A spirited marathon for myriad causes

Priya Sheth Deepa Nair Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on January 15, 2012

The RBI Governor, Dr D. Subbarao, at the Mumbai Marathon on Sunday. — Photo: Paul Noronha   -  Business Line

Netsanet Abeyo of Ethiopia

Laban Moiben of Kenya


“Run, Mumbai run,” echoed on the streets of Mumbai as hundreds of onlookers cheered the spirited runners at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2012.

January 15 was not just another lazy Sunday in Mumbai. Thousands of people left their homes at wee hours all geared up to participate in the marathon. Warm-up sessions had started one hour ahead of the run.

If it was a rigorous exercise for the serious runner, it meant rehearsals and make-up sessions for the participants strolling along the route promoting their beliefs.

Except the serious runners, most participants dressed up in colourful, funny yet symbolic outfits to promote causes that were close to their heart. We were a part of this crowd, panting and puffing our way through the runners trying to get a glimpse of their outfits. Matching their pace and spirit was not difficult as we got sucked right in the middle of their campaigns protecting causes such as the girl child and Mother Earth, to name a few.

While some were dressed as Anna Hazare, many had embarked on a patriotic voyage. Twenty-seven-year old Anshul Jain, an advocate by profession, was dressed up in a Gandhi topi, with two steel glasses covering his ears and other utensils strung together.

“This look signifies my support to the Anna Hazare cause. I want his approach to be considered by the Government,” said Jain, who has been winning a costume ‘run-in' prize since the last three years. This year he won a sum of Rs 30,000.

To promote rural banking services, employees of Union Bank of India had dressed up as carrots, leaves and mobile phones. “We want to spread awareness about the reach of rural banking. It has been a great experience,” said Ms Richa Dodhi, from the bank.

Among the hundreds of NGOs, Toybank had a large number of participants. Dressed in clown outfits and a train costume, the participants were handing out square yellow paper boxes to the onlookers encouraging them to donate toys.

Celebrities like John Abraham, Milind Soman, Anil Ambani, Anand Mahindra and many more were also seen running at the marathon.

Kenya's Laban Moiben and Ethiopian Netsanet Abeyo bagged the top honours in men's and women's categories respectively. Moiben completed the marathon with a timing of 2 hours-10 minutes-48 seconds while Abeyo finished the run in 2:26:12.

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Published on January 15, 2012
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