SHILLONG, Oct 22 – The Shillong Autumn Festival would sprint off this year on October 27 with a half marathon with organisers saying it would see that the marathon becomes an annual feature in the sports calendar of the State.
The race dubbed as Shillong half marathon would be a gruelling 13.10 mile run and the organizers – Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum (MTDF) – said it would see that the marathon is held every year and hopefully it turns into a full marathon in the years ahead.
“We hope that this event features in the annual sports calendar of the state every year and hopefully it becomes a full marathon too,” RG Lyngdoh, chairperson MTDF, said.
The theme of the marathon would be “For a greener tomorrow” with MTDF focusing on saving the environment of the State, which it says is the USP of Meghalaya tourism.
“The USP of Meghalaya tourism is its environment and culture. So we are trying to create awareness in safeguarding both these important aspects,” Larsen Ming, another member of the MTDF said.
During the marathon, 13 pit stops would have various environment-related messages and banners for both the runners and the spectators to glean through, the organisers said.
Apart from the half marathon, the festival would also organise a cycling race of 13.10 mile, a “Green Run” and walkathon of five miles each on the same date.
The five mile walkathon is being planned as a community event for school and college students and other institutes. Participants would be encouraged to display costumes, fancy dresses and placard on environmental themes. MTDF has set aside the technical aspect associated with a normal walkathon and participants would only be asked to walk and not run.
After these events, the cultural shows and food court of local cuisines from the North East would be held on November 3-4 at the picturesque Orchid Lake Resort.
Lyngdoh said that this year a sound and light show titled “work of art” would be one of the attractions at the venue. Several Western music bands and cultural troupes from the region would perform during the two-day event and would have lot to offer for families and kids alike.