KATHMANDU, Feb 27: The 7th Annual Dharan Run is being held on March 9 with an expected participation of more than 5,000 runners. The length of the run will be 10 kilometers.
The Dharan Run event was initiated by Santosh Rai, former international marathon runner hailing from eastern Nepal, in 2011. The not-for-profit charity initiative organizes weekly runs in Dharan. According to the organizers, the concept of holding city run came from the British ‘Park Run’ event that is organized every Sunday in London. The funds raised are used in helping the poor and needy children.
Dharan Run is a free, timed running event organized every Saturday morning at 7am, according to the organizers. The regular run goes from Yalamber Park to Tinkune and back to Yalamber Park of Dharan, covering a distance of 3.5 kilometers.
The number of participants in the event, supported by Aarti Strips Pvt Ltd, is growing every year. The winners in various categories are awarded with cash prizes and certificates of appreciation.
Started with only 38 runners in 2011, the event has already gathered more than eight thousand runners, including juniors, first-timers, or professional athletes. The runners come from all age groups -- from 4 years to 70 years. Founder Rai is also a regular runner in the tournament.
A total of 400 people took part in the run this week. About 300 to 400 regular participants run every week.
Following suit from Dharan, other towns in Nepal have started similar runs, namely, Damak Run (Jhapa), Bhojpur Run (Bhojpur), and B 13 Run (Pokhara).
Dharan Run aims at engaging the youth in healthy life-style and social works by means of sports, specifically running activities. By encouraging children to participate in the weekly run, Dharan Run motivates them to live a healthy life, according to the organizers.
The runners who complete 20 weeks or 50 weeks of runs are awarded with t-shirts as incentives. Likewise, regularly participating children from the economically backward communities are awarded with running shoes, which come through donations.
Accordingly, from the funds collected in the first episode of the Newa Charity 8K run, Rs 250,000 was given to differently-abled litterateur Laxmi Rai. Similarly, Rs 177,000 cash support was given to Drishti Nepal Happy Home, an organization working for the welfare of HIV-positive women.
Meanwhile, a reserve fund worth Rs 200,000 (Rs 150,000 from the 3rd Newa Charity 8K run event and Rs 50,000 donated by Baraha Jwellers) for HIV positive children was created in the third episode of marathon event. Likewise, a reserve fund of Rs 400,000 has been established with the support of Kirat Rai Yayokkha.
The 4th episode of the event had collected a sum of Rs 322,050, of which Rs 200,000 were distributed to various needy people. The Dharan Run has been providing monthly financial assistance to late Mithu Katwal (who passed away on April 15, 2016) for her medicines and food.