India – Ladakh Marathon Khardung La Challenge (72 km)

30 Aug 19

India – Ladakh Marathon Khardung La Challenge (72 km)

Ace Adventure Expeditions - Exclusive Singapore Partner of Ladkah Marathon

The Khardung La Challenge (72 km) is the Highest Ultra Marathon in the World. It is part of the Ladakh Marathon - the highest and amongst the toughest marathons. Ace adventure Expeditions is honored to be the exclusive Singapore partner of the Ladkah Marathon for the 3rd year !

The Khardung La Challenge (71.12 km) will be held on 6 September 2019.

This race is amongst one of the toughest and ultimate challenging endurance race for the serious runner who wants to push his or her limits to the extreme. Approximately 60kms of the race at above 4000m. It is ONLY for the fittest and very experienced runners. The number of participants to this race is restricted to a maximum of 150 runners. Participants need to have completed 2 full marathons with 4 years to qualify for the race.

The Importance of Acclimatization - Khardung La Challenge Packages

Unlike other ultra marathons, the Khardung La Challenge (72 km) requires you to arrive in Leh at least a week in advance to acclimatize for race day. You are running at 4000m above sea level approximately 60kms of the race, so it is imperative that you’re acclimatized to the high altitude.

One of the best approaches to acclimatization is keep active. Hence, we have packaged with the race:

(1) 9D Sight-seeing cum Training Runs with Khardung La Challenge (72 km)

We are very excited to be able to collaborate with Jeri Chua from Red Dot Running Company  on this package to form a team for the Khardung La Challenge (72 km). Jeri Chua will be the lead runner for the team.

(2) 14D Stok Kangri with Khardung La Challenge (72 km)

Other Bonus Inclusions (for those based in Singapore)

Those who joined the race with us will receive the followings to help you better prepare and get ready for the race from fitness to running outfit!

(1) 2 x 2 hours Complimentary Incline Treadmill  Training Sessions at Red Dot Running

(2) A complimentary Tailwind Buff!

(3) Discount Vouchers from various running gear outfitters
- New Balance Singapore: Up to 25% storewide discount. Valid till June 2019
- Julbo: Up to 20% discount. Valid till June 2019

About Ladakh

Ladakh, also known as 'Little Tibet', is the highest plateau region in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India.  Primarily Buddhist, the region is famous for its dramatic vistas of high mountain deserts, ancient monasteries and stark landscape populated by explosions of greenery made possible through ingenious irrigation channels. With almost all of its landscape situated at above 3000m and incorporating parts of the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges along the upper Indus River valley, Ladakh is enveloped in  beautiful snow capped peaks and lush valleys. It is no wonder that it is a popular adventure destination for mountain climbing & trekking, mountain biking and river rafting. In 2012, the first eco-friendly “green” marathon took place in Ladakh, adding on to the galore of adventure activities in this high mountain desert region.

About Ladakh Marathon

The various races take place in and around Leh, the historic capital of Ladakh. It offers runners the unique opportunity to run with local Ladakhis through the most beautiful landscape offering stunning vistas of mountains, rivers and valleys and will leave you with lifelong memories and a chance to say you ran the Ladakh Marathon !

The first Ladakh Marathon took place in 2012; two years after the devastating flash floods that tore through the region, leaving a trail of death and destruction. The marathon was a way to say that “Ladakh is back and running”. The 2012 event saw almost 1500 runners who took part to show their social concern for Ladakh. The subsequent editions attracted bigger and bigger responses, with the 4th edition in 2015 having more than 4000 participants from Ladakh, India and around the world.

Ladakh Marathon became a full member of AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races) in 2015, just before the 4th edition, thus has become a key stop on the global marathon calendar!

