For the bystanders, unlike the 33,000 participants in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, Sunday morning was about getting a slice of Bollywood.
Perched in a VIP enclosure, John Abraham and his girlfriend Bipasha Basu, pulled maximum crowds as one fulfiled his duty as
event ambassador while the other proffered cheers and encouragement to the participants. Actor Arshad Warsi too volunteered whistles and enthusiasm.
Before she was escorted to the VIP enclosure, actor Shabana Azmi stopped by one of the main gates to support actor Rahul Bose’s NGO, The Foundation, which educates children in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. “I feel extremely special being here and witnessing an event of such scale,” said Azmi.
Sagarika Ghatge of Chak De! India fame was delayed in resuming her first shot at the Dream Run, as fans queued tirelessly for pictures with the soft-spoken actor. “Having studied in a boarding school, athletics has been an integral part of my childhood. I gym and do cardio daily so that keeps me prepared for any sporting activity,” said Ghatge.
Walking the Dream Run was the preferred choice of the glam brigade; Bose, Konkona Sen Sharma, Tara Sharma, Vinod Khanna, Sohail Khan, and Tina Ambani all attended in aid of pet causes.
For former marathoner Sharman Joshi, it was his new film Allah Ke Bande that drew him back. “The film aims to support underprivileged children. The first time I attended, it (the marathon) was like a carnival, but I’m hoping this time my running for a cause will make a difference.”
Sprinting past in a fluorescent pink jacket and running shorts, a marathon regular, Milind Soman was conspicuous by the loud cheers he drew from passing contingents. Out of breath by the 21-km half marathon, Soman didn’t wait to oblige the non-participants.