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?

2.A sub-2?

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!


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