April 12 , 2016
Sacred Himalaya Treks & Adventure – a member of company of Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) -- organized a sporting event on the 'Great Buddhist Master Trekking Trail' on April 10.
TAAN, which explored the trail four years ago, promoted the event.
Altogether 23 athletes including 19 foreigners participated in the 'Sacred Himalaya Endurance Marathon' which started from Manegaun in Bhimkhori VDC of Kavre and ended at the same place. Athletes participated in three events – ultra marathon (64 km), full marathon (42 km) and half marathon (21 km).
British runner Mark Berry, who holds the world record for running the entire South West Coast of the United Kingdom, which is more than 1,000 km long, in just 11 days, eight hours and 15 minutes, also participated in the event.
However, Berry could not repeat the feat in Nepal. Justen Neagle won the ultra marathon, while William Hancock and Mark Wretford finished second and third, respectively. Similarly, Raju Magar of Nepal won the full marathon, while Khusamng Tamang and Adam Bennett stood in second and third position, respectively. Likewise, Daniell Simon won the half marathon, while Diane Newton finished second. Similarly, British couple Lee Sampson and Melaine Cage who ran with their nine-month old daughter Amelia in a baby carrier finished the race in the third position.
TAAN President Chandra Prasad Rijal handed over medals, certificates and Buddhist statue as souvenirs to all the winners, runners-up and all the participants. Speaking at the program, Rijal thanked Sacred Himalaya Treks & Adventure for promoting the trail explored by TAAN four years ago. "This is a new product in the Mahabharat range. If our member companies do not promote it, there is no point wasting millions of rupees to explore new routes," he added. He also thanked all the foreign athletes for their active participation in the event. "I hope you will help to spread the message throughout the world that Nepal is a safe tourist destination," he added.
Similarly, TAAN General Secretary Karna Bahadur Lama urged Sacred Himalaya Treks & Adventure to give continuity to the event in future as well. "The Great Buddhist Master Trail passes through places believed to have been travelled by Guru Padmasambhava. It holds great religious significance," he said, urging foreign athletes to relay the message that Nepali is now safe for travelers.
Likewise, Binaya Lama, managing director of Sacred Himalaya, said he chose The Great Buddhist Master Trail to hold the event as it is rich in culture, sceneries and passes through places of great religious significance. "We plan to continue the event in coming years as well," he added.
The Great Buddhist Master Trail passes through Mahabharat range in Kavre and Sindhuli districts.