Under the auspices of Special Olympics Pakistan (SOP) and with the support of major sponsors, Lakson Investment and Faysal Islamic Bank, the 9th SOP Lakson Investment Unified Marathon was held at Emaar Sales Centre, DHA Phase 8 on Sunday 11th February 2024.
Categories offered were 21 Km (Half Marathon), 10 km, 5 km, and 1 km unified walk, and wheelchair walk was also included for differently abled children and adults.
Muhammad Sajjad of DHA Creek completed the hat trick by winning the half marathon for the third consecutive time.
Sajjad, representing the Sindh Track and Field Club, covered the prescribed distance in 1 hour 14 minutes 6 seconds, Muhammad Waqas second and Shakir Usman came third.
In the Women’s half marathon, Sahrish Qayyum won with 1 hour 50 minutes 50 seconds; Meshal Hussain second and Nida Anwar emerged as the third position holder.
Special guests were Faysal Islamic Bank President Yousuf Hussain, Iqbal Ali Lakhani, and Chairman Lakson, who along with US Consul General- Karachi Conrad Tribble, and SOP Chairperson Ronak Lakhani inaugurated the marathon by cutting the ribbon for each race category.
The purpose of the marathon was to express solidarity with special athletes, to respect, include, and accept them with their special abilities, and to enable them to become a productive member of the community.
Renowned personalities including Brand Ambassador of SOP Sarwat Gilani, renowned singer Faisal Kapadia, Kashif Mustafa of Lakson Investments, Attiyah Khan of English Biscuits, Fatima Siddiqui, Senior Brand Manager of Palmolive, Rameez Sattar of Collectibles, representatives of Cybernet, Nayapay, EFU, Engro, Chevron, FOTCO and National Foods, SOP fitness ambassador Adnan Gandhi and Shoaib Nizami of Sports in Pakistan, special persons, students, men, women, children, elderly people, artists, athletes and dignitaries of the city also participated in this occasion.
The special guest of the occasion, Mr. Yousuf Hussain, President of Faysal Islamic Bank, said that the special players who won awards for the country are role models for all, their skills are not less than others.
He added that Faysal Islamic Bank will continue to patronize the special sportspersons who have increased the prestige and pride of Pakistan worldwide.
SOP chairperson Ronak Lakhani expressed her gratitude to the marathon’s sponsors, participants, and organizers and vowed to organize the marathon next year – the 10th Marathon with more enthusiasm.
Later, medals and cash prizes were distributed among the successful participants of the marathon.