Running one of the toughest half marathons in the world
Earlier this month, some of my running friends flew up to Leh, to run the Ladakh half-marathon.
Ladakh is a mountainous region of India, high in the Himalayas, and so when I tell you that Leh, the capital of Ladakh & the venue for the half marathon is at 3500 metres, you’ll understand the title of this blog.
The altitude increases the difficulty of running exponentially.
My mate Dilawer Khan ran a cracking race and has written us a very frank & from-the-heart guest blog post.
Enjoy his account of running at 3500 metres…
“It’s a bit late but still it’s never too late 😉
Ladakh-Marathon and much more…we (me & my school buddy Murtuza) reached Leh on Sep 6th in the evening, being unsure whether 3 days would be enough to acclimatise for our 21k at such an altitude.
However we made a point to be on our feet as much as we could for those 3 days and it really worked.
Initially I really wasn’t sure about what to expect of this high altitude race:
1.A strong finish?
3.Forget timing and enjoy the race????(I had heard so much about its level of toughness)
But my confidence somehow grew gradually and was at its peak at the start line.
I had a perfect start (touching sub 5 pace twice in first 5k).
Just beyond the half-way mark and it was still sub 6 pace (sub 2 finish flashes) 😄
18k-still going strong…and then comes the villain of this story – the never ending incline, almost up to the finish line and my pace for the final three kms – 7:09, 8:06 and 7:10.
I finished with an official time of 2:03:55 and I’m more than happy. But a sub 2 is still on my mind…”
Dilawer, my friend, thanks SO much for sharing your memories with us here. Many congrats on a great timing & here’s to that sub-2…looks like you might have unfinished business in Leh!