Massive turnout at Islamabad Half Marathon

Around 1500 people joined the massive Islamabad Half Marathon

For the first time in Islamabad, a half marathon event was organized to encourage a healthy, active lifestyle in the community.

Around 1500 citizens and members of the runners’ community joined the biggest running event in the capital including 500 professional and amateur athletes. Islamabad Half Marathon event catered to seasoned as well as amateur runners.

It offered three running categories; 21.1 km Half Marathon, a 10 km track for both men and women, and a 5km female-only category focused on encouraging more women participation. Around 100 women took part in the marathon.

The event was organized by the city’s running community called Islamabad Run with Us (IRU) in association with the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICT), Clean Green Pakistan and supported by Adam Milk Foods and other partners.

Runners attending the marathon event were surprised to see President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Avli & first lady Mrs. Samina Alvi graced the event as they were passing by from Margallah Avenue.

The President met with the founder of IRU, Qasim Naz and appreciated the efforts of Islamabad Run With Us to organize such an event and urged that such healthy activities should be regularly held in the city.

Guest of Honor of the event, Senator Faisal Javed Khan, was pleased to see the massive turnout at the event. Senator Faisal said this running activity has set a great example for healthy events in Pakistan. He appreciated the organizers and congratulated the winners. He added that Islamabad Half Marathon has motivated him to an extent that he would now give the recommendation to start a Parliamentary Committee for Health and Fitness.

Parliamentary Secretary of Ministry of Law and Justice Ms. Maleeka Bukhari also attended the event and applauded the efforts of organizers for putting such a great healthy activity for running the community.

“It is a great day for the runners’ community of Islamabad and after witnessing the massive turnout, we have decided to organize healthy events in the city more frequently” the founding member of IRU, Qasim Naz, said. Qasim thanked the partners and government officials for their support to promote healthy activity in Pakistan.

Imran Ghazali, who was also involved in the organization of the event and also took part in the 21KM race, said he always had this dream to promote running activities in Pakistan. “I am really happy to see so many people show up at the event including women, diplomats and people from other cities of Pakistan as well.”

The aim of the event was to offer people a platform to showcase their sporting skills and encourage them to participate in activities focused on health and fitness. The contestants of the marathon were delighted to see a marathon take place in Islamabad and requested that such events should be organized more frequently to engage people in healthy activities.

The event also saw strong participation from the diplomatic community in Islamabad particularly the embassies of France, Spain and other European Union countries. Ms Carmen from Spain in fact won the title of the fastest woman in the 10km run at the marathon.

The organizers of the Adam’s Islamabad Half Marathon dedicated their run to the cause of raising awareness for fighting cancer in Pakistan in collaboration with Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital. The runners also raised awareness on protecting the environment by supporting Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Clean Green Pakistan movement.

Speaking at the occasion Mr. Yasin Shahid, Marketing Manager, Adam Milk Foods said: “Adam’s has always promoted a healthy lifestyle and clean environment and is honored to encourage people of Pakistan to participate in healthy activities and associate itself with Islamabad Run with Us in organizing Islamabad half Marathon to promote the cause of fighting cancer and protect environment.”

The Half Marathon was followed up with a prize distribution ceremony distributed by Senator Faisal Javed and MNA Maleeka Bokhari.

Nuxhat Khurshid
Nuxhat Khurshid is a passionate writer, reader and documentary-maker. She mostly writes on environment, climate change and development issues for Islamabad Scene.

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