Acclimatization is imperative and important if you are planning to participate and run the Ladakh Marathon. It depends entirely on one’s personal body condition as some acclimatize very fast and some take several days. We strongly recommend arriving in Leh at least a week to 10 days ahead of race day as a minimum of 2 days is required for the body to acclimatize to the altitude. The earlier you arrive in Leh, the better it is for your run!
For 72 km Khardung La Challenge – runners are advised to arrive at least 2 weeks in advance
For 21 km and 42 km – runners are advised to arrive at least 7 days ahead of the race day
For 07 km – runners are advised to arrive at least 5 days ahead of the race day
High Altitude sickness occurs when your body does not adjust to the altitude due to lack of oxygen. It is common to feel light headed when you land in Leh as the air is thin and rarified. Following the rules of acclimatization, you need to take things easy in order to acclimatize properly and not rush around. On arrival, it is imperative to take “complete rest” on Day 1. You need to sleep on arrival, go slow, not move around too much and not go to the high points around Leh. It is also important to keep yourself hydrated so drink plenty of water, soups and avoid alcohol for the first few days. Diamox, a diuretic, is taken by most people from the previous night before arriving in Leh. Those allergic to sulphur drugs should consult with the doctor for an alternative. Serious conditions of altitude sickness is about fluid retention in the lungs (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) and High altitude cerebral edema (fluid retention in the brain), taking a diuretic aids the process of acclimatization. It is not a medicine for altitude sickness but an aid to help you acclimatize.
With proper acclimatization , altitude should not be an issue which is the reason we recommend runners to arrive at least a week ahead of race day to prepare themselves. With so much to see and do in Ladakh, you can spend several days and weeks visiting the various sites, enjoying activities like trekking and rafting and at the same time practicing for Race Day! So Runners, come early, enjoy this awesome place and run for Ladakh!
For more information on acclimatisation please check the link below: