The Great Himalayan Running Festival was truly a journey of a lifetime – running 14 km every day for 5 days, through some of the highest mountain passes in the world along the Manali – Leh highway.
I simply loved every moment on that trail. Some 9.5 km from the start, by some stroke of luck I found myself all alone on a small hillock after having carefully crossed a slippery stretch of the trail. Here, it was like the clouds had come down to embrace me. It felt like I had reached heaven. I was so overwhelmed by the beauty of the place that I cried copiously- tears of joy and thanked my good fortune for being healthy and hearty to be there at that moment of time. It was pure bliss!
I believe running has become a very important part of my life. It keeps me focused by becoming the sole purpose in my life, just as much as it keeps me disciplined and working hard towards upcoming events. The goal is different each time I run. Sometime I run just to get to the finish line, sometimes the victory becomes very important to me, and it’s also a great feeling to run with other people and share the camaraderie. I am more than 50 years of age, so my expectation is usually just to finish the hard races. At this stage for me, finishing is the same as winning.
Running 5 back to back half marathon at an average altitude of over 4000m will be a daunting task and one will need serious training. Here’s a 15 week plan to train yourself for this ultimate Himalayan Challenge.