At 64, Ravi Sharma did not expect to finish the full marathon before his young son. But, that's exactly what happened on Sunday morning when the duo set out to cover 42 km of the Mumbai Marathon 2011.
Sharma, who owns a travel agency, clocked 5.28 hours on his stopwatch when he crossed the finish line, a good 10 minutes before his 35-year-old son, Mandar. "Both of us developed leg cramps on the sea link, but his got worse," said Sharma, a Prabhadevi resident.
The Sharmas marathon experience symbolised the city's never-say-die spirit as nearly 14,000 participants thumped down the full and half marathon routes. As they ran across the finish line, exhausted participants looked thrilled to have accomplished the feat. But during the course of the race, not all went smoothly for them.
Several half marathoners, who began the run from Bandra Fire Station at 6.15 am, complained that they were unable to see clearly on the stretch before the Bandra-Worli sea link. "Some places were too dark and in others, the lights were blinding," said Naresh Lalwani, 47. "They should have started the race a little later." Lalwani and several other runners also complained that the toilet facilities were inadequate.
Runners started the 21-km race practically stepping on each other's toes and facing logistical hassles of various kinds, which, they said, considerably affected their race timings.
Full marathon runners Anisha Devi, 19, and Narendra Kumar, 48, who came from Allahabad for their first marathon in Mumbai, were upset with the organisers for not providing alert guidance.
"With 11 km left, we took a wrong turn and lost time as there was no one to show us the way," said Devi, a Class 10 student.