Chandigarh is all set to host its first marathon on Sunday which will see several renowned personalities like Kiron Kher, Poonam Dhillon and Kapil Dev running to celebrate the spirit of the city.
The oldest runner competing in this marathon, 77-year-old cardiologist from Delhi Ashish Roy, is a record holder in competing in maximum marathons and will run in his 101st Sunday.
"We have received great response at local, national and at international level. Confirmations have been received from 14 renowned international marathon-runners from countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Poland and England," said Ram Niwas, home secretary of Chandigarh.
"We have added Chandigarh marathon on the annual calendar and now we will hold this event every year. We are very optimistic that Chandigarh with its beauty, broad roads, pleasant weather, pollution-free environment and sporty culture will provide an ideal place for making its first marathon the best in the country," he added.
Among the entries received so far, Masresha from Ethiopia has the best time of two hours and twelve minutes in full marathon of 42 km.
The Chandigarh administration has received 100 entries for full marathon (42 km), 250 for half marathon and 2250 for five km dream run.
Adding glamour quotient to the event will be celebrities like Kiron Kher, Gul Panag, Poonam Dhillon and cricketers Kapil Dev and Dinesh Mongia.
The full marathon will be flagged off by former Olympian Milkha Singh, who is also known as the 'flying Sikh'. The winners will be awarded a prize money of Rs.587,000.
Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Pawan Kumar Bansal will be the chief guest at the prize giving ceremony.
"All preparations for Chandigarh's first marathon have been completed. It is a very important event for us. We are conducting medical examination of all the runners. They will also be apprised about the technical and safety details in advance," said Sanjay Kumar, sports secretay of Chandigarh.
Chandigarh, one of the most well-planned cities of the country, was designed by legendary French architect Le Corbusier.