Thursday, 8 September 2011

About La Ultra The High

Stepping back, I spoke about going to Leh to run a marathon and crew for an ultra marathon, what's an ultra marathon? Do people distances greater than a marathon? Why???
By the way isn't a marathon distance XX kilometers? Questions I used to ask about a year ago.
To clarify, a marathon is 42.2 kms and an ultra marathon is anything greater than that - typically ultra marathons are 50 kms and above.

The ultra marathon I was going to crew for La Ultra - The High, a distance of 222 kms - you read it correctly 222 kms on foot. Now ultra marathons of 200+ kms are not uncommon across the world, but what added the X factor was the altitude which adds a whole lot of complications which I'll describe in my upcoming posts.

Last year there were only 3 participants for the ultra and only 1 finisher, which practically guaranteed to have more people attempting it. Why? Because ultra marathoners are a "different" lot, the more the challenge seems impossible the more they want to attempt and conquer it. For them, unlike other atheletic disciplines from 100 mts to marathons where a podium finish matters, finishing is reward itself.

So a snapshot of La Ultra - The High (
Distance 222 kms
Time 60 hrs
Avg. Altitude - 14,850 feet
Avg. Oxygen < 33%
Temp -6C to +40C

Crossing 17,500+ feet twice!

Here is a small preview of the race, in which Dr. Rajat Chauhan, Race Director, mentions about how it all came about.

ULTRA MARATHON RACE: LA ULTRA - THE HIGH from Barry Walton on Vimeo.

Next post - Stuff which I missed out in my first post.

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