A marathon that took place on Sunday drew crowds of nature lovers as people welcomed a day in the scenic hills that epitomise Islamabad. With approximately 150 participants in the marathon and more than 150 runners, the activity organised by Serena Hotels appealed to a wide section of society. The Margalla Hills National Park carries great significance for people of Islamabad and Rawalpindi as it is the repository of indigenous flora and fauna, an escape from the traffic and chaos of city life and a source of clean air and water. Serena Hotel Chief Executive Officer Aziz Boolani said, “Preserving the environment is a cause that is very important to Serena Hotels. Responsible natural resource management has always been one of our top priorities and we have inculcated ecologically sustainable policies within the Hotel but raising awareness and encouraging our friends and communities to do the same is also essential.” Serena Hotels has sponsored the marathon as part of its adventure diplomacy initiative. Earlier this year, it hosted the first Pakistan Karakorum Marathon, organised by the Pakistan Air Force that drew international record holders and prize winners to Naltar, a stunning valley in Gilgit, situated at over 8,000 feet above sea level. The 21.55 kilometre route for the marathon began at Trail 5 to Faisal Mosque, Chak Chabbi, Talhar Ridge and back to Trail 5 while the route for 5.5K started at the Trail 5 Parking to Trail 3-B, to the exercise point above the umbrella and back to Trail 5. Participants were given certificates and medals and the top three runners in both categories received cash awards. Published in Daily Times, December 3rd 2018.