It seemed more of a dance parade than a marathon.
As Bollywood songs blasted the morning stillness at CST, hundreds of senior citizens showed off their best moves before a cheering crowd at the seventh Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon’s Senior Citizens Run on Sunday.
Sporting cheery yellow tees, the 60-plus ‘silvers’, as they are referred to by Tina Ambani’s Harmony for Silvers Foundation for the elderly, appeared the most enthusiastic and exuberant among the morning’s milling masses.
While actor Akshay Kumar spurred the seniors along from a podium, the charged up silvers broke into an impromptu jig for him. They walked, jogged and grooved through the 4.3-km stretch with determined vigour and a never-say-die spirit.
Under the shade of a red and white umbrella with the words ‘88 not out’ imprinted in bold, Shashikant Jhaveri strutted past the finish line still bubbling with energy. “I’m 88 going on 120,” he laughed.
For Madhubhai Chowksi (78) and J.R. Shroff (75), who go for a rigorous daily swim, the 4.3-km stretch was akin to a walk in the park with friends.
As members of the Swimmers’ Friends Club, the duo’s marathon training included a daily two-hour swim, walks and yoga. “We really enjoy the atmosphere here,” said Chowksi who walked through his third consecutive marathon.
Bearing a small potted plant in her hands, Nina Rajkumar Loyalka crossed the finish line, flushed and beaming. The 66-year-old head of the committee that looks after the Nani Nani Park in Chowpatty said: “I sang, danced and thoroughly enjoyed myself.” Making her fifth appearance at the marathon, Loyalka said she had come “to have a great time and to cheer Mumbai.”
Some seniors sought attention with their eye-catching headgear. An old man donned a feathered Red Indian mask and an elderly woman sported a rainbow-coloured Afro wig.