Shillong, Sep 30: Although he did not compete in the Elite Runners category, Meghalaya’s Wolbetstar Ramsiej was the fastest of all the 21km participants at this year’s Sohra International Half Marathon, which was held today.
Ramsiej was competing in the Open Meghalaya category for men and crossed the finish line in a time of 1 hour, 4 minutes and 35 seconds, according to the official records. He was followed by Emphius Nongrum (1:05:25) and Monas Bongrung (1:06:37).
The Elite race was won by Kenya’s Elkana Kipkoech Rono (1:06:29), who was just eight seconds ahead of Bongrung. Second among the Elite runners was another Kenyan Richard Kiprop (1:07:23) and third was India’s Neeraj Kumar Maurya (1:08:03).
The fastest woman was Renu Singh of India, who finished in 1 hour, 10 minutes and 30 seconds in the Elite women’s category. She was followed by compatriot Tamsin Singh (1:12:30) and Kenya’s Agnes Mueni Mutua (1:13:51). The Open Meghalaya women’s race was won by Darishisha Iangjuh (1:30:11), with Phyrnai Kyndait (1:32:06) second and Ibanriakor Lyngkhoi (1:34:03) third.
In the 10km race, the close men’s run was won by Daniel Lyngdoh Wahlang (0:29:09) ahead of Sainkupar Jyrwa (0:29:35) and Teiboklang Biam (0:30:30). Glorify Kurbah (0:37:39) won the women’s event, with Inocensia Tympuin (0:39:13) second and Balarisha Thyrniang (0:39:43) half a minute behind in third.
There were also categories for 45-55 years men and women and 55-plus men and women. These were won by Samir Kolya (0:35:48), Smarles Marwein (0:49:06), Swonding Mawlong (0:36:53) and septuagenarian grandmother Kmoin Wahlang (0:51:37) respectively.
More than 3,000 runners, including over 1,200 children, in all categories turned up in the early hours of the morning to participate.
The event, recognised by World Athletics and the Athletics Federation of India, began with the 21km half marathon event followed by the 10km race and 5km Run for Fun in a staggered fashion.
Runners from Assam, Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi came as well as those from Kenya.
The Run for Fun was the biggest in terms of participants, with over 2,000, some as young as 6 years old, giving it a go.
Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Shakliar Warjri was present at the closing ceremony with Sohra and Shella MLAs Gavin Mylliem and Balajied Synrem respectively.
Winners of the Elite half marathon each received Rs 1 lakh in prize money. Winners of the Open Meghalaya half marathon each received Rs 50,000 and those of the 10km race Rs 30,000. The winners of the 45-55 and 55-plus age category 10km races each received Rs 20,000.
Second- and third-placed finishers also received cash prizes, along with consolation prizes for other runners up to eighth place (up to ninth in the Meghalaya open half marathon category).
Total prize money amounted to Rs 11.7 lakh.