En­dor­phin Highs

India Today - - LEISURE - —E. Theophilus

The in­au­gu­ral 50 km and 64 km races of the

GSR Tuff­man Manali Snow Ul­tra on Jan­uary 27 near Manali in Hi­machal Pradesh are the lat­est in an ex­plo­sion of hard-core road and trail races through­out the Hi­malayas.. The best of the new races are bru­tally long and ar­du­ous. One of the pi­o­neers, the High (or La

Ul­tra), is a three-day stage-race in Ladakh that crosses three passes higher than 17,500 feet (5,330 me­tres) in al­ti­tude, as com­peti­tors in three classes race 111, 222, and 333 kilo­me­tres. Sim­i­larly gru­elling, the Hell Ul­tra is a five-day stage-race cov­er­ing the 480 km from Manali to Leh, cross­ing five passes as high as 18,000 feet (5,490 me­tres) along the way.

The Tuff­man Snow Ul­tra this week is gen­tle in com­par­i­son. But that’s part of the ap­peal; this is a race for reg­u­lar run­ners. While some of the other Hi­malayan events are trail races, the Snow Ul­tra is re­ally for road run­ners. The 18 km loop tra­verses a mo­torable road along the banks of the Beas river that’s 95 per cent tar road. It’s also geared for ul­tra fans, rather than pro­fes­sional com­peti­tors, with dis­tance cat­e­gories of 20, 32, 50 and 64 km and gen­er­ous cut-off times, if you don’t plan to walk all the way.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.