THE GREAT HIMALAYAN ULTRA

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The Great Himalayan Ultra Race is the World’s highest Ultracycle race. A 600km road race starting and finishing in Leh, Ladakh. Comprising solo and relay team categories, all racers in all categories must have a support vehicle and crew.  Solo is a RAAM Qualifier for racers, finishing within the cut-off will qualify for The Race Across America. The Relay team category is RAAM style. The Races are also on the World Ultra Cycling Association (WUCA) calendar.

In the 3rd Edition 2021, a 444 KM Self Supported race will be conducted from Leh-Kargil and back.

Registrations open on 1st May 2022!

The Great Himalayan Ultra Race Details

  • Location – Leh, Ladakh

  • Distance – 444, 600, 900 KM Race

  • Start Date – 26th Aug 2022 (900 KM), 27th Aug 2022 (600 and 444 KM) 

  • Elevation Gain – 10347 Mts

  • Start Elevation – 3500 Mt (11500ft) above sea level

The Great Himalayan Ultra Race Reporting Schedule

14 days before - Mandatory Reporting for 900 KM Racers for Acclimatisation
10 days before - Mandatory Reporting for 600 and 444 KM Racers for Acclimatisation
1 week before - Mandatory Reporting for 900 KM Crew for Acclimatisation (same for Officials)
5 days before - Mandatory Reporting for 600 and 444 KM Crew for Acclimatisation (same for Officials)

Wed 24 Aug & Thurs 25 Aug - All Races Inspection 
Fri 26 Aug - 900 KM Race Start (Extreme version)
Sat 27 Aug - 600 KM Race (Ultra version) and 444 KM Self Supported Start
Sun evening - Mon early am - All Races Finish

LADAKH CALLING!!

Inspire India brings you the world’s highest Ultracycle Race… With a start point elevation higher than any point on any Ultracycle Race in the world!

Being a High Altitude Race, all racers will be required (mandatory) to report in Leh between 8-10 days before race start. While this is for us to establish that racers get the bare minimum acclimatization, it is highly recommended that racers arrive 12-14 days in advance to ensure that they acclimatize satisfactorily. This is particularly necessary if racers are flying directly into Leh. Option is to reach Srinagar or Manali and drive to Leh, in order to have a slower transition to high altitude.

Race Route

The Race route follows NH1 through spectacular Himalayan mountain landscapes of Ladakh and Kargil regions, in Jammu and Kashmir. Starting from Leh for the 600 km racers, the race route goes south for a small taste of green ladakhi valleys along the brilliant turquoise of the Indus (Sindhu) river, before turning around at Thiksey Monastery on your left. Racers will face their first climb to go past Leh and continue on the highway to Srinagar and shortly after the second climb. After the Gurudwara Pathar Sahib the route descends past Magnetic hill and the point where the Zanskar joins in and changes the color of the Indus at a dramatic sangam that is clearly visible on the left from the route.

The road flattens at Nimmoo where you may be able to procure some items, till Basgo where the third climb of about 8 km starts. The route descends again to Saspol 98km, where supplies are available to follow along the Indus for about 40 km. A couple of km after Khalsi the road crosses the Indus, which is on the right for a short while. Then the route turns away from the age old path of the Indus and starts the long climb of 27km to Fotu La the highest point on the race route. After racing past the breathtaking moonland the road goes past Lamayuru monastery where refreshments and few supplies are available.

The route ascends till Fotu La through a barren and exposed landscape that continues, descending with the valley on the left of the road. Caution is advised on this stretch as there is a possibility of a strong cross wind. The road conditions also are not perfect, racers may want to consider switching to an mtb or hybrid. A 7 km climb is followed by an even longer descend to Kargil the lowest point on the race route. The 444 km racers will stop here to rest till the flag off the next morning.

For the 600Km racers continuing to Dras, crossing a bridge, the route follows the Suru river or it’s tributaries, through narrow valleys flanked by green meandows. The route goes past Kargil War Memorial to reach Dras, the second coldest inhabited place on earth and the turn point for the race. This is truly a race of superlatives! The route back to Kargil, where the mandatory night halt is arranged rolling terrain that can be very challenging depending on the wind and temperature.

On the return leaving Kargil racers will now face the longest ascent climbing from the lowest point on the race 2600Mts at Kargil to Fotu La top at 4100Mts. This 90 km stretch is the most grueling of the race, but may be eased a little with a tail wind. After Fotu La, the route descends to reach the Indus again, returning the same way to Leh.

Format, Categories And Timings

Given the high Altitude of the race the format will be a little different from the usual non-stop time-trial format. There will be a mandatory 3 hour rest halt for all racers and teams at a designated location.

SOLO RAAM Qualifier

SOLO is just that…. Solo! Solo racers ride the entire distance, while their crew provides them with full support. Categories and Timings are based on Racing Age and Gender. Racing Age is the age each Racer will turn during the calendar year of the race (year of race minus birth year). Solo Racers at The Great Himalayan Ultra Qualify for The Race Across America if they finish within the RQ timings.

Categories and Timings are based on Racing Age and Gender. Racing Age is the age each Racer will turn during the calendar year of the race (year of race minus birth year). The Ride option is for riders attempting to ride The Great Himalayan Ultra solo, who do not complete within RQ timings. All riders who complete the route within their time limit of 48hrs will receive the Finisher’s Award, but will not be qualified for RAAM.

SOLO UNSUPPORTED

Inspire India has a New Ultracycling Race format in the Ultra Spice Race 1200km… Solo SELF SUPPORTED! Enjoy this lush green route on your own steam… No support vehicles, no crew, minimal support from race organisers. Refer to timing chart below. Racing Age is the age each Racer will turn during the calendar year of the race (year of race minus birth year).
PLEASE NOTE SELF SUPPORTED 444 KM IS NOT A RAAM QUALIFIER.

RELAY TEAM

The team event is a relay, not a peloton of 2, 3 or 4 members. Team members take turns riding, while other/s rest in the support vehicle and move up the road. Teams have the freedom to decide how often you swap riders, how long each member rides and how much distance each covers.

If Rider A is cycling, the support vehicle will position the next rider B, with her/his cycle up the route. B will wait for the A to come right up to that point, and overlap cycles, before starting to ride. A will stop, put bike on car and vehicle will follow B and move up to the next exchange point.

Categories and Timings (Tentative) are based on Team Age and Gender. Team Age is the average racing age of all Team members (total number of years divided by 2,3 or 4 depending on team size). Racing Age is the age each Racer will turn during the calendar year of the race (year of race minus birth year).

  • Gender

  • All Men

  • Mixed – at least 1 member is Male and 1 Female.

  • All women

Rules & Regulations

Guiding principles

  • Safety of all persons involved

  • Running a Clean and Healthy race with a level playing field for all

  • Creating a Race of International standards

  • Protecting Race integrity and reputation

(The guiding principles will dictate decision making by the Race Committee on any issue not specifically covered in these rules)