Army athlete Rokaya clinches Pokhara MarathonThe army man was neck to neck with four other runners until 45 minutes before he took sole lead from 1 hour and 47 minutes.
Tribhuvan Army Club runner Rajan Rokaya clinched the 15th Pokhara International Marathon held in Pokhara, Kaski, on Saturday as runners from the departmental team claimed the top three finishes.
Rokaya got the better of his colleague Gyan Prasad Bhattarai, clocking 2 hours 28 minutes 56 seconds. Bhattarai completed the 42.195km distance in 2:33:48 while Dev Raj Basnet finished third at 2:42:33.
Rokaya, who claimed his second long-distance title in a span of 32 days after winning the Tanahun Marathon, was not content with his timing. “I had the ambition of finishing the race within 2 hours and 22 minutes. I could also have achieved that had the route [road] been in good condition. Ongoing construction works around the airport and other places interrupted the pace,” said the 22-year-old, who hails from Jumla.
The army man was neck to neck with four other runners until 45 minutes before he took sole lead from 1 hour and 47 minutes. “I am very much pleased to win the marathon in my very first participation,” said Rokaya, who joined Nepal Army five years ago, having got into athletics in 2008.
Rokaya bagged a purse of Rs200,000 while second-placed Bhattarai and Basnet walked away with Rs100,000 and Rs75,000 respectively.
Meanwhile, Rajpura Pachi of Nepal Police Club secured the women's half-marathon trophy finishing the race in 1 hour 27 minutes and 08 seconds. Ram Maya Budha of Jumla secured second position completing the race in 1 hour, 30 minutes and 44 seconds. Brinda Shrestha of the Armed Police Force got third place with a timing of 1 hour 31 minutes 14 seconds.
The top three finishers of the half marathon were awarded Rs100, 000, Rs75,000 and Rs50,000 respectively.
The event organised by Ex-Players Forum saw the participation of 209 men runners and 29 women runners. The event kicked off from Pokhara Stadium and finished at the same point going through Chhorepatan, Lakeside, Bagar and Mahendra Cave.