Notwithstanding the humid weather, as many as 124 participants, including 18 women, completed a 12-hour ‘ultra run’, held for the first time in Mumbai.
“Though the weather was humid and we had only few spells of rain, majority of the registered runners finished the race. This was Mumbai’s first and the country’s biggest ultra run,” said Pranav Mehta of Shivaji Park Marathon Club, the organising body.
Any race requiring the participants to run a distance of more than 42 km — the distance covered in full marathon — is termed as ultra run.
Ultra runs are held at Bangalore, Ooty, in Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh at present.
Mehta said there was regular monitoring of the runners in the 12-km loop between Shivaji Park and Worli. The run was flagged off at Shivaji Park at 5 am.
Most of the participants were not professional athletes.
“The purpose is to show that human body is made for such rigours and to do away with many myths around running,” he said.
There was no ‘competition’ as such as the event involved continuous running for 12 hours in the designated loop.
According to Mehta, on an average those who finished the run would have covered at least 60 km over 12 hours. Some of them crossed 100 km mark.
Those who completed the run included Arun Bharadwaj of police department (who has previously run from Kanyakumari to Kashmir) and Vishwanathan Jayaraman from Hubli, who runs in clothes made from khadi woven by her.
Also, Jayaraman and another dozen finishers ran barefoot.
Mehta thanked mayor Sunil Prabhu and Deputy Commissioner of Police Dhananjay Kulkarni (a runner himself who was also a part of the organising committee) for their help, adding that support of volunteers like Navin Hegde, Ranjit Keluskar, Uttam Rathod and Mahesh Padvekar was also very crucial.
SPMC and various running groups from the city plan to make this an annual event, he said.