By Islamuddin Sajid
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) - A marathon at world's high-altitude on Saturday has commenced in scenic Hunza valley near China border in northern Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, official said.
A total of 154 runners are participating in the race, among them 39 are foreigners from 17 different countries while the rest are Pakistanis, the Pakistan Air Forces (PAF) said in a statement.
The marathon started from Khunjarab Pass, border point with neighboring China, the statement added.
The event has organized by the PAF and winter sports federation of Pakistan at Karakoram Highway at the altitude of 15,000 feet (4,572 meters) above the sea-level.
The marathon, which comprises of three categories -- ultra-marathon (50 kilometers or 31 miles), marathon (42 kilometers or 26 miles), and mini-marathon (21 kilometers or 13 miles).
"The foreign athletes who arrived in Gilgit-Baltistan yesterday have praised the natural beauty of the valley and hospitality of Pakistani people," PAF said in its statement.
PAF also released the videos in which the foreigners were looking very happy and excited to have arrived at the highest spot, participating in tough race at world's high altitude to get their names registered in the world record books.
Last year, the event was held at an altitude of 11,300 feet (3,444 meters) above the sea-level at Naltar valley of Gilgit region.
The event is aimed at promoting the country’s tourism and a soft image in the world.