Association of International Marathons and Distance Races

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Race previews Pokhara International Marathon

24 July 2023, 2pm

Exploring the enchanting Pokhara Marathon

A captivating blend

Pokhara International Marathon
Sat 17 February 2024

Pm for aims

In the heart of South Asia lies an event that weaves together the essence of Nepal’s beauty, heritage, and adventure – the Pokhara Marathon.

Established as one of the oldest marathons in the region, and the oldest in Nepal, this annual race is a celebration of the land of Gautam Buddha and the towering Mount Everest. More than just a running event, the Pokhara Marathon embraces the captivating blend of nature, culture, and spirituality that sets it apart from any other marathon in the world.

The marathon route takes participants on a remarkable journey through the awe-inspiring Himalayan front, treating them to breathtaking views of the majestic Fishtail and Annapurna peaks. The picturesque landscapes and surrounding vistas create an unforgettable experience for the runners, immersing them in the sheer beauty of Nepal’s natural wonders.

The marathon is also an opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich cultural heritage of Nepal. Organised by the Nepal Ex-Sportsmen Forum, the Pokhara Marathon provides runners with a unique chance to connect with local communities and embrace the vibrant local culture. As participants pass through various picturesque villages they get a glimpse of the simple yet captivating local lifestyle of the locals. This cultural exchange enriches the marathon experience and fosters a deeper appreciation for Nepal’s diverse traditions.

Held on the third Saturday of February each year the Pokhara Marathon attracts participants from all over the world. Experienced runners and beginners alike come together to challenge themselves physically and mentally, pushing themselves to their limits. The event is a platform for forging bonds between athletes, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual respect.

The Nepal Ex-Sportsmen Forum, a group of retired sports figures who have brought glory to the country through their achievements, conceptualised the Pokhara Marathon with the goal of placing Nepal on the global sports map. The forum’s vision was to promote sports for peace and health, provide exposure to budding athletes, and facilitate cooperation and understanding among national and international participants. The event aimed to bolster tourism in Pokhara by showcasing the city’s exceptional sporting culture.

The Pokhara Marathon theme of “Run for Health, Run for Pokhara” reflects the significance of maintaining good health through physical activity while also promoting the city of Pokhara as a destination that blends natural beauty and creative culture.

Pokhara offers an uninterrupted panoramic view of beautiful lakes, surrounding mountains and hills, which make it the ideal backdrop for the marathon. The favourable terrain and pleasant climate further contribute to the city’s allure as a hospitable destination for sports tourism.

Since its inception in 2002, the Pokhara Marathon has attracted more participants with each passing year. In 2023 the 17th edition saw over 7000 runners of different categories take part in this remarkable event.

The marathon’s appeal extends beyond athletes, drawing the participation of personalities like Dr. Davidson Lincoln Hepburn, former President of UNESCO and spokesperson for the Peace Run, and Ryosuke Takanashi, winner of the City Marathon in Komagane, Japan. Both have run side by side with enthusiasts at the Pokhara Marathon. The event has also welcomed Mr. Devanshinhu Torpy, Europe Peace Run Director, Mr. Salil Wilson, Executive Director of Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, and Harashita Sunaoshi, Asia Pacific Peace Run Director, among others.

Whether you’re an experienced marathoner or a newcomer to running the Pokhara
Marathon will leave an indelible mark on your soul. So lace up your running shoes and prepare to embark on an extraordinary journey through nature, culture, and spirituality in the enchanting city of Pokhara.

Race categories are: Open Marathon; Half Marathon Men/Women, 10km race Men/Women, 5km Race Boys/Girls, 5km Veteran Race Men/Women (Over 50).

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