It was an unnatural crowd for 7am, especially for a Sunday. But the throng at Gurgaon’s Leisure Valley showed no signs of thinning —instead, it continued to grow. Teenagers, toddlers, 30-something professionals —they were arriving in hordes. The occasion? A marathon to help raise funds for three thalassemic children.
By 8 30 am, the final numbers had come in: about 700 people had participated in the two runs (5 km and 10 km), and Genesis foundation (the organizing body) had raised approximately Rs 8 lakh.
“I wanted to do this because it helps create positive energy. God said that Sunday is the day of rest, but I don’t believe that,” said Henry Ledlie, former CEO of IDP Australia. Ledlie was one of the many CEOs running. Others included Praveen Someswar, COO of Pepsico, and Milind Pant, CMO of Yum foods.
In another corner of the ground, 26-year-old Dipika Pankaj Jaiswal celebrated with her five-year-old daughter Prakruti after finishing the 5 km run. “She cycled next us to as we jogged through the course. She woke us up early because she was so excited to come here,” Jaiswal, who works in the hospitality business, said.
“On another Sunday I would’ve been sleeping. Today I helped save three lives,” a proud Parag Aurora, a 25-year-old PR executive who participated in the 5 km run, said.
Awareness for the campaign was spread mostly through emails and social networking sites like Facebook.
“I wanted to get corporate Gurgaon involved in order to help raise awareness. We could’ve done something more high profile but in these recessionary times, low cost activities like marathons work best,” Prema Sagar, Founder of Genesis foundation, said. The foundation has so far managed to save the lives of 68 such children.