With fitness as their mantra, more than 32,000 people participated in the 22nd Thane Mayor Varsha Marathon 2011 held on Sunday. The event was organised by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) on behalf of mayor Ashok Vaity.
Defending champion Deepak Kumar from Pune managed to retain his first slot this year too by defeating Parshuram Bhoi from Kolhapur (1:11:40), and Shashikant from Indian Air Force (1:11:44), who stood second and third respectively in the 21-km-long run.
By completing the run in 1 hour, 10 minutes and 6 seconds, Deepak bettered his last year's record of 1:10:58.
Monica Attre won the under-15 girls category with 1:02:08 as the timing followed by Supriya Patil (1:02:16) and Minakshi Patil (1:03:45).
Yuva Sena leader Aditya Thackeray along with Ashok Vaity and MLA Eknath Shinde flagged off the event. Thackeray also participated in the run for a short while.
"The civic body has always been keen on making this event a great experience for all the participants and Thane residents. For tribal kids, this is a lifetime experience. As we want to match the standards of an international marathon, we have tried to fill all the potholes along the route to facilitate the runners," Vaity said.
Senior citizens also participated in large numbers in the event. A one-minute silence was observed in the memory of 13/7 blast victims.
The prizes for winners were distributed by minister of state for tribal development, Rajendra Gavit, Ashok Vaity, municipal commissioner RA Rajeev, MP Anand Paranjape among others.
(With inputs from Indo-Asian News Service)