Three course-mates from the 67th National Defence Academy (NDA) Course etched their names in history at the 3rd edition of the Assam Rifles Hills Half Marathon in Laitkor, Shillong, on November 26.
Commander AP Venkatesh (NDA Alpha Squadron), a distinguished veteran from the Indian Navy, clinched the gold in the over 55 years age category. Brigadier Sanjay Rawal (NDA Hunter Squadron), a veteran from the Indian Army, secured the silver, while Lt Gen PC Nair (NDA Hunter Squadron), the Director General of Assam Rifles, earned the bronze.
The Half Marathon, organized as part of the Fit India Movement by Assam Rifles, witnessed a spirited participation of runners from various backgrounds. The event not only celebrated fitness but also showcased the indomitable spirit of the armed forces.
Commander Venkatesh, who journeyed from Bangalore, and Brigadier Sanjay Rawal, who arrived from Delhi, defied the odds of hill running without prior practice, leaving their competitors in the age category trailing behind. Observers noted that their motivation, zeal, and enthusiasm reflected the ethos instilled by their NDA training.
The trio's passion for long-distance running was evident, inspiring officers and soldiers present at Laitkor, Shillong. "Age is surely no bar, and if you have a firm resolve, nothing can stop you," echoed the sentiments shared by the three course-mates.
The NDA bonhomie and course-spirit were palpable as the runners not only congratulated and embraced each other at the finish line but also captured the moment with numerous photographs. Their exemplary performance earned them cash prizes of Rs 12,000, Rs 11,000, and Rs 10,000, respectively.
The Assam Rifles Hill Half Marathon, occurring just a week before the Coal India Half Marathon scheduled for December 3, 2023, in Guwahati, attracted a diverse array of participants, including the oldest contender, a 75-year-old local woman.
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