Rotary Darjeeling Marathon on oct 4

Rotary Darjeeling Marathon
Running long distances in the hills is not a very familiar sight, but organisers of the Darjeeling Marathon hope to put such an event in the country’s marathon circuit calendar and establish the region as a runner’s destination. The Rotary Darjeeling will be hosting possibly the most scenic 21km half-marathon on October 4, and more than 450 participants from the region and other states of the country have already registered for the event.
The run is being supported and promoted by internationally acclaimed marathoner Roshni Rai from Pedong, Kalimpong and her Run with Roshni Foundation, which encourages budding talents. Rai is presently based in Mumbai and is a regular in the Mumbai Marathon and other national and international running events. It is not entirely correct to state that Darjeeling has not witnessed its share of long distance runs in different forms, but the organisers will conduct the event for the first time according to marathon modalities that include the use of the Bib tag timing system.
Talking about the birth of the event, Prahlad Roka, chairman of the Rotary Darjeeling Marathon, said, “The idea to do something unique was always there but it was only in June-July of this year that we mooted a marathon in Darjeeling. And as the idea struck, we also wanted to ensure that all modalities of a proper marathon would be adhered to. And this is where Roshni Rai came in with her experience of running in national and international events.”
The route will take the participants to an altitude of 7,000 feet, with the height difference from the highest to the lowest point being nearly 1,200 feet. The route will crisscross emerald green tea gardens, exotic coniferous forests and the heritage toy train tracks, all against the famed backdrop of the majestic Kanchenjunga. “It will not be wrong to say that it will be one of the most scenic marathons of the country. In fact, we have timed the event in such a way that it could act as the precursor to major marathon events of the country that normally take place during the winter period,” said Uday Mani Pradhan, former district Rotary governor from Darjeeling and a member of the Darjeeling Marathon. “Our endeavour is also to provide budding talents a platform to make it in national events. And since participants from outside the region will be in Darjeeling at least a week earlier perhaps with their family and friends, we also want to promote the event as marathon tourism,” he added.
The half marathon has been categorised into three segments: open (18 to 45 years); seniors (45 to 55); and veterans (55 plus). The open category has a prize money of Rs25, 000 and Rs10, 000 and Rs5, 000 for male and female versions. This apart, the winners and finishers will be given medals and certificates with their run timings mentioned, the latter being a must to get into national events. (EOIC)

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