Mokokchung, December 24 (MTNews): The annual Mokokchung Christmas Cake Race is yet another event that has become a part of Christmas tradition in Mokokchung. It is an inter-ward relay race competition held on the Christmas Eve day, the 24th of December. The Mokokchung Municipal Council organizes this annual competition where both men and women from all of the 18 wards under the municipality compete. The course of the race normally starts at the town square and then stretch along the heart of the town’s main roads before culminating at the starting point.
Likewise, the 49th Inter Ward Christmas Cake Race was held this morning organized by the MMC. It was flagged off by the Deputy Commissioner of Mokokchung, Shashank Pratap Singh IAS. This year’s would have been the 51st edition but the event was cancelled in the last two years because of the COVID19 pandemic.
This year, as is the normal practice, eleven runners from each ward participated in the relay race measuring about 3 kms. The runners included 2 women and 9 men.
Lijaba Lijen Ward won the race for a record 5th time in a row. They finished the race clocking in at 11.58 minutes. They were closely followed by Dilong Ward who finished at 12.03 minutes. Sangtemla came in at third place who clocked 12.18 minutes.
The event was also marked by the declaration and presentation of the Best Maintained Ward Award 2022. Earlier, the award was known as the ‘Cleanest Ward Award’ but was renamed ‘Best Maintained Ward Award’ beginning 2017. The award was renamed in order to adjudge the over-all best maintained ward and not just cleanliness.
Aongza Ward was adjudged the Best Maintained Ward under MMC for the 6th year in a row. Salangtem Ward and Lijaba Lijen Ward were declared the second and third place winners respectively.
The Mokokchung Municipal Council also presented the Best Sanitation Worker award to Masasola (Best Sweeper) and Bendangsashi (Best Laborer).
A Tradition within a Tradition?
Lijaba Lijen Ward was officially recognized as a ward in the year 2008. Since then, it has been winning the Cake Race except on two occasions. The ward debuted in 2008 and won it straightaway. However, it finished in the second position the following year.
Lijaba Lijen Ward then won the race for four consecutive years (2010-2013), finished runners-up in 2014, and then won it again for a record 6 times in a row (2015-2022). The cake race was not held in 2020 and 2021.
Meanwhile, Aongza Ward has been the undisputed winner of the Best Maintained Ward award ever since it was introduced in 2017. It has won the award every year – 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
Lijaba Lijen Ward winning the annual Christmas Cake Race and Aongza Ward winning the Best Maintained Award is now like “a tradition within a tradition.”