It's the joy of running, says city | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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It's the joy of running, says city

For most people, it was less the allure of the prize money and more the love of running or the desire to better their own timings that prompted them to participate.

mumbai Updated: Jan 16, 2012 01:39 IST

Ankita Mittal, 27, ran the full marathon (42 km) on Sunday morning.

Mittal was running her sixth marathon and expected no reward other than the thrill of running.

But in the evening, much to her delight, she learnt that she had placed third in the amateur women's category. She is among the first batch of amateur runners this year who will get a prize money.

"I didn't even realise there was prize money for amateurs and found out only later that I had finished third," said Mittal. "I'm still digesting the fact that I finished with a timing of 3:42 hours."

For most people, it was less the allure of the prize money and more the love of running or the desire to better their own timings that prompted them to participate.

Henrik Westerlin, 36, who ran the full marathon, finished fifth in the amateur men's category with a timing of 2:59 hours. He missed out being among the top three male amateurs. "I wasn't here to compete, I was just running my own race," said Westerlin, a Dane who works in Gujarat.

The winner in the men's category, Tanaji Nalavade, clocked in at 2:46 hours. The winner in the women's category was Andrea Stadler with a timing of 3:29 hours.

In all, 2,708 runners participated in the full marathon, while 13,946 took part in the half marathon.

Roshni Rai, 30, who finished with a timing of 4:50 hours, managed to make it under five hours this year, ensuring a qualification in the ultra marathon scheduled to be held in June in Cape Town.

"Running is a hobby. This year I was aiming to go under five hours to qualify," said Rai, a legal executive.

For many making their debut in the city's race, the scenic route and the joy of coursing on the open road was worth the run.

"Running over the quiet sea link with just the pitter patter of running feet - I loved the atmosphere," said Adam Dudley, 40, a British expatriate who ran the half marathon. "It was beautiful."

While runners on the whole praised the facilities and arrangements of adequate water, toilets and route guides on the way, some said lighting was a problem at the start.

"As the race started before sunrise, a 200-metre patch beyond the start line was relatively dark," said Rajendra Bhagat, 50, who participated in the half marathon. "It was a good marathon, but it was crowded towards the end," said Ryan Walsh, 29, who completed the full marathon in 3:49 hours.