Laamu atoll’s scenic route steals hearts of TFG runners

Participants of TFG's "Run in Laamu" do the 'dab dance' as they run along Laamu atoll's scenic route. PHOTO/TFG

Participants of TFG’s “Run in Laamu” do the ‘dab dance’ as they run along Laamu atoll’s scenic route. PHOTO/TFG

Since 2013, local gym and wellness centre TFG annually hosts a series of long runs in the Maldives. The runs are usually held in the capital’s reclaimed suburb Hulhumale, until last year when the group took the event to the second largest city in the Maldives, Addu City. Likewise, this year, TFG had taken the event all the way to the Maldives’ scenic south, Laamu atoll.

TFG on Saturday successfully concluded the fifth event of its kind, sponsored by Coca-Cola Maldives, with over 300 participants running across the road that connects Gan, Mandhoo and Kahdhoo in the atoll.

A TFG Long Run participant in the "Run in Laamu" event. PHOTO/TFG

A TFG Long Run participant in the “Run in Laamu” event. PHOTO/TFG

Surprisingly, after the long five-kilometre run, the participants were unable to stop gushing over how refreshing their run was. All the runners had duly credited the peaceful and uplifting atmosphere in Laamu for their experience.

“There is no place like Laamu atoll,” said the Maldives’ famous ultra-runner Ahmed Athif, who was also a participant. “There were no unnecessary sounds and it was a very straightforward route, which makes running so much easier because we don’t have to concentrate on anything else: we just have to focus on the straight road ahead.”

Two participants of TFG Long Run in the "Run in Laamu" event. PHOTO/TFG

Two participants of TFG Long Run in the “Run in Laamu” event. PHOTO/TFG

Many participants even claimed that the ‘Laamu Route’ was better than last year’s long run held on Addu City’s famous link road.

The Laamu atoll council’s president Abdullah Shareef was not surprised by the runners’ experience. Before the run commenced, he had guaranteed the participants that it would, indeed, be the best running experience they would have in the Maldives by far.

Besides the obvious scenic conveniences, there were many facets that made the long run in Laamu atoll memorable for the participants. Local talent DJ Umar Ziyad kept the energy flowing with his upbeat music throughout the run while the gracious local volunteers from Laamu atoll and TFG instructors ensured all participants were fit, on route, and well-hydrated.

TFG officials hand out medals to "Run in Laamu" participants at the Finish line. PHOTO/TFG

TFG officials hand out medals to “Run in Laamu” participants at the Finish line. PHOTO/TFG

“[This] is one of the most well-organised running events I’ve been a part of, for sure. Everything went so smoothly and we did not face any problems,” said a regular runner, who went all the way to Laamu from Male.

Approximately 200 people from the capital had flown down south to take part in this event, and over 100 locals from Laamu atoll also ran in this year’s TFG long run.

The next run of the series is scheduled to be held on April 20, in Hulhumale.

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