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Run Up The Hills

Run Up The Hills

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How about a good run in the Queen of hills, Darjeeling? And how about gaining loads of oxygen and also get awarded for it? Interested? Well read this story to know all about it in this two part series.

It was a hot and humid summer Monday morning that day. The team members of East India Story prepared for the day’s work. Santosh, the office boy was serving the first round of  Lavazza coffee.  It was then that Ramdim, our front desk security, walked in to inform us that Gurpreet Singh, the neighboring Gym manager, is waiting at the reception. We were rather surprised. Though Gurpreet is quite familiar to all of us, but we never had the privilege of being his host in our office.

“Yeh shayed apka kam mein ayega.”(This might be something you would be interested in.) He showed us a picture as we greeted him. Must say he was absolutely right. We were not only interested but equally excited. The picture showed a lady jogging and the caption read ‘Join Me for the 1st edition of JBG Gorkha, 10K Darjeeling’.

After he left, we kept looking at the advertisement. One of our team members said “Well it is 20 degree in Darjeeling you know,”

The sound of ‘20 degree’ worked like magic as the temperature here is as high as 40 degrees. We all looked at each other and someone said, “It’s been a while we went for an outdoor coverage.” The next thing we knew is we were at Bagdogra airport trying to find a taxi to the Queen of Hills.

Kanchenjunga looks fascinating from the lawn of Planters Club especially when you are served with some Darjeeling first flush. While all of us were enjoying the beautiful peak, Nishant the organizer of Gorkha 10 K rendezvoused with us.

The young man seemed quite passionate about health and wellness. “Our organization Jai Balaji Group (JBG) is committed to support health and wellness activities in its effort to create a better tomorrow,” he said reminding us of the old phrase by Juvenal ‘mens sana in corpore sano’ (A sound mind and a sound body).

When we heard ‘JBG’ we immediately related with the famous Kolkata Trail Run. This was confirmed when he said, “JBG has been organizing Kolkata Trail Run for the last 7 years in the City of Joy and today we take immense pride in announcing our first running event in the Queen of Hills – JBG GORKHA 10K  in Darjeeling on 24th April’ 2022.”

He also informed us that the event was AIMS & World Athletics certified 10 kms route. The race was a timed chip event and provided a unique opportunity for all runners from the hills to achieve qualifying timings for international events.

“What is the minimum age group?” we asked.

“As soon as someone is 13 he or she can be a part of this,” he informed. “Our event is supported by the Darjeeling Police and will be raising funds to fuel the efforts of VIK Run Foundation and Darjeeling United Athletics Club,” he added.

We asked him, “So when does the event start?”

“The race will start and finish at the Chowrasta, Darjeeling. Reporting time is 5.30 a.m. and flag off is at 6.30 a.m.,” he informed us.

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Guess what?? Even as you read this story, they are distributing the race kits. This started yesterday. And do you know what it includes? Well they will be providing Event T-Shirt, Bibs with timing chip, Event information that is the route map, Goodies from partners and sponsors if any.

We asked, “Is there any prize money for the event?”

“The event has a total prize pool of Rs.3 lakhs and top three finishers in Male and Female category will be awarded in the following age groups,” he said and provided us this list :-

  • 13 to 17 yrs.
  • 18 to 34 yrs.
  • 35 to 49 yrs.
  • 50 yrs. and above
  • The event also has a separate local runners category –Top 3 runners (Male and Female) from Darjeeling district will be awarded.
  • Cash prize – Winner (Rs. 15,000/-), Second position (Rs. 10,000/-) and Third position (Rs. 5,000/-)

This sounds interesting, isn’t it? So people who have already registered, we will see you tomorrow. In case you haven’t, make sure you make your plans for next year.


Also Read: Running With Riyan: Cricket Goes Northeast

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