LEH: Nearly 6,000 participants from 23 countries took part in the Seventh Ladakh Marathon held in Leh on Sunday.
Ladakh Marathon was flagged off on Sunday morning by CEC, LAHDC, Leh Dorjay Motup in presence of Executive Councillor Gyal Wangyal, Leh MLA Nawang Rigzin Jora and officers from army and civil administration.
Deputy Commissioner/CEO LAHDC Leh Anvy Lavasa and SSP Leh Sargun Shukla also took part in the 21-kilometer half marathon.
Ladakh Marathon is divided into four categories that include a 7km run for fun, a half marathon (21km), a full marathon (42 km) and Khardungla Challenge (a 72 km-ultra marathon over Khardung La pass – considered as the world’s highest motorable road).
The 72-km Khardung La Challenge was held on the September 7h with as many as 162 participants from different parts of the world.
Executive Councillor, LAHDC, Leh Gyal Wangyal, MLC Leh Chering Dorjay, DC Leh Anvy Lavasa and SSP Leh Sargun Shukla later distributed the prizes to the winners of runner-ups of different categories at the concluding function held at the NSD Sports Stadium.
Founder-director Rimo Expeditions, Chewang Motup Goba, who founded the Ladakh Marathon, expressed gratitude to all stakeholders including civil administration of LAHDC, the army, the police and the medical department for their supports.
He also thanked village level societies that too have contributed to the success of this marathon.
“This will be the most prestigious high altitude marathon in the years to come. Credit goes to the people of Ladakh for the support,” Motup said while thanking everyone involved in making Ladakh marathon a success.
Motup said that many of the previous Ladakh marathon runners have been absorbed by the Indian Army in the Ladakh Scouts recruitment and those who have not joined the army are performing really well in many of the marathons all across the country. He said that timings have also been improving almost every year. Besides being an event for sports of marathon enthusiasts, Motup said that Ladakh Marathon is benefiting Ladakhis economically as well since the annual event attracts lots of tourists across the world and also from different parts of the country. Out of nearly 6,000 participants this time, Motup said that over 2,200 participants are from outside Ladakh.
With support from Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh and Ministry of Tourism and Cultural, J and K Government, Motup founded Ladakh Marathon with just 1,500 participants in 2012 and over the years this annual sport event has grown in size and popularity and has been featured as one of the top beautiful and breathtaking marathons in the world. The Ladakh Marathon is certified by AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races).
After becoming a full member of AIMS since 2015, Ladakh Marathon has earned a place on the Global Marathon calendar, enabling Ladakh to foster and promote distance running.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper