ISLAMABAD: Naseem-ud-Din outpaced the field to win the professional category of Islamabad Marathon, organised under the umbrella of Street Champions Pakistan here Sunday.
All three top places in the professional category were scooped up by Army athletes with Naseem leaving his teammates behind in the 5km tough race that saw participants ascending towards Margalla Hills.
Over 1000 enthusiasts in different categories turned out to compete in the marathon that started from Seventh Avenue (Kalsoom Plaza) and culminated at the base of Margalla Hills.
Ammar Abassi scooped up the amateur category title with Ahmed Khan (Under-12), Nauman Satti (Under-14) and Mohammad Bashir (50 plus) emerging winners in their respective categories.
Runners of all ages took keen interest in the City Marathon that was conducted to inculcate the urge for healthy activities amongst locals.
‘Run for Naya Pakistan’ and ‘Islamabad the Beautiful’ were the slogans of the marathon.
Naseem was followed by Muhammad Zeeshan for second position while Naveed finished third in professional class.
“It was just another occasion for me to flex my muscles. The marathon gave me good opportunity to train for future national and international events,” Naseem said.
He also called for more such events. “Such races help generate interest amongst youth. There is a need to organise more such events across the country.”
Faraz and Mustafa followed Ammar on second and third places respectively in amateur category.
Arslan and Jahangir Khan followed Ahmed at No 2 and No 3 respectively in Under-12 category.
In the Under-14 category, Amjad and Akram finished second and third.
Ahmer Khan and Ali Bahadur finished second and third in 50 plus category that was won by Bashir.
Advisor to Prime Minister Ali Nawaz Awan was the guest of honour and distributed trophies, cash and other awards amongst the position-holders.
Awan announced making the marathon a permanent feature of the city sports activities, saying that there was a dire need of generating healthy activities in the capital.
Brig Aamir Ikram, Brig (r) Tariq Zaman, Kamran Khawaja, Khursheed Barlas, Jilal Haider and others were also present on the occasion.
Over 150 special gifts including sports cycles and other sports gear were also distributed.
Traffic police, CDA and city administration made special arrangements to make the event a success. Capt (r) Ashraf and his team supervised the marathon.