About Khardung La Challenge (72 km)

The race starts at 3 am on Friday 6 September 2019 from the village of Khardung (3975m). Most of the course is on tarmac road, except for the section between North Pulu (Nubrade) and South Pulu (Leh side). It will be daylight when most of the runners cross this section. The race route follows a gentle but steady climb to the top of Khardung La (5370m), one of the highest motorable pass in the world. From here it is a downhill all the way to finish point in Leh town (3504m). Runners get spectacular mountain views of the Karakoram range and the Stok massif, running past mountain villages and summer pasture land of the yaks of the Nubra Valley and North Pulu.
To qualify for the race, runners must complete EITHER two full marathon under 5hrs OR has run any 2 ultra marathon over 70km in the past two years and be 20 years old or older as on race day. The organiser reserves the right to disallow / disqualify any participant who is known or suspected to be physically unfit to participate in this race.
Medical Checkup
A pre-medical checkup for runners will be held at Khardung village on 5 September.
Protected Area Permit (PAP)
All runners require a permit which is obtained by the organiser of the event from the District authorities of Leh. Citizens of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, China, Pakistan and foreign nationals having their origin in Pakistan are not granted this permit in Leh and would continue to require prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs before their visit to Ladakh.
Cut Off Time
This is a manually timed race. The below will be strictly followed:
Cut off Points Time Stage
Khardung La top 11 am / 8 hrs I
South Pulu 1:30 pm / 10 hrs 30 minutes II
Mendak mor (turn) 3 pm / 12 hrs III
Finish point 5 pm / 14 hrs Finisher
About Stok Kangri

Stok Kangri, standing tall  at 6153m in the Hemis High Altitude National Park, is the highest mountain in the Stok Range of the Himalayas. In the summer months, all but the top of the peak is often snow-free. The relatively snow-free terrain in the  summer months has earned Stok Kangri the reputation of being an excellent first foray into 6000ers peak climbing for climbers to attempt. The trek to the base camp is through the lower beautiful valley, crossing rivers, mountain meadows and canyons. The summit is surrounded by a panoramic mountain view of the Zanskar and Karakoram ranges including K2 (8611m), the second highest peak in the world. The summit climb starts at midnight and can stretch between 12 and 16 hours. The final stretch of the summit climb is on a ridge that starts on the southern side of the mountain. You will need to traverse a large glacier  to get to the ridge. The ridge section is almost a 300m scramble challenge at above 5000m. The lack of oxygen and sheer exhaustion can make this section of the climb difficult and unnerving. Crampons are usually required for this section and, at times, mountaineering/double boots and roping up.

Experience Required to climb Stok Kangri

Important to have above 5000m peak climbing experiences. While Stok Kangri is an ideal first foray into 6000ers peak climbing for those who have not climbed a peak beyond 5000m, the climb is tough. The approach trek to the base camp is at above 3500m with high pass and river crossing. You will be trekking at above 3500m in undulating mountain terrain with a personal backpack load of 5-6kg for 8 to 10 hours each day to the base camp . For summit day, be prepared to trek for 12 – 16 hours starting  at midnight and in extreme cold temperature of -10°C to -15°C. The trek to the summit involves glacier crossing, scree slopes and ice and snow terrain at above 5000m. You will need to scramble up a ridge at the last part to the summit. Crampons, double or mountaineering boots and rope up may be required.

For 9D package: 8-12 people

For 14D package: 8-12 people

Other group size package fees:

9D with Sight-Seeing and Training Runs$2050 per person$1750 per person$1490 per person$1290 per person
14D with Stok Kangri $2050 per person$1950 per person$1850 per person$1700 per person

9D Sight-seeing cum Training Runs with Khardung La Challenge (72 km) 

DayItineraryMealsAltitude At Rest Point
Day 1Arrive in Leh-/-/-3500m
Day 2Acclimatization day. Half day sightseeing walk around Leh. Visit places like Old Town, Leh Palace and Shanti Stupa etc
Day 3Drive to Spituk for practise run (10km or less ) Drive to Thiksey for breakfast and visit monastery. Return to LehB/-/-3500m
Day 4Drive to Sakti (1.5 hrs) and up towards Warila Pass (5312m) for acclimatization. Training run towards pass and return to Sakti.B/L/D3810m
Day 5Drive to Nubra Valley (3 hrs) Enroute stop at Deskit MonasteryB/L/D3050m
Day 6Drive to Khardung Village B/L/D3975m
Day 7Race preparation and medical check upB/L/D 3975m
Day 8Race dayB/L/-
Day 9Depart LehB/-/-

