 5 kilometre intervals.
A sweep bus will follow runners who cannot continue and bring them to the finish point.