SHILLONG: Three National Defence Academy (NDA) course-mates from the 67 NDA Course batch made history at the third edition of the Assam Rifles Hills Half Marathon at Laitkor, Shillong, on Sunday as they bagged gold, silver and bronze in the over 55-year-old category. Commander AP Venkatesh (NDA Alpha Squadron), a veteran from the Indian Navy, won the gold, Brigadier Sanjay Rawal (NDA Hunter Squadron), a veteran from the Indian Army, won the silver and Lt Gen PC Nair (NDA Hunter Squadron), the Director General of Assam Rifles won the bronze.
The Half Marathon was held as part of the 'Fit India Movement' by Assam Rifles and saw many runners participating with great enthusiasm. The passion for long-distance running over the years brought the three coursemates together for the event. Commander Venkatesh travelled from Bangalore, while Brigadier Sanjay Rawal travelled from Delhi for the event.
With no practise in hill running, these two officers participated and left the competition in their age category far behind. This motivation, zeal and enthusiasm to run at this age is a consequence of their NDA DNA, as those present during the event commented.
It surely would have inspired many officers and soldiers who were present at Laitkor, Shillong, today.
"Age is surely no bar and if you have a firm resolve, nothing can stop you," was a statement that was espoused by all three coursemates. Their course spirit and NDA bonhomie were very evident, as was seen at the end of the race, where they not only congratulated and hugged each other but also clicked many photos together. They took home a check for Rs 12,000, Rs 11,000 and Rs 10,000, respectively. Running as a passion has seen an exponential rise in the country. It was surprising to note the large number of civilian participants in the event. The oldest participant in the half marathon was a local lady, aged 75. (ANI)