SHILLONG: The picturesque town of Sohra came alive on Saturday morning as over 3,000 runners from diverse backgrounds laced up their shoes for the 2nd Sohra International Half Marathon.
The event, bearing the recognition of both World Athletics and the Athletics Federation of India, attracted enthusiasts from across the country and beyond its borders.
Starting with the centrepiece 21K event, the marathon proceeded to the 10K and Run for Fun (5K) races. While Kenya’s Elkana Rolo clinched the top spot in the 21K Elite Category with a swift time of 1:06 hours, Indian marathoners showcased their prowess with Renu Singh taking home the gold in the 21K Elite Women’s Category, clocking in at 1:10 hours.
The marathon was flagged off amidst much fanfare by Dr Vijay Kumar, Commissioner and Secretary, Sports and Youth Affairs, Isawanda Laloo, Director, Sports and Youth Affairs, Hema Naik, SDO Civil (Sohra), and John F Kharshiing, working president of the Meghalaya State Olympic Association.
Expressing delight, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma took to a popular micro-bloging website and wrote, “The 2nd Sohra International Half Marathon exemplified unity and passion, drawing together young and old, seasoned marathoners, students, and individuals from various spheres. It was heartwarming to see the vibrant streets of Sohra filled with supportive residents cheering for the participants. Kudos to all our marathoners!”
Beyond the leading runners, up to five consolation places were also given away in various categories. However, the true spirit of the event was captured in the Run for Fun segment. Over 2,000 runners, including children as young as six, enthusiastically participated, underlining the event’s essence of inclusivity and the pure joy of running.
Runners travelled from diverse locations including Assam, UP, and New Delhi, further enhancing the marathon’s stature. The event was also graced by international athletes, with seasoned marathoners from countries such as Kenya leaving their footprints on Sohra’s tracks.