Mrunal Manmay Dash

The International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) in collaboration with the Bodh Gaya Marathon Committee flagged off the inaugural Bodh Gaya Marathon on Sunday at Bodh Gaya in Bihar.

The flag-off ceremony was presided over by monk Tai Situpa Rinpoche, Lt Gen. P.S. Minhas, and DG IBC Abhijit Halder, adding a spiritual and military aura to the event.

The marathon brought together soldiers and monks, creating a blend of spirituality and physical endurance at the event.

“The unique aspect of soldiers walking alongside monks conveyed a powerful message inspired by the principles of Karma and Dhamma, following in the footsteps of Lord Buddha. This harmonious fusion of military discipline and spiritual enlightenment added an extra layer of significance to the marathon, making it a symbol of unity, peace, and shared humanity,” the IBC said in a statement.

Bodh Gaya MarathonBodh Gaya Marathon

“Amidst the strides of runners and soldiers, a profound message of global harmony and peace resonated throughout the Bodh Gaya Marathon. The monks, draped in robes, not only participated but also symbolized the teachings of Lord Buddha, emphasizing the coordination of mind and body—a poignant reminder of the pursuit of unity and spiritual balance in the journey towards lasting peace,” the IBC said.

As per reports, approximately 800 participants, including professional runners, monks, army personnel, common people, and government officials, converged at the starting point—Magadha University.

Bodh Gaya MarathonBodh Gaya Marathon

This run for peace and unity was joined by international participants as well, from countries like Korea, Hong Kong, England, Bhutan, Kenya, and more.

The marathon had categories spanning 42.195 kilometers, 21.097 kilometers, 10 kilometers (time-bound), and a 5-kilometer (Dhamma run).

Bodh Gaya marathon was endorsed by the Athletic Federation of India. It holds certification from AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races). “The inclusion of these prestigious certifications underscores the event's commitment to maintaining international standards of excellence,” the IBC said.