14D Stok Kangri with Khardung La Challenge (72 km)

DayDescriptionMealsAltitude at Rest Point
Day 1Arrive LehNIL3500m
Day 2Acclimatization before climb. Monasteries sightseeing. Trip briefing & gear checkB/-/-3500m
Day 3Acclimatization before climb. Visit Khardung La Pass (5359m)B/-/-3380m
Day 4-7Spend the next 4 days trekking to Stok Kangri Base Camp (4980m) through Rumbak (3700m), Stok La Base (4100m) and Mankarmo (4500m) via Stok La Pass (4850m)B/L/DRumbak - 3700m
Stok La Base - 4100m
Smankarmo - 4380m.
Stok Kangri BC - 4850m
Day 8Training day at Base Camp. Trek to the glacier for training if snow condition allows.B/L/D4850m
Day 9Rest day at Base CampB/L/D4850m
Day 10Summit Day - Stok Kangri (6153m)B/L/D4850m
Day 11Trek from Base Camp to Stok Village and transfer to Leh. Race pack collection and briefingB/L/-3500m
Day 12Drive to Khardung village B/L/D3900m
Day 13Race day. Celebration dinner after race in LehB/L/D3500m
Day 14Depart Leh B/-/-


  • Return airport transfer in Leh
  • All land transfer as indicated in itinerary
  • Sight-seeing tour as indicated in itinerary with English-speaking guide, except places of interest entry fee.
  • Twin/triple sharing accommodation in guesthouse in Leh and in tents for Stok Kangri. Dormitory in home stay in Khardung Village
  • Meals as indicated in itinerary (mainly vegetarian meals for Stok Kangri)
  • For 9D package: 1 x lead runner from Singapore (Jeri Chua)
  • Khardung La Challenge race fee
  • Bonus inclusions as stated in Overview page
  • For Stok Kangri's Camping equipment: Sleeping mat, toilet tent, kitchen tent, dinning tent with table and chairs
  • For Stok Kangri's Trek support: Climbing guide, assistant climbing guide,cook and helpers. Ponies for porterage support
  • For Stok Kangri: Boiled drinking water on trek


  • International and domestic air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
  • Visa Fee
  • Single Supplement
  • Entrance fees to sight-seeing places like monasteries etc
  • All beverages
  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • All tipping
  • Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover agent insolvency and the race)
  • Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
  • Personal travel & running gear
  • Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
  • Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg: travel/running gear, cameras and any valuable items etc)
  • Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay

Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions

We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the climb:
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)

We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local trek operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local climbing guides have extensive experience in guiding treks in Ladakh, possess  intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture. Our local operator is the organiser of the Ladakh Marathon

Grading: Stok Kangri: 3C

Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a trekking or mountain climbing trip.

Pure cardiovascular fitness is NOT enough.

Focus your training effort in the following areas, assuming that you are in good health and injury-free:

  1. Climbing conditioning – stairs and load training.
  2. Cardio training - Jogging/running and interval training like CrossFit or HIIT.
  3. Strength training for the lower body, shoulder, back and core
  4.  Flexibility training - eg: Yoga and stretching exercises

A good five months of training would be a good preparation for Stok Kangri.

A recommended training guide specific to the trek or climb will be given to you upon signing up.

Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trek.

Refer to our Training Guide for tips on trekking and mountain climbing training.

For the ultra marathon, focus your training effort in the following primary elements of ultra marathon training, assuming that you are in good health and injury-free:

  1. Base mileage. Build your weekly mileage over time, running three-to-five times per week.
  2. The long run. Do a long run at least 2 times per week so your body can adjust gradually to long distances.
  3. Terrain specific. The more closely you simulate the trail terrain you'll be racing on in training, the more prepared you'll be. Build in slope training to simulate the undulating up and down hills terrain
  4. Speed work. Practice intervals and tempo runs to increase your cardio capacity.
  5. Pacing strategy. Race like the tortoise, not the hare. Develope a pace that will allow good endurance for your energy and stamina to last hard to the end.
  6. Rest and recovery. Adequate rest helps prevent injuries and mental burnout.