Khardungla Challenge – Pre race acclimatization

How to prepare for an ultra marathon which is hold at an altitude where there is just 50% of the oxygen as on sea level?

IMG_5530No idea if there is a standard preparation for this. I went out the last days for some runs. Every morning 6AM I went out for some stairs climbing up to Shanti Stupa where I also met some other runners. I guess this is one of the nicest places to do the morning stretching. 🙂

Now close to the race day there are more and more runners around the streets of Leh. Not sure if their bodies will have enough time to avoid high altitude sickness, some of them just arrived 4 days before the race day.

IMG_5634Tuesday I rent a motor bike, a typical Indian Royal Enfield, and went up to the top of Khardungla pass. I got some first impressions how it will be on race day. IMG_5657The temperature was around 0 degC and the top was covered with snow. But it was a great ride and stay in these high altitude is also very helpful to acclimatize. “Climb high, sleep slow” is one of the important rules for everyone who exercise so high.

IMG_5814Wednesday I rent a mountain bike and the rental company brought us again to the top of Khardungla. So I stayed there again a while for some photos and let my body get used to this height. Then the downhill fun started and I went down 1800 vertical meters back to Leh.

IMG_5772This morning, Thursday, I had my last 20km run up to 4000m. Now I hope that all my preparation was enough and that I can run safe and healthy over the pass on Sunday.

IMG_5871Race gear is also in my hands, so tomorrow I just need to package my gear. On Saturday at 1PM they will transfer us to the starting point where we will have a short night in tents before the race will start at 3AM.

The numbers of participants in the different races are:

7km run: 2050 runners

Half marathon: 1550 runners

Full marathon: 170 runners

Khardungla Challenge: 85 runners

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