Monday, Apr 05, 2021 08:45 [IST]
Last Update: Monday, Apr 05, 2021 03:04 [IST]
DARJEELING,: The second edition of the endurance running event, The Buddha Trails, was held at Sandakphu area on Saturday with about 220 runners from across the country participating.
The event is a part of the Hell Race series featuring trial running, marathons and mountain running in different terrains of the country.
According to the organizers, the runners could choose distances they wanted to run between the three categories which all started from Rimbick. In the 12-km run, the runners had go up to Srikhola and back to the starting point, while the 30-km participants had to reach up to Upper Gurdum and return to Rimbick via Srikhola Bridge.
The third category of 65 kilometres was the toughest one where the runners to run all the way till Sandakphu and return to Rimbick via Phalut and Samanden. One of the most fascinating parts of this run is that along the route one can witness the views of Mt. Everest, Makalu, Lhotse, and Mount Khangchendzonga.
"The idea is to bring ultra-running enthusiasts of the world to offbeat destinations like Rimbick and then spread the love for this adventure sport among the local community. We are overwhelmed by the hospitality and support that the people of Rimbick and the villages on the racecourse have bestowed upon us. They made it their race, a running festival," said Vishwas Sindhu, the race director, who also talked on the enormous business opportunities that his team at The Hell Race aspire to bring to the people of Rimbick.
With good weather conditions to run, almost all the categories saw new course records for The Buddha Trails.
Ashish Subba, a local, raced to the finish line in just 07 hours, 50 minutes and 31 seconds hours in the 65-km category. The 30-km category had Nimsang Limboo from Sikkim finishing first with the timing of 02:52:19. Hemant Limboo finished the 12-km race in just 44 minutes and 37 seconds.
"I don't remember anything like this happening before. Even the most unemployed man in Rimbick is earning something or the other. If not money, learning for sure!," said Prabhu Pradhan, a local taxi operator, who supported the entire event with the travel and logistic requirements of the race.
VikRun Foundation member Vikram Rai said, "The race was one of the most difficult races that I have participated with a strict cut off time. The race makes runners stronger after the completion and I am sure there will be more runners next year who will be stronger and will participate in large numbers. Rimbick now is the new running destination."
Rai participated in the 30-km category. The foundation had a total of six runners with one of them participating in the 65-km race, while the rest took part in the 30-km category.