ISLAMABAD - Thirty five international runners from 24 countries arrived in Pakistan to participate in the Karakoram marathon challenge.

Air Vice Marshal Sarfraz Khan, Air Officer Commanding Northern Air Command, welcomed the participants upon their arrival at PAF Naltar. The unique high-altitude marathon challenge will take place at an altitude of 11,300 ft above sea-level at the Naltar Valley, Gilgit. The event is organised by PAF in collaboration with international marathon travel company, Z Adventures and Serena Hotels.

It is a landmark event as international runners from various countries including 70 armed forces staff along with 30 Pakistani runners will be racing in full marathon (42.2km), as well as half-marathon category (21.1km).

The event is meant to bring world record breaking marathon runners to Pakistan to show them how beautiful the country is. It is pertinent to mention here that the youngest competitor is 10 years old, while the oldest is 80 years. Top international runners from various regions like Ziyad Rahim from Pakistan, Dr Jurgen Kuhlmey from Germany, Janos & Edit Kiss from Hungary, John Lum Young from Trinidad, Giuseppe Raguso from Italy, JC Santa Teresa from USA, Rene Olsen from Denmark, Dan Micola from Czech Republic, Zara Rahim & Mekaal Rahim from (Canada/Pakistan), Philippe Waroux from France, David Darton and Colin Lea from UK will also showcase their talents in the races that would provide an excellent opportunity to Pakistani athletes to learn from their competitors and improve their standing in the world.

Apart from it, runners from Australia, Belgium, Egypt, Tunisia, Faroe Islands, Poland, Qatar, UAE, Argentina, Ireland, Taiwan, China, Scotland and Netherlands are also going to take part in the event.