With the objective of bringing Basar, the home of the Galo people and the untapped potential of Arunachal Pradesh, to the attention of runners, adventure enthusiasts, historians, and cultural evangelists, local non-government organisation Gumin Rvgo Kilaju (GRK) and Bangalore-based startups Indian Trailways, powered by RunMonks and RaceTime India, recently hosted — Basar Running Ultra Trail Experience (BRUTE 22).
The campaign, which began as a tourist-based running event, promoted the Likabali-Basar-Mechuka tourism circuit as an exotic tourist destination, raised awareness about drug abuse, and promoted holistic fitness and lifestyle through running. Basar is the administrative centre of the Leparada District, which is located approximately 260 kilometres from Itanagar.
The marathon was divided into two distance categories: elite ultramarathon (60 kilometres) and mid-distance (30 kilometres). According to the organisers, the programme drew around 45 elite runners from all over India, as well as local runners from Arunachal Pradesh. There was also a 5-kilometre open fun run for school children, jawans from the Indo-Tibetan border forces, and visitors to ensure that the event was inclusive; this category saw an amazing turnout of over 300 participants.
Kardo Nyigyor, Likabali MLA, inagurated the race in the presence of Basar MLA Gokar Basar. Seeing the huge response and passion for this event, Gokar Basar stated that it will become an annual event in the future and serve as a model for what may potentially be reproduced across the state, according to the organiser.
The runners lined up with the enthusiasm and support of local communities and supporters, and the event began at dawn. Over 100 volunteers managed the event's arrangements, hydration stations, and other logistics were well managed by over 100 volunteers, these were local enthusiastic village folks along with the Jawans from the Indo Tibetan Border Forces.
It did not take long to see the first athlete cross the finish line, Bipul Satnami from Assam raced across the finish line in less than two hours, while the second and third places went to Arunachal athletes – Gommu Jilen and Modak Riba, a proud moment for our local runners.
In the arduous 60 Km category, Naba Deka took first place with a time of 7 hours and 8 minutes, Mahesh Tiwari took second place with a time of 7 hours and 8 minutes, and Manish Jaiswal of Mumbai took third place with a time of 7 hours and 8 minutes.
Other notable runners included Kieren Dsouza – one of India's greatest ultrarunners – Yuvaraj Patil – an ultra runner with numerous running accolades, Bubul Khanikar – an ultra runner and coach from Guwahati, Assam, Ashwini Bhat from Bangalore, and a couple in their 60's Shamala Manmohan and Ramdas Manmohan Kittane
The 5 Km run attracted over 300 runners, including students, ITBP Jawans, and tourists, making it a truly inclusive event for all. The first place runner, a student aged 12, completed the 5 Km in 18 minutes, demonstrating the enormous potential that these children in these parts possess and how, if given the proper platform and direction, they can develop into world class athletes.
Additionally, the evening gala cultural event was presided over by Saurav Dubey, deputy commandant, ITBP Basar, Arunachal Pradesh, as the chief guest, who felicitated all the runners.
“We feel we have accomplished our objective of holding the inaugural edition of BRUTE, which is to promote holistic fitness, wellbeing, and rejuvenation, as well as to promote tourism, adventure, cultural diversity, and causes,” the organisers stated.
The event was organised by GRK Gumin Rvgo Kilaju (GRK) in collaboration with Rajesh Narayana of Race Time India, who served as the race director, and Kushagra Sharma of RunMonks, who served as the event's communications and media director, under the direction of the GRK leadership team of Er. Tomo Basar, Egam Basar, Jumgam Basar, Karbom Riram, Jummar Basar, Bomken Basar