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Dhaka Half Marathon 2019: On our way to establishing Bangladesh’s signature running event

During the preparations of the inaugural Dhaka Half Marathon (DHM) in 2018, there was not much talk about whether another race in 2019 could be organized. Some of us thought we were already trying to accomplish the impossible with the ambitions of the first DHM so any idea of a next one was far off. At 3 pm post-race on 15 March 2019, the cheers and laughter from the 400 strong race crew expressed a very different sentiment. The second edition of the Dhaka Half Marathon was not only completed successfully but had received a bigger reception than the first one, featured more runners and saw a healthy jump in the number of people supporting an active lifestyle.

The DHM 2019 featured 1,250 runners of different age groups, experience levels and nationalities taking part. Presented by Dhaka Run Lords, it was held at the same picturesque Hatirjheel venue on a predominantly flat and fast course, providing a rewarding experience for runners and spectators alike. Runners participated in two races, a 21.1 km Half Marathon and a 7.5 km Mini Marathon. Click here to check out the winners, runners-up and race times of the Half Marathon and the Mini Marathon.

Getting better with practice: Improvements from DHM 2018
Running is a sport that is all about improving with practice and learning from each run. The success of DHM 2018 also brought with it lessons to make things better for everyone. Here are some highlights of our achievements in 2019 and improvements from the first DHM:

  • DHM 2019 hosted 1,250 runners, almost double the number from 2018.
  • The huge enthusiasm for another edition of the DHM after 2018 was evident in the fact that all the places were sold out within 45 minutes from the start of online registration.
  • We improved the online registration system to provide a more streamlined, glitch-free experience, creating a new payment gateway with different payment methods for convenience.
  • Participants from 30 different countries including an enthusiastic local expatriate community took part in DHM 2019.
  • The number of female participants increased from DHM 2018.
  • We presented an attractive new medal design which was received positively by the runners.

“We are happy to present a better and bigger event this year. We are also delighted that the online community of runners that supports this event has grown from 30,000 members in 2018 to 76,000 members in 2019” said Imtiaz Ilahi, one of the organizers and a co-founder of Dhaka Run Lords.

Support from our volunteers, supporters and sponsors
As always, our volunteers played a critical role in ensuring everything went smoothly to organize the biggest running event in Bangladesh. Our crew of 400 volunteers worked days and nights to present both runners and spectators with a great event. Enthusiastic expatriate Bangladeshis in New York, London and Sydney also ran a half marathon in their own cities on race day to support the race in Dhaka. We honored these runners by sending them medals (and race kits earlier) by post. The timings were verified on the Endomondo app.

Our sponsors have provided valuable support since DHM 2018 and this year too we partnered with leading local and international brands in the country. Gloria Jeans, a top coffee chain, supported us by having their staff wear DHM 2019 t-shirts in the weeks prior to race day. Staff at Apex shoe stores – with Apex supporting the race with their SprintA brand – did the same.

The DHM 2019 was sponsored by, among others, Nestlé Bangladesh (Title Sponsor); SprintA by Apex (Co-Sponsors); Gloria Jeans Coffees, Safola Active and Polar Ice Cream (Gold Sponsors); and organized by the Dhaka Run Lords and Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation. Click on the image below for a list of all our partners.

DHM 2019 generated high enthusiasm on social media and received positive coverage on local television channels and newspapers.
“The support we received from everyone – from participants, sponsors, the media and our online friends at home and abroad – helped us organize a high quality event and set a high bar for future events” said Mohammed Asaduzzaman, another co-founder of the Dhaka Run Lords.

Getting there slowly
“From the beginning our efforts were to position Dhaka as a international host of active lifestyle events through the DHM. With the success of DHM 2019, we are on our way to achieve that goal!” said Afnan Ahmad, another co-founder of Dhaka Run Lords. After DHM 2019 we look forward to bringing you another great running experience next year. Stay tuned with the latest updates on the Facebook and Instagram channels of Dhaka Half Marathon and Dhaka Run Lords.





Hatirjheel, Dhaka