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Darjeeling marathon warm-up

Dipa Karmakar to grace event

By Vivek Chhetri in Darjeeling

  • Published 9.11.19, 3:31 AM
  • Updated 9.11.19, 3:31 AM
Organisers of the Darjeeling Hill Marathon speak to the media in Darjeeling on Friday.
Organisers of the Darjeeling Hill Marathon speak to the media in Darjeeling on Friday. (Picture sourced by The Telegraph)

Dipa Karmakar, the first Indian female gymnast to win medals in international events, will be the “face” of the Darjeeling Hill Marathon to be organised by Darjeeling police in association with The Telegraph this Sunday.

Prasanta Saha, organising secretary of the marathon, said: “She will be reaching Darjeeling tomorrow (Saturday) to participate in Sunday’s event.”

The event will draw top 12 runners from India and witness the introduction of an “electric mat” to automatically record the timing of the marathoners. The four separate runs — of 21km, 10km, the Darjeeling Green Run of 4km and the Run for Education of 4km — will start and end at Chowrasta. In the earlier editions, the race will start from Sukhiapokhri.

Anand Menezes, former Olympian and the race director, said: “Twelve top athletes from India will participate in the event.”

The race, started by Darjeeling police in 2012, also attracts international runners.

The event, held to promote Darjeeling, carries total prize money of more than Rs 10 lakh.

The first three in the 21km event will get Rs 1 lakh, Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000, respectively, in both male and female categories. The top three in the 10km run will get Rs 25,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 10,000 each.

“There will be an award for the top six finishers. We have also kept a prize money of Rs 1 lakh for anyone breaking the national record in the 21km run,” Menezes, had earlier said.

The 21km run will pass through INA bypass to reach Jorebunglow before turning to Chowrasta from the zoo route. The 10km run will take the D.B. Giri Road to reach Chowrasta from zoo but this run will touch Tenzing Rock.

The 4km run will pass through D.B. Giri Road to reach Kakjhora, taking the Ladenla Road-Keventers route to Chowrasta.

The race will start at 6.30am and will be flagged in intervals till 8.30am. “Reporting time starts from 5.45am,” said Menezes. More than 2000 participants have already registered. Menezes said the run was being organised through “one of the best routes” in Darjeeling.

Rahul Pandey, DSP (town), said: “We appeal to the residents to cooperate and except emergency vehicles, traffic movement will be restricted along Hill Cart Road from 6am to 10.30am on Sunday.”

Karmakar tweeted about Darjeeling being “India’s most exciting destination for the marathon”. “I am going to be a part of India’s most exciting destination for marathon, Darjeeling! Join me on the 10th of November 2019 in Darjeeling. Register yourself on www.darjeelinghillmarathon.com,” read Karmakar’s tweet.

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