Logo of Ladakh Marathon
|Date||09 September 2018|
|Location||Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India|
|Distance||Ultra Marathon, Marathon, Half Marathon, 7km Ladakh run for fun,|
|Primary sponsor||Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC)|
Fayaz Ali 3:02:31
Jigmet Dolma 3:18:56
The Ladakh Marathon is a marathon held in Leh, a town in the Ladakh region in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It claims to be the highest marathon in the world, held at a height of 11,500 to 17,618 feet (3,505 to 5,370 m). The sixth edition of the Ladakh Marathon was held in 2017. It is full member of Association of International Marathons and Distance Races. The marathon was organised "to foster national spirit and to encourage sport in Ladakh". It is the fifth marathon from India to get international recognition.
The Ladakh Marathon was started in 2012 following the 2010 Ladakh floods which claimed 200 lives as well as making several hundred people homeless. According to The Tribune of India, "The initiative was started to convey to the world that Ladakh is back and running. It is aimed at encouraging the youth of Ladakh to live a healthy lifestyle by taking up running in hostile weather conditions and by becoming more aware of the need to protect the environmentally fragile region."
The Ladakh marathon is claimed to be the highest marathon but this claim is not supported by the Guinness Book of Records which recognises the Everest Marathon which starts at over 5,200 metres (17,100 ft), though 72 km Ultra Ladakh Marathon goes up to height of 17,618 feet.
The Ladakh Marathon is organised by India's Rimo Expeditions with the support of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC). The LAHDC is an autonomous government body which administers the Leh district. Apart from recognition by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races the event is supported by the Indian Army,Jammu & Kashmir Police, tourism ministry of the Jammu and Kashmir government. "Timing Technologies" is the timing partner "Enerzal" energy drink partner and Bisleri the hydrant partner of the event.
- 7 km Race: This is shortest form of this marathon. Schools students as well as tourists usually participate in this race. Although it is shortest form of the race, it still requires good physical health to run it at height of 11,500 ft.
- Half Marathon: 21 km race. It starts at NDS stadium on the Leh Manali highway and passes through Choglamsar village.
- Full Marathon: 42 km race. It starts and ends in Leh town, and passes through the Leh valley. The marathon course crosses the Indus river several times en route.
- The Khardungla Challenge/Ultra Marathon: 72 km race. It starts in the village of Khardung and then continues uphill on the way to the village of Khardung La at a height of 17,618 ft. With a distance of 72 km and a height of up to 17,618 ft, it is known as toughest and most challenging event of the Ladakh Marathon. "Travel India" called this event the "Mother of all Marathon races".
The inaugural running of the Ladakh Marathon in 2012 included 1,500 participants. Since then number of participants has been increased. The 2013 edition had 2,200 participants while in 2014 about 3,000 people participated. The recent 2015 marathon included more than 4,000 participants from 20 countries.
The Ladakh Marathon is held at a height of 11,500 to 17,600 ft. Acclimatization is the foremost issue at this height. Altitude sickness can occur at this height due to lack of oxygen. The Ladakh Marathon has a long pre-marathon work-out schedule to train the participants, helping them acclimatizing to the high altitude and hilly conditions. As per the official website of the Ladakh Marathon, athletes participating in 72 km "Khardungla Challenge" should arrive at Leh at least two weeks before marathon day.
The Khardung La Challenge (72 km)
|Year||Winner||Nationality||Time||Runner up||Third place|
|2012||Padam Limbu||India||08:52:20||Konchok Namgail||–|
|2013||Rigzin Norbu||India||06:55:02||Tsering Gyatso||Stanzin Wangyal|
|2014||Shabbir Hussain||India||06:35:00||Rigzin Norbu||Tsering Gyatso|
|2015||Tsewang Todan||India||06:33:41||Rigzin Norbu||Tsering Stobgais|
|2016||Tsewang Tokdan||India||06:53:35||Shabbir Hussain||Mohamad Eliyas|
|2017||Shabir Hussain||India||06:23:50||Rigzin Narboo||Tsering Stobgyas|
Since 2015, special 72 km Khardung La Challenge for women was started.
