Thursday, 27 September 2012

180 elderly foreign nationals redefine sports tourism in India by marathons

SHIMLA: A group of around 180 French, British, Belgium and Spanish nationals aging between 40 and 75 are organizing marathons in different parts of India and formulating a new definition of tourism while spreading message that age is not a bar for any sport.
Marathon participants enjoy Himachali folk dance at Naggar
After successful organization of marathon in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Shimla, the group of elderly runners reached Manali on Monday. The group which constitutes both males and females stunned everybody with covering steep 22-km distance between Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports in Manali and Naggar in only 2 hours.
The marathon was held in two phases -- running and walking. 150 elderly took part in 22-km-long running marathon between Manali and Naggar while 30 participants simply walked 10km from Sajla to Naggar. Everyone was surprised to see the oldies running like youths. Nadyata won the marathon in female category while Partry came first among the men who covered distance in only 1hour 55mins. In walkers’ category, 64 year-old Maris did it first.
Manali marathon winners (pic:
The participants-cum-tourists after completion of the marathon were honored with Kulluvi caps and given warm welcome with traditional Himachali folk dance. A runner Sylvie said, “We loved calm atmosphere of the Himachal and its beautiful people. Human being has become so dependent on machines even to cover small distances. Walking and running make human fit both physically and mentally.”
France based Sports Performance Development Organization is organizing the marathon in various countries to give tourism a new definition. The purpose of the marathon is to discover the world through sports where age should not be a bar. Serene Holidays and Great Escape Routes are the Indian supporters for the marathons. The team would now move to Dharamshala for their last marathon, before leaving the India.

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