The route of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, to be held on January 17, 2010, will include the Rajiv Gandhi (Bandra-Worli) sealink, marathon organisers announced at a press conference on Friday.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has granted permission to use the sealink for the seventh edition of the marathon without any charges, said Anil Singh, spokesperson of Procam International, the event promoter.
The first half of the 42.195 kilometre full marathon will follow its usual route from CST to the Bandra fire station, and will then use the sealink on its return.
The 21-km half marathon will for the first time begin at Bandra Reclamation, and end at CST via the sea link. This change has been incorporated to give a clear running space for the full marathoners, keeping in mind the increasing numbers of runners in the full and half categories.
“When the sea link was still under construction last year, I had suggested that it would be a good idea to have the iconic Mumbai marathon take place on it,” state minister for food and civil supplies, Anil Deshmukh, told journalists.
The Mumbai marathon this year is also one of the 12 full marathons in the world to be granted the ‘Gold Label Honour’ by the International Association of Athletics Federation, for meeting a number of criteria including a high participation of world-class athletes and strict anti-doping procedures.
About 38,450 runners have registered in various categories of the 2010 marathon, including the 6-km Dream Run and the wheelchair and senior citizens’ runs. This is an increase of 2,500 registrations over last year.
The prize money for the winners has also been raised to a total of $3,10,000 from last year’s $2,50,000 and prize money for the Indian athletes has more than doubled. The winners of the full marathon in the men and women’s category will receive $ 35,000 and $31,000 respectively.
The best Indian finisher in the men’s and women’s category will receive $6,000 each, as compared to $2,500 offered last year.
A week before the day of the marathon, the “marathon flame”, an international symbol of the sporting event, will burn in Mumbai. The torch will be brought from the town of Marathon in Greece for the occasion.