Snow marathon kicks off in Bhaderwah

Sanjay Sachin appreciated the enthusiasm and dedication of the participants, especially girls students.
Sanjay Sachin appreciated the enthusiasm and dedication of the participants, especially girls students.Special arrangement

Bhaderwah: Nearly 135 people participated in a snow marathon at the height of above eleven thousand feet while braving sub-zero temperatures early on Sunday morning here.

The snow marathon first of its kind in the history of Jammu and Kashmir was a part of “Azadi Ka Amrut Maha Utsav” and Fit India Movement organised by Ministry of Tourism (North) Govt of India in collaboration District Administration Doda and Rashtriya Rifles unit of Indian Army based at Bhaderwah with the dual purpose of boosting adventure tourism and attracting tourists to the distant region.

As many as 135 participants from across the country including good number of females who participated in three categories- 5Km,15Km and 25 Km- were flagged off by Sanjay Sachin, Tourism Information Officer Ministry of Tourism Govt of India along with DC Doda Vishesh Paul Mahajan and CO 4RR Col Rajat Parmar from Guldanda meadow, 35km from Bhaderwah and located at a height of 11,300 ft above sea level on Bhaderwah-Pathankot national highway.

Sanjay Sachin appreciated the enthusiasm and dedication of the participants, especially girls students.

He said that the event which is a historic one and first of its kind in Jammu Kashmir is aimed at spreading the message of a healthy lifestyle under government’s Fit India Campaign as well as to showcase the “beauty of this place to the outer world. ”

He said, “It’s heartwarming to see the response of youth, especially girls, who came in large numbers to participate in the event, which clearly indicates how strongly our young generation want to spread the message of healthy lifestyle.”

The event saw huge participation from the Indian Army as well. Before the event started, Col Rajat Parmar, said he was excited about the snow marathon. “We have been preparing for the marathon for some time now,” the officer said.

The snow marathon majorly had four categories: a full marathon, in which participants have to run 25 kilometers, besides two varieties of half marathons (10 Km and 5 km). There was also a one-km run for media persons and to encourage the newbies. Uttam Dhar , Chief Advisor of the event, said, “This is the first of its kind initiative. Where can you get such a beautiful scenic location? It will bring in an adrenalin rush. We have over 135 participants, including 39 from across the country.”

DC Doda Vishesh Paul Mahajan said the first of its kind marathon would act as a great training ground for runners wanting to participate in similar races globally.

He said, “Through this, we wish to attract tourists. No foreign participation took place in today’s event, but in times to come, their participation would also be a boost.”

After completing the distance in their respective categories, while running on the track covered with snow, the marathon concluded back at Guldanda, 11300 feet above the sea level, where a felicitation function was organised.

The winners of 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions of all 3 categories were given cash prizes along with medals and certificates, while all participants were also presented certificates.

Marcus Rai Joint secretary Tourism and Civil Aviation department Govt of Sikkim expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Tourism for the initiative and providing them a platform to participate in first-ever ever snow marathon.

“To be a part of the event which is being organised for the first time in history surely gives you a new high. We will definitely follow this model to organise similar event in Sikkim to attract adventure lovers,” said Marcus Rai.

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