Variety

Mumbai marathon gets bigger and better

Priya Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 13, 2012 Published on January 13, 2012

Marathon





With the ninth Standard Chartered Mumbai marathon around the corner, Mumbaikars are busy jogging their way through the early morning fog and braving the chilly (by Mumbai standards) winds to be a part of this annual race.

This year, the marathon has become bigger, with a total of 38,775 people participating under various categories. “We have people across 20 nationalities taking part in this marathon. This year we have nearly 14,000 participants for the half marathon and 3,000 for the full marathon,” said Vivek Singh, Joint MD, Procam International, promoters of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. Last year, there were 11,000 participants for the half marathon.

The full marathon will cover a distance of 42 km. It will begin from opposite Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) covering Nariman Road, NCPA, Chowpatty, Kemps Corner Flyover, Haji Ali junction, Love Grove Flyover, the Bandra Worli Sea Link, Mahim Church, Siddhivinayak, Poddar Hospital, Worli sea face to return to the terminus.

The organisers and sponsors have made arrangements to ensure that participants get the necessary facilities on the field. “We have seven ambulances stationed at different places along the route. We also have two base camps and around 200 doctors who will be on duty on the day of the marathon,” said Singh. “We will also be providing oranges dipped in salt for the participants as it helps to keep them hydrated,” he added. The other facilities en-route include mobile toilets, energy drinks and water.

Organising a marathon on this scale not only includes co-ordination with other participating bodies, but also managing logistics.

The cost involved in organising this marathon is nearly Rs 15 crore, say the organisers. The residents' associations along the route and even otherwise gather at race time and cheer the participants. They voluntarily supply biscuits, water and bananas to the runners.

“I have seen the marathon grow over the last eight years. Initially, people only ran for fun, now there is a certain sense of maturity among the participants. We have raised nearly Rs 1 lakh from our members to make arrangements,” said Chandresh Shah, President, Marine Drive Residents' Association.

Nearly 220 NGOs use this marathon as a platform to raise money for charity. Collections are estimated to be in the range of Rs 14 crore this year, against Rs 12.5 crore last year.

Although the marathon has been around for nine years, no Indian has ever won the full marathon. However, to encourage Indians, the promoters are offering a special prize money of $52,000 for the top Indian finishers (full marathon).

This year the marathon is offering total prize money of $340,000, which is an increase of $15,000 offered last year.

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Published on January 13, 2012
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