Islamabad Marathon’s 4th edition pulls huge crowd

Islamabad Marathon’s 4th edition

ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of participants from across Pakistan along with the diplomatic community based in Pakistan participated in the 4th edition of Adam’s Islamabad Marathon on Sunday that was organized by enthusiasts from the running community Islamabad Run With Us (IRU).

Despite some drizzle and overcast weather conditions, a great increase in the number of participants from last year was witnessed as over 1500 runners participated in the different categories.

The Islamabad Marathon 2024 was organized with the support of the Capital Development Authority, the Islamabad administration and traffic police.

Qasim Naz, the founder of Islamabad Run With Us, said that the main objective of the event was to promote healthy lifestyle, promote marathon tourism and project a positive image of Pakistan all over the world. With the beautiful Maragalla Hills in the backdrop, the runners also passed through the scenic jungle at Shakarparian as they completed their 21.1 and 42.2 km distances.

Ambassador of Denmark to Pakistan, Jakob Linulf, participated in the run and appreciated the role of organizers in putting a great running event. Jakob also ran a full marathon last year along with his brother.

High Commissioner of Australia to Pakistan Neil Hawkins also attended the Islamabad Marathon and loved how the running community from different walks of life participated.

The event has a special appearance by a US- based veteran 74-year-old Marathon runner, Brent Weigner, who ran his 398th Marathon and Pakistan was his 205th country to run a marathon.

Talking about his experience, Brent said, he loved the atmosphere and appreciated the love and warm welcome he got from the people of Pakistan.

The event attracted a huge attendance from families including elderly and children who gathered to support the runners.  The running event included five different categories to cater to encourage vast participation of all ages and of different athletic abilities.

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.

A special category of ‘Kids Fun Run’ for children under 14 years was also organized to encourage children, and they loved their participation with great enthusiasm. To encourage the runners Cash Prizes were given to top 3 winners from all categories.

Islamabad Chief Commissioner Anwarul Haq, who was the chief guest, addressed the closing ceremony and appreciated IRU for organizing an international level running event in Islamabad.

He also mentioned that very soon Islamabad will have safe and dedicated tracks for cycling to promote healthy activities.

Islamabad Chamber of Commernce and Industries President Ahsan Bakhtawar also attended the event along with the ICCI delegation. He said he was very impressed by the dedication of the running community to organize such a big running event and committed to support such events in future.

Babar Riaz, Commercial Director Adam Milk Foods Limited said that Adam’s Milk Foods is synonymous with healthy life and is always focused on developing and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

He said that running is one of the healthiest sports and Adam’s always look forward to promoting it. IRU Marathon is one of its kind and Adam’s takes pride in becoming the title sponsor of this event”, he said.

About Islamabad Run With Us

Islamabad Run with Us’ (IRU) is the first running community of Pakistan. It began in 2012 when founder, Qasim Naz started running solo and was later joined by his brother, Hashim Naz. Looking at their consistency and dedication, other friends started to join them and then began the organized, weekly running and hiking activities.

After four years, in 2016, a club named ‘Islamabad Run with Us’ (IRU) was launched with the aim of encouraging running and hiking in the city. IRU tends to cater for runners of all capabilities and make sure that no one is left behind during their group runs.

Over the course of 5 years, the group has increased tremendously, and their recent group runs have attracted more than 100 runners, including people from all ages and genders. So far, they have organized more than 500 group runs and have taken the lead to host Islamabad’s first full marathon. The full marathon has now been marked as a calendar event and this is the second full marathon of Islamabad.

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