Nearly 40,000 people including 500 foreigners took part in the eleventh edition of Mumbai Marathon on Sunday morning. Among the participants were 200 people with disabilities and 1360 senior citizens. Bollywood celebrities were also present at the event and many corporate honchos participated in the run. With 3,60,000 US dollars as prize money, the competitive categories saw a hard fought race.
Dr. Mithu Alur, the Founder Chairperson of ADAPT, who flagged of the Champions with Disability category, told, “Everyone who participated felt very euphoric and excited to be a part of the marathon. There was a wonderful entertainment and quiz show for the participants at the end. They really enjoyed the race. The participants felt supported and they were very pleased.”
In its 11 years, the marathon has raised more than Rs. 100 crore for charity. This year 269 NGOs were part of the event.
Security was a concern for the police after the Boston Marathon Bombings. The Mumbai Police kept vigil with 2000 policemen on duty. Another 1000 private security guards were also deployed.
Additional Commissioner of Police (South Zone), Krishna Prakash said, “We had planned meticulously for security arrangements and had several meetings with the organisers. We carried out many anti-sabotage checks. 11 Bomb Detection and Disposal Teams (BDDS) teams were deputed to check the entire route. High rise buildings were checked and plain clothes policemen were deployed. Twenty-four Quick Response teams along Force One were also deployed.”
Winner of the men’s event Evans Ruto from Kenya, said, “The race was good overall, but I am disappointed to miss the record by one second. I felt welcomed in Mumbai and enjoyed the race,” Mr. Ruto said.
In the women’s event, last year’s runner-up, Ethiopian Dinknesh Mekash, won the race. Lalita Babbar of Central Railway created history completing a hat-trick of triumphs by winning the Indian women’s full marathon in a new record time of 2:50:31, which was three minutes better than her time of last year.