In a vibrant display of athleticism and unity, the 16th edition of the Thimphu Half Marathon recently took place in the breathtaking landscape of Bhutan. Organized by the Bhutan Amateur Athletic Federation, this year’s event held special significance as it was dedicated to the coronation celebrations of His Majesty The King. With over 500 participants, the marathon brought together runners of all ages to celebrate not only their love for the sport but also their deep respect and admiration for their monarch.
The event kicked off at the crack of dawn, with the runners lacing up their shoes and assembling at the Changlimithang stadium parking lot. As the clock struck 7 am, the marathon was officially underway, marking the beginning of an exciting and challenging journey through the streets and landscapes of Thimphu.
For the adults, the marathon covered a grueling 21 kilometers, beginning and ending at the Changlimithang stadium. The runners ventured out to Namseling, testing their endurance, determination, and love for running along the way. The youth category, on the other hand, took on a 10-kilometer challenge. They started from the same location, with a turning point at O Plaza in Olakha before making their triumphant return to Changlimithang.
In the youth category, it was a fierce competition that saw the best of Bhutan’s young talent showcasing their remarkable skills. In the boys’ category, Pema Dhendup secured the first position with a time of 35 minutes and 15 seconds, closely followed by Jigme Wangchuk at 35 minutes and 54 seconds. Sagar Subba claimed the third position, finishing the race in 36 minutes and 49 seconds.
The girls’ category was equally exciting, with Norbu Dema emerging as the champion. She crossed the finish line in 44 minutes and 29 seconds, followed by Jigme Seldon at 44 minutes and 37 seconds. In the third position, Chimmi Peldon completed the race in 45 minutes and 18 seconds.
Among the 21-kilometer women runners, Goma Pradhan took the top spot, completing the marathon in an impressive 1 hour, 32 minutes, and 46 seconds. Kinzang Lhamo secured the second position with a time of 1 hour, 35 minutes, and 2 seconds. Kinga Wangmo rounded out the top three, finishing the race in 1 hour, 41 minutes, and 2 seconds.
The male participants in the 21-kilometer category displayed remarkable endurance and speed. Jamphel Choda claimed the first position with a lightning-fast time of 1 hour, 17 minutes, and 24 seconds. Kabji Tshering secured the second position, finishing the marathon in 1 hour, 17 minutes, and 45 seconds, closely followed by Dechen Ugyen in the third position, with a time of 1 hour, 18 minutes, and 10 seconds.
The Thimphu Half Marathon not only celebrates athleticism but also serves as a reminder of the deep-rooted respect and admiration the people of Bhutan have for their monarch, His Majesty The King. This event encapsulates the essence of Bhutan – the pursuit of physical and mental well-being, unity, and respect for tradition and heritage. It is a testament to the enduring spirit of the Bhutanese people and their commitment to promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.
The 16th Thimphu Half Marathon was a resounding success, not only in terms of the athleticism on display but also for the unity and joy it brought to the people of Bhutan. As participants and spectators cheered on the runners, it was evident that this event will continue to be a cherished tradition for years to come, and a testament to Bhutan’s enduring love for running and their beloved king.