4 Must try Ultra Marathons in India

Annual Badwater Ultra Marathon Held In Death Valley's Extreme Heat
Annual Badwater Ultra Marathon Held In Death Valley's Extreme Heat
Pankaj Sharma

Have you ever imagined running for 21 km or 42 km? Or let me add a little twist to my question. Have you ever imagined running through beaches, mountains and deep forests for 101 km? If you haven’t, then you must look for races categorized as the Ultra-marathons.

To an average person, the prospect of running such long distances may look like a crazy idea, but there are many people on this planet who are giving a whole new meaning to the word, 'long distances'.

Ultra-marathons is now a buzzword in the running community and there are several races organized across the globe in places like deserts, mountains, forests and valleys. People look for new challenges every year and thousands of adventure seekers gather to participate in such events.

Ultra-marathon is a race that stretches beyond 42 km, usually with a minimum distance of 50 km. We may trace back the origins to the late 1830s when a foot race was organized from London to Brighton in 1837. Since then there has been a phenomenal rise in Ultra-marathons across the globe. These races are organized on steep mountain ranges, deserts, jungles or even in the avenues of New York.

While running a full marathon is still a big taboo for most runners in India, the country seems to be in a grip of the craze of participating in Ultra-marathons. People are no longer interested in knowing if you have done marathons or half-marathons. The talk of the town is going beyond. People who have never run full marathons are registering directly for the tougher versions.

There are many races in India that can be categorized under the Ultra-marathon category. Let us have a look at a few of them, which have made their cut above the rest in India.

#4 Kargil International Marathon

A mountain run gets extremely difficult because of low oxygen levels
A mountain run gets extremely difficult because of low oxygen levels

With the aim of promoting sports in Kargil, Dras and Batalik regions, the second edition of Kargil Marathon was held on 2nd September in 2018. The race has categories starting from 5 km and goes up to 120 km. The 120 km long race goes across Tiger Hills, which is the highest peak in Kargil. One can expect to run amidst the snow-clad mountains, with a cool breeze and snow set on gravel like a piece of jewel.

Anything beyond 30 km will test the human spirit as the level of oxygen will not be as appropriate as it is on the plains. Kargil is located at a height of 2,676 meters above sea level and is very scarcely populated. The temperature in Kargil during September remains moderate with a maximum of 24 degrees in the day and approximately 12 degrees in the night.

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Edited by Kishan Prasad

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