Shimla: For the first time, a half marathon was organised in a remote hamlet located at an altitude of 10,354 ft in Himachal Pradesh, an official said.
A total of 261 sportsmen from Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab participated in the 21-km race in Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district on Saturday, at the onset of a three-day tribal festival, sub-divisional magistrate Parshant Sirkaik told.
He said athletes from the Indian Army also participated.
“It would now be an annual event during the tribal festival,” he added.
Baljinder Singh from Punjab won the race by covering the distance in one hour, 19 minute and 26 seconds. In the women’s category, Reeta Kumari won in one hour, 36 minutes and two seconds.
“It’s really tough to run at such a high altitude where oxygen is scarce. But practising here is beneficial for improving the stamina of the players and athletes,” said Baljinder.
Heavy snowfall high up the Himalayan slopes in late December snap road connectivity to Keylong and its nearby villages in Lahaul Valley. The road links resume only in mid-May.