ISLAMABAD   -   The award ceremony of Khunjerab’s Highest Altitude Road Marathon was conducted here at Serena Hotel on Monday night.

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan HI (M) graced the occasion as chief guest. He applauded the efforts of Serena Hotels and their continued support to Pakistan Air Force in sponsoring different sports events such as ski, squash and marathons. He said: “It gives me great pleasure to be among world-renowned athletes from all over the globe. I convey my gratitude to the participating international athletes of the event, which took place in one of the most beautiful landscapes of the world. I hope the international runners have enjoyed the warm hospitality of our people.”

The marathon was a momentous occasion in the history of Pakistan, as 154 ecstatic long distance runners, including 39 international runners from 17 countries, were enthusiastically running on the descending Karakoram Highway, starting from the magnificent Khunjerab Top to Sust, a small town in the majestic pass. The race was held in three different categories, which include ultra-marathon (50km), marathon (42km) and half-marathon (21km). A brief video compilation of the key moments of the marathon was also shown to the audience. The event was sponsored by Serena Hotels as part of their Adventure Diplomacy Initiative that encourages human engagement with nature.

Mujahid presented medals and trophies to winners of all the categories. Muhammad Faheem (Army) and Sohail Tanveer (Army) were awarded silver and bronze respectively. In the female category, Heidi Johansen (Denmark) received gold medal; while Ayesha Jabeen (Gilgit Baltistan) and Tracey Dumbleton (New Zealand) got silver and bronze respectively.

In the 21 km race, Mirza Aslam Baig (Gilgit Baltistan) was awarded gold medal; whereas Abdul Muheet (Gilgit Baltistan) and Musawwar-ur-Rehman (PAF) earned silver and bronze respectively. Gilgit Baltistan athletes grabbed all medals in the female category. Bibi Nibat received gold, while Hasina Ismail and Shamim Ahmed earned silver and bronze respectively.