Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Islamabad Marathon 2024 sees record-breaking turnout of 1500 runners

More than 1500 runners lined up for Islamabad Marathon 2024, a record turnout for the event, and the biggest marathon held in Islamabad, according to the organizers.

The 4th edition of Islamabad Marathon, organized by the Islamabad Run With Us (IRU), saw an impressive turnout of over 1500 runners on Sunday, January 28.

Despite drizzle and overcast weather, the event witnessed a significant increase in participation compared to the previous year, attracting runners from various cities across Pakistan and the diplomatic community.

Islamabad Marathon 2024
Islamabad Marathon 2024 was held on January 28, 2024. (Image Credit: Islamabad Run with Us)

Qasim Naz, the founder of Islamabad Run With Us, said that the main objective of the event was to promote a healthy lifestyle, boost marathon tourism, and project a positive image of Pakistan globally.

Key points

  • Islamabad Marathon 2024 sees remarkable turnout of 1500 runners.
  • Runners completed distances of 21.1 and 42.2 km.
  • Diplomatic ccommunity actively participated in the marathon.

The scenic route, featuring the picturesque Maragalla Hills and Shakarparian jungle, added to the charm of the event, with runners completing distances of 21.1 and 42.2 km.

Participation of Islamabad’s diplomatic community

Ambassador of Denmark to Pakistan, Jakob Linulf, and High Commissioner of Australia to Pakistan, Neil Hawkins, joined the diverse running community, praising the organizers for their efforts.

One of the special highlights of the event was the participation of 74-year-old US-based veteran marathon runner, Brent Weigner, who completed his 398th marathon, expressing his admiration for the warm welcome and atmosphere in Pakistan.

Families and kids join the Marathon

Families, including elderly and children, turned out in large numbers to support the runners. The event featured five categories, ranging from full and half marathons to 10 km and 5 km runs, as well as a ‘Kids Fun Run’ for children under 14.

Full marathon of 42km, Half marathon of 21 km, 10 km and 5 km running were the categories that were primarily chosen for the adults and teenagers.

Cash prizes were awarded to the top three winners in each category to encourage participants of all ages and athletic abilities.

Supported by the Capital Development Authority (CDA), Islamabad, District Administration Islamabad, and Capital Traffic Police, the marathon aimed to support healthy activities in Islamabad.

Chief Commissioner Islamabad, Anwar-ul-Haq, lauded IRU for organizing an international-level running event, expressing plans for dedicated cycling tracks in Islamabad.

President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industries, Ahsan Bakhtawar, pledged support for future events, emphasizing the impressive dedication of the running community. Babar Riaz, Commercial Director of Adam Milk Foods Limited, said the company was proud to be the lead sponsor of the event.

Islamabad running community

Islamabad Run With Us (IRU) is Pakistan’s first running community. It has played a crucial role in fostering a culture of running and hiking.

The community was founded in 2012 when Qasim Naz initiated solo runs, later joined by his brother, Hashim Naz. Evolving into a club in 2016, IRU promotes running and hiking inclusivity.

Within five years, IRU has grown exponentially, organizing over 500 group runs and IRU’s weekly activities now attract over 100 runners.

Islamabad‘s first full marathon was held in 2016, and has now become a calendar event. The commitment of the running community has garnered attention and support from various dignitaries, including President Dr. Arif Alvi and the First Lady of Pakistan, Samina Alvi, who participated in last year’s marathon to promote health awareness and youth engagement in sports.

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