Arunachal Pradesh to host first-ever marathon at 10,000 feet?

The event is being organised by the State government and the Indian Army at Tawang on October 1?

September 19, 2023 12:33 pm | Updated 01:13 pm IST - GUWAHATI

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu releasing the jersey for the Tawang Marathon.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu releasing the jersey for the Tawang Marathon. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A drop in air pressure and oxygen levels makes it harder to breathe at higher elevations.?

The air in Tawang is not as rarified as in Sela, a mountain pass en route at 13,700 ft. or Bumla on the Tibetan border beyond at 15,200 ft. above the mean sea level.?

But it is not unusual for one to gasp for breath while brisk walking or running in Tawang, the headquarters of the Tawang district and the most popular Buddhist destination in Arunachal Pradesh.?

The Army and the Pema Khandu-led Arunachal Pradesh government have jointly thrown a challenge to fight off high-altitude breathlessness by jointly organising the first marathon event in the Eastern Himalayas on October 1.?

“Tawang, perched at an elevation of 10,000 ft above the mean sea level will present the participants a unique chance to take part in possibly the most challenging high-altitude run in the country,” a defence spokesperson said.?

The Tawang Marathon will be the first such event of this scale planned in the northeast, he said.?“The aim of this event is to put Tawang on the marathon map as well as promote the place, popular with tourists, as an adventure sports destination,” the spokesperson said.???

Mr. Khandu showed his support for the event by becoming the first to register for the event, local officials said.?

The event is expected to draw a large number of marathon enthusiasts from across the country. The Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, and all major Central armed police forces such as Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Sashastra Seema Bal would be fielding teams for the event.?

The Tawang Marathon would comprise marathon, half-marathon, 10 km, and five km races. The prizes range from??7,500 to??75,000 in eight categories – open, defence, foreign, and those in the age group of 18-29 years, 30-39 years, 40-49 years, 50-59 years and 60 years or more.

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