Over 75 international runners along with 120 runners from the country took part in the Thunder Dragon Marathon organised by The Blue Poppy Tours and Treks in Paro, today. The annual event was suspended for a few years owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event is focused on promoting tourism and encouraging people to build a running spirit. The marathon had two categories, one a full marathon of 42 kilometres and the other a 21-kilometre half marathon for female runners.
In the men’s category 22-year-old Kinley Tshering won the full marathon category by completing the course in over three hours.
“This is my first time running in the 42-kilometre marathon and I am happy with the result. It is a new experience for us running alongside foreign runners,” said Kinley Tshering, the winner of the 42-kilometre category.
Similarly, in the 21-kilometre category, 24-year-old Lhamo won the race. She covered the distance in about two hours.
“It is my first time running the Thunder Dragon Marathon. I am happy that I was able to win. Moreover, it was fun as we got the opportunity to run along with foreigners and interact with them,” said Lhamo, the winner of the 21-kilometre category.
Organisers are overwhelmed by the turnout from both local and international runners.
“We have hired professional camerapersons and videographers to cover the event. Once it is done, we will upload it to our website. Through this, we are hoping that we can encourage tourists to visit Bhutan. Our target is to achieve 100 international runners,” said Choki Dorji, the organiser of Thunder Dragon Marathon.
Eight students from the Wangsel Institute for the Deaf also participated and completed the race.