Over 43,000 expected to run in Sunday’s Mumbai Marathon

January 17th, 2009 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Jan 17 (IANS) Thousands of Mumbaikars will come out on the streets Sunday morning to take part in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) 2009.So far, the event has attracted over 43,000 entries in various categories for the four-hour test of endurance for the final prize totalling to $250,000 (Rs.1.2 billion), a spokesman for the SCMM said here Saturday afternoon.

The race will begin and end near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus - one of the sites targeted by the terrorists in the Nov 26 attacks.

As in the past, SCMM-2009 promises to be a mega-celebrity event with the bigwigs from the world of big business and glamour rubbing shoulders with the rulers and other movers and shakers of Mumbai.

Leading Mumbaikars in the run shall be Anil Ambani, Milind Soman, Arjun Rampal, Vinay Pathak, Shreyas Talpade, Rahul Bose, Om Puri, Tara Sharma, Lillete Dubey, Dolly Thakore, Anand Mahindra, Amit Chandra, Archana Chandra, Sanjeev Kapoor and Annabelle Mehta.

This year, the event brand ambassadors include Bollywood hunk John Abraham, three-time Olympic champions Gabriela Szabo and Gail Devers, and famous Moroccan long distance runner Hicham El Guerrouj, the spokesman said.

In the main marathon, there will be 2,500 participants, including nearly 400 women. Over 150 foreigners shall also run, including 52 women.

The Half Marathon will see more than 10,000 participants, while the Dream Run will have 21,000 runners. The youngest runner to participate is 12-year old Vishal Panchidi, the oldest is 77-year old Ashish Roy while there are as many as 150 participants on wheel chairs.

Another 10,000 will run for various charitable organisations to raise funds for various charities like Nanhikali, The Research Society and the Akanksha Foundation among others.

The Mumbai Police and Traffic Police, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), the state government, Indian Navy and other agencies shall be actively involved to make the event safe and successful.

The spokesman said that in addition to tight security all over the route of the race, three helicopters shall be deployed to ensure that the event goes off smoothly.

Apart from the main title sponsor Standard Chartered Bank, the associate sponsor is Tata Consultancy Services. The event is being held under aegis of the Athletics Federation of India with technical coordination by Maharashtra Athletic Association and promoted by Procam International.

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