The very first Marathon in Afghanistan took place in the province of Bamyan, amidst the mighty mountains of the Hindu Kush in central Afghanistan. The astonishingly beautiful valley, a UNESCO world heritage site, is recognized as one of the safest provinces in the country and remains almost completely untouched by violence. Keith MacIntosh, from England won the Bamyan 42 km marathon and Nazeira Saifi became the champion of 10 km marathon among female runners.
120 runners from 6 countries including Afghanistan, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, United States and Sri Lanka have participated in Bamyan Marathon. Bamyan Marathon has been organized by Untamed Borders and Silk Road tour agency, aimed to promote the tourism industry in the province where the world’s largest standing Buddha and ancient cities of Gholghola and Zuhak located.
MacIntosh, the champion of the marathon said that he has run in ten marathons in ten different countries. “I have been interested to run in Bamyan Marathon and I did it.” James the Marathon’s referee said that Bamyan is a suitable peaceful place for conducting sport events.
Bamyan governor also welcomed the event and promised that he would continuously support any initiative to promote sport and tourism in the province. He promised that the Bamyan local government will award a residential land for any athletes who can get international championship in any sport fields. The next Bamyan Marathon would be organized in autumn 2016.