Organisers of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, to be run on January 18, said they were confident of avoiding the repeat of last year’s hiccup when casual runners came in the way of elite runners in the final stages.
“We do have plans for preventing such an incident this year. There will be barriers and race marshals,” said race director Hugh Jones.
Last year, Evans Ruto of Kenya, who would be defending his title coming Sunday, complained that “joggers” came in his way when he was trying to break the course record of 2 hours, 9 minutes and 32 seconds, and eventually missed equalling it by one second.
According to Jones, the problem area in the race route, that commences at Chhatrapati Shivaji (train) Terminus and ends at the same place after the runners travel northwestwards towards Bandra Reclamation over the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link, was between Marine Drive and Flora Fountain on the back stretch.
“There’s a dedicated lane starting 800m from the finish. The problem area was the stretch between Marine Drive and Fountain past Churchgate (station),” said Jones.
Additional commissioner of police (traffic), Quaiser Khalid, who attended the conference, said volunteers with ropes would be stationed on this stretch to prevent casual runners from interfering with the main runners.
“Announcements would also be made over public address system,” he added.