Two miniature Mahatma Gandhis, a family of ‘Auros’, the Rani of Jhansi, and Ronald McDonald — they all spilled out on the city’s streets on Sunday for the Dream Run of the Mumbai Marathon.
Forget running shoes and lycra shorts, the Dream Run was about fancy dresses, banners and crazy hats. “Anything to catch attention,” said Sowmya Mandanapu, attired as Rani of Jhansi brandishing a sword in support of the girl child. “Today, I experienced Mumbai’s spirit after hearing so much of it,” said Mandanapu, who is from Hyderabad.
Miten Shah (28), a Napean Sea Road businessman, held a white dove as he waited for the Dream Run to begin. His five-year-old twin boys were dressed as little ‘Gandhijis’. It’s no coincidence that they share their birthday, October 2, with the Mahatma. It was their first time at the marathon and the Shahs went the whole hog to promote the message of peace. “I will release the dove at the start of the Dream Run. It is symbolic of peace and a plea to save the environment,” said Shah.
The Zoop group, a bunch of family and friends which offers a spectacle to marathon participants every year, came as a gaggle of Auros, based on Amitabh Bachchan’s character in film Paa, this year. They stood out in their distinctive green sweaters, school bags, spectacles and bald pate. “This is a fun family outing for us every year,” said Rakhi Chheda holding up a poster urging people to save water. “By equating Paa and paani we thought we would spread the message of conserving water,” she said, as the group braved the heat in sleeveless woolen sweaters.
The 6-km route saw hordes turn up for the event. A participant joked it was more of a “dream walk” given that quick movement was impossible in the large sauntering crowd.
“But walking is just as good. It’s about coming out for a cause and having a good time,” said Neeta Sukthankar, volunteer with Welfare of Stray Dogs.