Bangaloreans put on running shoes for various causes

May 31st, 2009 - 3:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, May 31 (IANS) It was literally a runners’ day out in Bangalore Sunday. Around 32,000 people participated in various racing events at the ‘Sunfeast World 10K Bangalore’, espousing a number of social causes.
Along with professional and amateur runners, volunteers of 91 NGOs used the platform to raise awareness on issues including right to education and a barrier-free society for disabled people.

“This is a coming together of the efforts of government agencies, municipal corporation and the Procam team,” Vivek Singh, managing director of Procam, the official organiser of the marathon, told IANS.

“Our aim is to inspire Bangaloreans to make fitness a part of their daily regime. Since the 10K run has received a global positioning, it is now more than just a run for Bangaloreans. Several NGOs are using this event as a platform to raise funds for and awareness about their projects,” he said.

The event was divided into six categories - World 10K Elite Men, World 10K Elite Women, Senior Citizens’ Run, Wheelchair Event, Open 10K Run and Majja Run.

The first three winners of the World 10k Elite Men were Deriba Merga of Ethopia, who finished the race in 28 minutes and 13 seconds; followed by Mark Kiptoo of Kenya in 28.15 minutes, and Bernard Kipyego of Kenya in 28.24 minutes.

The winners of the World 10K Elite Women were Asslefech Mergia of Ethopia, who completed the race in 32.08 minutes; Mary Keitany of Kenya in 32.09 minutes; and Aberu Kebede of Ethopia in 32.11 minutes.

Winners of both the World 10K Elite Men and World 10K Elite Women categories took away $21,000 in prize, followed by $12,000 and $8,000 for first and second runners-up in both categories.

The other events were in non-competitive sections.

Said US’s Sprinting legend Maurice Greene, the brand ambassador for the Sunfest World 20K:, “It is an honour to just be a part of such a huge event. I hope my presence will inspire and motivate budding athletes to work harder.”

Regina Thomas, regional director of Child Rights and You (CRY), said: “CRY believes that the Right to Education is every child’s right irrespective of caste, creed or religion.”

Sudarshan V.R, a 14-year-old student of Foundation of Action, Motivation and Empowerment (FAME), a special school for children with celebral palsy, was happy to be part of the huge event.

“I want to tell all that disability is in the mind and not the body and (we) want equal status and opportunities for the disabled,” said the wheelchair-bound Sudarshan.

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