Women Khardung La Challenge 72 km winner
|2015||Skalzang Dolma||India||10:58:56||Khushboo Vaish||Tsetan Lamo|
|2016||Sonam Chuskit||India||09:41:19||Divya Vasishta||Pervin Batliwala|
|2017||Shikha Pahwa||India||11:05:37||Kavita Chatterjee||Deepa Bhat|
Women’s Full Marathon 42 km
|2012||Jigmet Skitzom||India||04:51:30||Padma Lhamo||Tsetan Dolkar|
|2013||Tsetan Dolkar||India||04:54:05||Sonam Chuskit||Claudia Meier|
|2014||Sonam Chuskit||India||04:10:12||Namgail Lhamo||Dechen Chuskit|
|2015||Tsetan Dolkar||India||03:40:37||Jigmet Dolma||Katharina Leuthner|
|2016||Tsetan Dolkar||India||03:34:24||Shikha Pahwa||Namgyal Lhamo|
|2017||Jigmet Dolma||India||03:18:56||Tsetan Dolkar||Sonam Chuskit|
|2018||Jigmet Dolma||India||03:21:27||Tsetan Dolkar||Sweta Kadian|
Men’s Full Marathon 42 km
|Year||Winner||Nationality||Time||Runner up||Third place|
|2012||Tsering Gyatso||India||03:36:18||Tsewang Thinlas||Rigzin Angchuk|
|2013||Shabir Hussain||India||03:25:33||Jigmet Norboo||Tashi Zangpo|
|2014||Shokat Ali||India||03:16:58||Jigmet Namgail||Mustafa Ali|
|2015||Fayaz Ali||India||03:02:31||Padama Namgail||Tsering Tondup|
|2016||Jigmet Namgial||India||03:12:06||Stanzin Nurbu||Jigmet Norboo|
|2017||Shabir Hussain||India||03:06:07||Manzoor Hussain||Jigmet Norboo|
|2018||Manzoor Hussain||India||03:13:06||Ajaz Hussain||Jigmath Kunzang|
- Siddarth Rishi Battula (11 September 2015). "Your guide to the 2015 Ladakh Marathon". Yahoo News India. Retrieved 2015-09-14.
- "Ladakh Marathon 2015: Runners, gear up for world's highest marathon!". Travel India.
- "LAHDC organises 3rd Ladakh Marathon at Leh | Business Standard News". Business-standard.com. Retrieved 2015-09-14.
- "4,000 runners ready for Ladakh Marathon tomorrow". Tribuneindia.com. Retrieved 2015-09-14.
- "Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council organised 3rd Ladakh Marathon at Leh". M.jagranjosh.com. Retrieved 2015-09-14.
- Tribune News Service. "With courage higher than mountains, amputee to run Ladakh marathon". tribuneindia.com.
- "4th Ladakh Marathon witnesses huge participation". Jammu Kashmir Latest News – Tourism – Breaking News J&K.
- Max Lovell-Hoare; Sophie Lovell-Hoare (1 July 2014). Kashmir: Jammu. Kashmir Valley. Ladakh. Zanskar. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 95–. ISBN 978-1-84162-396-2.
- Highest marathon, Guinness World Book of Records, Retrieved 9 October 2015
- "Leh – Official Site". leh.nic.in.
- "Ladakh Marathon – Acclimatization Issues". Ladakh Marathon. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
- "Ladakh Marathon – Results 2012". ladakhmarathon.com.
- "Ladakh Marathon – Results 2013". ladakhmarathon.com.
- "Ladakh Marathon – Results 2014". ladakhmarathon.com.
- "Ladakh Marathon – Results 2015". ladakhmarathon.com.