The Indian running community has been hailed for its enthusiasm and vibrancy. However, over the years, people have wondered whether the running phenomenon has been largely restricted to affluent metros and big towns. There is a wealth of athletic talent hidden in the nooks and corners of our diverse country. Unfortunately, this talent doesn’t always get the encouragement and support that it deserves. With the Kalimpong half marathon, ‘Run with Roshni’ undertook a momentous initiative to remedy this situation.
The event was envisioned by Roshni Rai’s ‘Run with the Roshni’ group, which has been associated with notable initiatives to encourage runners from the North East, and to stop discrimination against the Gorkha community in India. The long-term mission of the group is to give runners from the North East of India more opportunities to participate and shine in major running events on the mainland.
While local runners were the majority of the participants at the event, a few slots were open for non-local runners to experience the hospitality and the atmosphere of Darjeeling. Five guest runners- namely Prakash Wani, Veera Mani, Beverly Mathews, Bishal Lama and Habari Warjri- enthusiastically joined in the fervor of the event.
Sponsorship for various aspects of the race was raised with the cooperation of the Indian running community. It was heartwarming to see the community respond with open hearts for the success of the first edition of the Kalimpong half marathon. Unived Sports was proud to pitch in as the hydration sponsor for the event, as a first step towards providing long-term support towards budding athletes from the region. Along with bringing cutting-edge sports nutrition to the country, fostering athletic talent is part of our responsibility towards the sports community in India. Hydrating the Kalimpong Half Marathon signaled the start of a relationship between Unived Sports and ‘Run with Roshni’ towards nurturing athletes from the North East, and helping them excel at national and international events.
On the 1st of May, it poured on race day, but that did nothing to dampen the spirit of the runners. We are sure guest runners were happy at the chance to escape of the city, and enjoy a run in the cooling environs of Darjeeling. Winners were felicitated to a lot of fanfare. The top 3 local male and female local runners were awarded the opportunity of running at the SCMM 2016.
A big revolution is kindled with a small spark. Big change begins when the first step is taken in right direction with conviction and grit. Our partnership with the maiden edition of the Kalimpong half marathon is a symbol of our commitment towards this revolution. With time, we hope to see this blossom into a new generation of proud athletes who can represent India on the world stage.