By Rup Narayan Dhakal : Pokhara— Nepali Army dominated the Annapurna Marathon started from Annapurna Base Camp and ended at Ghandruk on Sunday. Hari Kumar Rimal of Nepali Army became champion crossing the fixed 42.195km distance in 4 hour, 16 minute and 48 seconds. Likewise, Purna Tamang and Hom Lal Shrestha of same department became first runner up and second runner up. They took 4 hour, 17 minute and 42 seconds and 4 hour, 20 minute and 48 second respectively to cross the stipulated distance.
The race started from 4130 meter height from sea level and ended at touristic village Ghandruk. Both the points fall in Annapurna Rural Municipality of Province 4, in mid Nepal. Rup Bahadur Budha, Bhimiraj Rai, Anil Kumar Waiba, Durga Raj Budha Magar, Ruplal Budha Magar, Sher Bahadur Tharu and Damodar Budha Magar also remained under top ten winners.
Champion, first runner up and second runner up bagged Rs 1 lakh, Rs 70,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively. A total of 61 runners took part in the race, informed marathon coordinator Kisham Gurung. The race started from ABC and went through Machhapuchhre Base Camp, Bagar, Deurali, Himalaya, Dobhan, Sinuwa, Bhanuwa, Chhomrong, Ghurjung, Chuinle, Tadapani, Bhaisikharka to reach Ghandruk.
Nepal Communist Party Chairman and former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda distributed the prizes to the winners during a formal ceremony. The race was organized on the occasion of 68th Annapurna Summit Day which falls on June 3. Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal of France had first scaled Mt Annapurna I (8091m) on June third which has been being marked as Annapurna Day for few years in Pokhara region.
The marathon was also a part of Annapurna Sanctuary Tourism Festival that kicked off on 25 Ashoj, 2074 BS in ABC and the second tier was organized at Chhomrong on Push 10, 2074 BS. The marathon was organized to end the festival, informed festival coordinator Lalit Gurung.