A race that started with 300 students and a budget of Rs 2500, the Salwan Marathon has come a long way. The 2007 edition, staged at a new venue in the Delhi Cantonment, saw the participation level rise to 28,000 students from all over the country and abroad.
The year before, 46,000 students took part, a number that could match any global marathon.
"2006 saw a huge turnout and it became difficult to handle the children. Thus, we decided to restrict the number to 28,000 in 2007.
We plan to do the same this year too," said Inder Dutt, trustee, Salwan Education Trust said.
Close to 700 schools have registered for the November 16 race and the number is expected to go up by the time the registration closes on November 10.
The marathon also features a special race for the visually impaired and around 1300 children are expected from all over the country. The winner will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 10,000. Amidst the euphoria, the issue of over-aged participants is bothering the organizers.
"Physical trainers of the schools will provide us an age proof of each participant. Usually, the under-18 race is under the scanner as most children shave to look younger," Dutt added. An added attraction this year will be the participation of the Tibetan School, Dharamsala. Much is expected from this school because of its students' stamina.