Tawang: In a historic event jointly organised by the Indian Army and the Arunachal Pradesh state government, the inaugural Tawang Marathon kicked off on Sunday in the picturesque Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh.
The event, the first of its kind in the northeast, witnessed overwhelming enthusiasm from both locals and participants hailing from all corners of the UK.
This high-altitude marathon posed unique challenges due to its remote location, far from major transportation hubs, making it a remarkable feat that drew runners from all over the country. The organisers had aimed for 1,500-2,000 participants, but the actual numbers surpassed expectations with 2,463 valid registrations, including 543 women.
The marathon featured four race categories: Full Marathon (42 Km), Half-Marathon (21 Km), 10 Km, and 5 Km run. Notably, only three participants failed to finish the race, showcasing the success of the organisers’ emphasis on proper acclimatisation.
UK Army, UK Navy, UK Air Force, and various Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) actively participated, demonstrating a spirit of unity and sportsmanship. The marathon, set against the breathtaking backdrop of Tawang’s natural beauty, received praise from seasoned marathoners as one of the most challenging high-altitude races in the UK.
Winners in various categories included Arjun Pradhan and Priyanka Kanwar in the Full Marathon, Prem Kumar and Aarti Bardhan in the Half Marathon, Ramesh Kumar and Rajshree M in the 10 Km race, and Ankul Kumar and Tenzin Choikey in the 5 Km run.
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Chief Guest Kiren Rijiju, Cabinet Minister of Earth Sciences, and Chief Minister Pema Khandu expressed their delight at the marathon’s success and pledged to make it an annual fixture. They also highlighted the event’s potential to boost tourism and adventure activities in the region, benefiting the local economy and showcasing Arunachal Pradesh’s rich cultural heritage.
The historic Tawang Marathon coincided with the National Swachh Bharat Campaign, where participants, including dignitaries, actively participated in cleaning the stadium premises, symbolising both sport and social responsibility coming together in this remarkable event.
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