Ladakh sets Guinness World Record with Pangong Frozen Lake Marathon
Leh, Feb 21: The exotic Pangong Frozen Lake Marathon is officially registered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Highest Frozen Lake Half Marathon, setting a new achievement for UT Ladakh.
LAHDC Leh in collaboration with Adventure Sports Foundation of Ladakh (ASFL) organised India’s first and the World’sHighest Frozen Lake Half Marathon at Frozen Pangong Lake, which witnessed the participation of around 75 runners from across the world. The 21.9 km half marathon commenced from Lukung village and concluded at Maan village.
Elated over Ladakh scripting a historic moment by setting a Guinness World Record, chief guest CEC LAHDC Leh, Adv Tashi Gyalson, lauded the collective effort of the entire organising team, including ASFL, UT, and District Administration with its various departments like UTDRF, Health, PHE, PWD, and Forest. He also expressed gratitude for the support from the Army, ITBP, BRO, LMGA, and also the PRI members, youth associations, and villagers from the surrounding villages of Pangong, such as Phobrang, Lukung, Spangmik, Maan, Merak, and the entire Durbuk sub-division in making the event a grand success.
He added that the Pangong Marathon is in sync with the vision and goal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Vibrant Village Programme which aims to develop the border villages. He added that the Hill Council and ASFL share similar goals concerning the environment and the Pangong Frozen Lake Marathon showcases a sustainable and responsible marathon, promoting winter tourism in the already world-famous tourist destination, boosting the local homestays along with zero-waste concept to provide round-the-year stable livelihood in the rural border villages.
He assured that the Hill Council would promote the Pangong Marathon responsibly and within the carrying capacity of the surroundings, making it one of the most attractive and sought-out international events, and also assured to support all endeavours to promote rural tourism by strengthening homestays and enhancing livelihood opportunities.
Addressing the gathering, Executive Councillor, RDD, Tashi Namgyal shared that the Hill Council had always deliberated on extending the potential of the tourism sector by promoting it as a year-long tourist destination. He added that the initiation of the Pangong Frozen Lake Marathon is an attempt to promote the scope of tourism in the astern border villages of Ladakh beyond the limited summer season of tourism.
DC Leh, Shrikant Suse added that the Pangong Frozen Lake Marathon, organised as a part of the Vibrant Village Programme of GoI, aims to promote sustainable winter tourism in the border villages to accelerate the pace of development. He added that the Pangong Marathon was also initiated to share the ecologically sensitive concerns of Ladakh with a larger audience through the medium of sports.
Further, DC Leh appreciated and expressed gratitude for the unwavering support of all the stakeholders involved in successfully organising the Pangong Marathon. He assured to work for the holistic development of the border villages by alleviating their issues and concerns.
Earlier in his welcome address, ASFL founder Chamba Tsetan highlighted the objective of conceptualizing and organising the Pangong Frozen Lake Marathon. He termed the marathon runners, participating from different states of India and the countries of the world, as the ambassadors of sustainable tourism promoted in Ladakh.
Councillor Chushul Konchok Stanzin delivered the vote of thanks.
The winners of the Pangong Frozen Lake Half Marathon in the men’s category were Rigzen Gyurmeth (Bib no:139) with a timing of 1:54:24; Muneeb (147) with a timing of 1:59:03 and Arshad (164) with 2:00:19 running time.
Similarly, in the women’s category Tsering Zangmo (175) completed the marathon in 2:38:40; Padma Rigzin (177) with a timing of 2:46:57, and Chuskit Angmo (195) finished the marathon at 3:00:22 timing.
During the event, an Ice-Hockey exhibition match was played between the Lalok and Chushul teams along with colourful cultural performances by the villagers and the children from the nearby villages. Various stalls highlighting the region’s specialty in terms of cuisine, handloom, and handicraft products were also displayed.
Councillor Skurbuchan, Lhundup Dorjey; Councillor Upper Leh Stanzin Tsepag; Nominated Councillor, Konchok Tsephel; Chairperson BDC Durbuk; Senior Army, BRO, ITBP officers/officials along with sub-divisional level officers/officials of various departments and a large number of people were present.