I was not able to post yesterday after the marathon, due to poor connectivity in Leh.
I am now back in Bombay after a super 10day eventful trip.
I successfully completed the Great Tibetan marathon 2007 on Saturday July 21, 2007. I did the 26mile run with a official time of 5hr 36min (it should have ideally been 5hr 20mins, if I had not done the last 2km twice, due to lack of adequate directions at one point, but am not complaining). To give some context, the best time was 3hr 24min by a danish runner & most were about 45mins off their personal bests. The run was truly out of the world, especially the last 7kms, which was a run across sand, streams, meadows, pebbles over a mud track, ..... and all through there were mountains all around you (and a amazing mix of barren landscape and the greenery along the Indus river).
This was the race where my mental toughness was at its very best and I could not have had it any better. There were so many variables which made things difficult (high altitude between 3800-3400mts), mind fever (guess it was more out of anxiety, as did not feel a thing during the run), hard desert sun (first time in my life I had to wear a sunscreen, to protect myself from getting burnt), extremely dry desert climate & my nagging inner thigh injury which flared up after the 22km mark.
The three things that make this marathon truly memorable is the amazing never ending beauty of the barren ladhakhi landscape, the super mind over body effort (the marathon felt quite easy..... and I thought it was one of the ten most difficult marathons in the world!!) and interaction with some amazing human beings (people who truly epitomize mind over matter phenomenon).
Will be writing more on the trip in the coming days.