KATHMANDU, Feb 6: Lumbini Peace Marathon and Adventure Sports Nepal are jointly organizing the fourth Lumbini Peace Marathon in Lumbini next month.
Organizing a press meet in the capital on Monday, the organizers informed that the fourth edition of the marathon will be held on the occasion of Holi, the festival of colors, on March 1.
The organizers further informed that the marathon would be Nepal’s first spiritual sporting of its kind, which will take place 150 meters above the sea level, one of the lowest altitude marathon events in the world.
The event is being organized to promote Lumbini as the ultimate tourist destination for all Buddhist followers. It will provide runners from all over the world a thematic marathon event, and contribute toward development and promotion of marathon in Nepal.
While running for the marathon, athletes will pass through important Buddhist heritage sites around Lumbini, according to the organizers.
The marathon will go through places associated with the Buddha: his hometown Kapilvastu, his palace in Tilaurakot, and his birthplace in Lumbini. It will give runners a chance to experience an aura of spiritual enlightenment, the organizers claimed.
The marathon route follows the footsteps of the Buddha and passes through Mayadevi (mother of the Buddha) Maternity Route and the land of Three Buddhas.
“This marathon will provide the players with spiritual experience which the other marathon lacks,’’ sponsor of the marathon, Bikram Pandey, said. “Once the international airport in Bhairahawa comes into operation, the number of visitors is expected to grow by leaps and bounds. This marathon will also contribute toward bringing more tourists to Lumbini.’’
Olympian and race director of the marathon, Baikuntha Manadhar, said that the event will help in development of Nepali athletics.
A total of 250 players from India, Australia, China, and Nepal are expected to take part in the event. They will participate in the full marathon, half marathon and 500 km race, according to the organizers.
The winner of the full marathon will take home Rs 100,000, while the runner-up will be rewarded with Rs 75,000. The third-placed player will get Rs 50,000.
Likewise, the winner of the half marathon will be prized with Rs 50,000, while the runner-up will bag Rs 35,000. The third-placed player will get Rs 25,000.