By Tsering Dhundup
DHARAMSHALA, Sept. 15: Tsering Yangzom, a Tibetan girl hailing from Ladakh’s Choglamsar village emerged victorious in the 122-kilometer Silk Route Ultra Marathon in Union Territory of Ladakh on Thursday. She completed the course in 19 hours, 26 minutes, and 17 seconds traversing the gruelling high altitude race from Kyagar Village in Nubra, and concluding in Leh, Ladakh.
The Ladakh Marathon is known for its arduous races set against the Himalayan backdrop. The Silk Route Ultra Marathon, spanning 122 kilometres, is particularly renowned for testing the endurance of participants in high-altitude conditions. Athletes preparing for this race must arrive in Leh at least a week before the event to acclimate themselves to the elevated terrain, of an astounding 3,500 meters above sea level.
Named after the historic Silk Route that connected North-West India to Central Asia through regions like Yarkhand, Kashgar, and Turkestan, the Silk Route Ultra Marathon pays homage to the rich cultural heritage left by this ancient trade route. The race route passes through the Nubra Valley, often referred to as “Ldumra” or the “valley of flowers,” underscoring the historical significance of the Silk Route in Ladakh.
The Silk Route Ultra Marathon is specifically designed for experienced runners who have previously completed the 72-kilometer Khardung La Challenge, recognized as the world’s highest ultra-marathon, situated at a staggering 5,370 meters above sea level. It continues to attract Ironman athletes and other seasoned ultra-runners, providing them with an opportunity to push their limits amidst Ladakh’s unique landscapes.