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Marathon: a melting pot of cultures

Marzban Wadia, 73, from Umargaon, a small town in Gujarat participated in the marathon for the first time. He travelled to Mumbai to represent the Parsi community.

mumbai Updated: Jan 21, 2013 00:57 IST
Nidhi Varma

Marzban Wadia, 73, from Umargaon, a small town in Gujarat participated in the marathon for the first time. He travelled to Mumbai to represent the Parsi community.

“I am a sports lover and believe in fitness. I came with a message to spread love and brotherhood amongst all,” said Wadia who ran the 4km senior citizen marathon sporting a t-shirt that read ‘People Always Ready to Serve India (PARSI)’ “I will definitely be a part of marathon as long as my body allows it.”

Apart from foreign sportspersons who ran the competitive races, the marathon brought participants from India and abroad.

Curiosity about the scale of the marathon brought Chennai resident Sangita Nehru and her family to the city.

“I had heard of the Mumbai marathon but never got a chance to be a part of it. This year, my workplace encouraged employees’ fitness and I decided to participate,” said Nehru, who ran the 6km dream run. Her husband and four-year-old child came to support her.

“It was an amazing experience. I started with the dream run to build my confidence and will participate in the half marathon next time,” added Nehru.

A 40-year-old sports enthusiast and IT professional, Sandeep Kumar, came from Pune and successfully ran the full marathon.

Waiting at the finish line with their daughter, Kumar’s wife Shivani said, “It was his aim to complete the entire run without keeping a track of the time. The marathon feeds his passion, but it gives us reason to picnic.”

While most foreigners would use their first visit to the city to see tourist sites, Takashi Yamazaki, 42, an Indonesian, and Tetsuya Yamamoto, 41, from Singapore, came to Mumbai only to run the half marathon.

“One of our friends has moved to Mumbai with work, and since he decided to run the marathon we decided to join him,” said the duo, who arrived on Saturday and will fly back on Monday.