There are, in total, 11 candidates in the fray, including eight from the BJP and three from the SP.
The 3rd edition of the Assam Rifles Hills Half Marathon in Shillong Laitkor, Shillong on November 26, 2023, history was made by three comrades from the 67 NDA Course.
Commander AP Venkatesh of NDA Alpha Squadron, a seasoned veteran from the Indian Navy, clinched the gold. Brigadier Sanjay Rawal of NDA Hunter Squadron, a veteran from the Indian Army, secured the silver.
Meanwhile, Lt Gen PC Nair of NDA Hunter Squadron, also the Director General of Assam Rifles, claimed the bronze in the over 55 years category. The event, a part of the Fit India Movement by Assam Rifles, drew numerous enthusiastic participants, showcasing the fervor for long-distance running.
Their shared love for long-distance running brought these three course-mates together for this remarkable feat.
Commander Venkatesh journeyed from Bangalore, while Brigadier Sanjay Rawal traveled from Delhi, both without prior hill running practice, yet outpacing their competition in their age group. Observers noted that their drive, passion, and enthusiasm at this age resonated with the ethos instilled during their NDA days. Undoubtedly, their performance served as a source of inspiration for officers and soldiers present at Laitkor, Shillong that day. The prevailing sentiment was that with determination, age poses no barrier.
The camaraderie and spirit of their NDA days were vividly displayed as they not only congratulated and embraced each other at the race’s end but also captured several moments together in photographs. Their efforts earned them cash prizes of Rs 12,000, Rs 11,000, and Rs 10,000, respectively.
The burgeoning interest in running as a passion across the nation was evident, with a notable participation of civilians in the event. The oldest participant, a 75-year-old local woman, stood as a testament to the inclusive nature of the marathon. This event preceded the upcoming Coal India Half Marathon scheduled to be held in Guwahati on December 3, 2023, organized by the Indian Army.