Mumbai Marathon: 44,407 people stepped out to make it a success
Many runners said the arrangements were better compared to previous yearsmumbai Updated: Jan 22, 2018 09:15 IST
To break their earlier record or to create a new one, the city ran for different reasons in the 15th edition of the Tata Mumbai Marathon on Sunday. A total of 44,407 people took part in the marathon this year, compared 42,379 last year.
The changes to the route, before Siddhivinayak temple and after Flora Fountain owing to the ongoing Metro work, did not deter runners from finishing their set targets.
Pratik Jain, a city-based employee in a media firm, who ran the half marathon the second time, said he was slightly inconvenienced in the last leg of the run. “The passage towards the end was narrower compared to last year. But as we ran to raise money for remand homes, it didn’t bother us much,” he said.
Many runners said the arrangements were better compared to previous years. “From messages on change in routes to goody bags and towels at the end of the run, the best facilities were provided this year,” said Shibani Gulati, who underwent a kidney transplant in 2010, and was running the half marathon fifth consecutive time.
Amol Sawant, 35, a resident of Kandivli, who took part in the dream run for the fourth year in a row, said the number of water booths were fewer compared to 2017. “Last year, they had water bottle booths every 2km, but this year there were only a couple, which I think was because of space constraints,” he said.
All full marathon runners were given two medals this year – one for themselves and the other for those who inspired them to run the marathon. “As a part of our #bebetter campaign, we realised there is a person who motivates the runner to participate and this person is never appreciated. So, for the first time in any marathon, there was a medal for the inspiration,” said Vivek Singh, joint MD, Procam International. Devika
Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, Maharashtra governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Maharashtra education and sports minister Vinod Tawde, Mumbai Cricket association president Ashish Shelar, actors Gulshan Grover, Kunal Kapoor, Congress leader Priya Dutt, BJP leader Shaina NC and finance minister Mungantiwar were among those present to flag-off various runs.
Meanwhile, a total of 259 non-government organisations raised a sum of Rs24.5crore (upto January 12, 2018) for different causes such as such as child sexual abuse, thalassemia, sanitation needs for women and disabilities. Last year, the total collections amounted to Rs33.4 crore.
Their ability continues to shine
Sunday’s marathon saw 1,219 participants, including buddies, participate in the 1.5km champions with disability (CWD) category, compared to 433 last year.
The participants had registered as part of 21 NGOs as well as individually. “Procam is concerned and sensitive about having the disability run, which is why they tied up with an NGO in Delhi first, and now they have done in Mumbai,” said Shobha Sachdev, deputy director, ADAPT.
Sachdev said the event has seen a drastic change from its stance of “wheelchairs and dogs not allowed” during its inception.
The participants included those with cerebral palsy, autism, haemophilia, physically challenged, spinal cord injuries, intellectually challenged and amputees.
Satyaprakash Tiwari, Mumbai-based para-athlete, who participated in the CWD category, said he had often asked the organisers to let the disabled participate in the half marathon, or have a separate competition round under CWD category.