With the Olympics, and Usain Bolt’s antics, putting the spotlight firmly on track sports, running is gaining popularity among fitness enthusiasts. If you’re one, the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC) is organising a marathon this Sunday with races for men, women, children and senior citizens.
Most of the races will start at Viva College, while the half marathons will start from the Vasai Court. There is also a three km ‘fun run’ for those who want to be part of the revelries but not huff and puff their way across the finish line. Races commence at 7 am with staggered starts until 10 am. This is the second year of the marathon, and the national-level event will be supporting a social cause this year as well — to save the girl child. Lending support to the cause is Olympic silver medallist Sushil Kumar who will be flagging off the races. Avid runner Milind Soman will be participating in the full marathon of 42.195 km.
VVMC Mayor Rajiv Patil will be present at the venue supporting the runners. “The Mumbai marathon is too far for us to travel to, so we decided to start our own in the area. We’ve seen tremendous participation from students, local sportspeople and even housewives,” he says. Olympian PT Usha was the face of the event last year and Asian Games gold medallist Shiny Wilson and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Kavita Raut will be there this year. Patil describes the route as scenic and hopes that the marathon will help promote tourism in the region. “There are many tourist spots in Vasai-Virar and it makes for a great short vacation,” says Patil.
Registration and entry are free, however participants who wish to time their run can buy a chip for R200. Event is open to all Indian runners.