Thousands participate in 1st International Half Marathon

Thousands of people from different walks of life and from different parts of North-East today vigorously participated in the 1st International Run of the region ‘Star Cement Bhaag North East Bhaag’ in support of a ‘Clean India’.
The run was flagged off by Assam Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal in the presence of Assam’s Industry and Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Bollywood sensation Bipasha Basu and several sports personalities, intellectuals and cine celebrities from Assam including veteran singer JP Das, veteran actor Pranjal Saikia, actor Gunjan Bharadwaj, popular singers Manas Robin and Simanta Shekhar, swimmer Elvis Ali Hazarika, Fitness Guru Mahadev Deka, mountaineer Anshu Jamsenpa, eminent writer Maini Mahanta, actor Sunita Kaushik, actor Aimee Baruah, and Actor/Director Tridib Lahon.
Several elite runners from several countries and from across India participated in this run which had races in three categories, viz., a Half Marathon, a 10km run, and a 4km run. Total prizes of Rs. 69 Lakh were given out in this great Run. For the first time ever, to encourage participation, a unique concept of 50% discount on groceries was offered by Star Cement to all participants in this run at the Khanapara ground immediately after the run.
Urging people to make cleanliness an integral part of their life style, Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal said that a clean, hygienic and healthy North-East is not only important for development of this region but also for the whole country. “I believe this run Star Cement Bhag North East Bhag in support of a clean India will help further in inculcating Swachhta as a habit among the people of the North-East”, Sonowal added.
Earlier, welcoming all the participants and guests, Chairman of Star Cement, Sajjan Bhajanka said “Star Cement has always been an integral part of this land and its people and when it comes to making changes for the good of society, we at Star Cement lead by example. We believe that ‘Bhaag Northeast Bhaag’ which is North East’s first international Marathon puts Guwahati on the Indian and Global Map of Marathon Running events. The people of the North East have always loved sport and there are many who have won recognition at the National and International levels. We expect this event to add another feather in the cap for Guwahati, Assam and the North East at large.”
He added that “Many may argue that until the attitude and mentality of people changes no campaign can clean India. But I salute the spirit of the North East for their enthusiastic participation at this unprecedented level. This speaks volumes about the attitude and mentality of North-East towards Clean India.”
Expressing joy over her participation, the Bollywood sensation, Bipasha Basu said that she loves the natural beauty of the Northeast and said that the people of this region are comparatively more conscious about fitness and cleanliness than most parts of our country. (Agencies)