The month of marathons is all set for another one — Salwan marathon —the biggest cross-country race for students in the world. Around 30,000 children from across the country will run the race, which also has a special section for the visually impaired. Participants are also expected from Nepal, Bangladesh and Egypt.
The 15th edition of the race will have five Olympians who will run as volunteers with the visually impaired students.
Archer Bombayla Devi, boxer Dinesh Kumar, long distance runner Preeja Sreedharan, athlete Sinimol Paulose and shooter Harveen Srao are the five Olympians, from Mittal Champions’ Trust, who will assist the 850 visually impaired kids as volunteers.
Speaking about the preparations for the annual event, Inder Dutt Salwan, trustee of the Salwan Education Trust that organises the race, said, “We start working for the race every year from January. It takes 10 months at least to put everything in order.” 800 physical instructors from across the city are trained for the race.
The race categories include that for U-14 (3 kms), U-16 (5 kms), U-18 (8 kms) and that for the visually impaired (3 kms). Even though the road race cannot technically qualify as a marathon, the idea behind it was to introduce students to sports and running initially.
“We wanted that children should take to sports and become more competitive. That is why we call it a marathon,” Inder Dutt explained.