Mumbai Marathon 2011: When Mumbai ran for causes

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Mumbai, 17 January 2011: What’s your time?" that was the question on everybody’s mind; athletes, corporate chiefs, celebrities and the common man alike who participated in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2011. Although everyone was keeping a close watch on their timing, it really didn’t matter in the end. What stood out were the causes for which they all ran and a sense of solidarity. In its eighth year, the event saw 38,400 participants against 22,000 in its year of inception.


It wasn’t as much a marathon event as it was a celebration…of spirit and of life. As celebs, sportsmen and the young and old gathered for the Mumbai Marathon, there was fun in the early morning air, alright! Present and cheering the teams were actors Deepika Padukone, John Abraham and Vivek Oberoi with wife Priyanka. Singer Shaan Mukherjee with wife Radhika,  Shreyas Talpade, Priya Dutt and Rahul Bose were among those present as the special anthem played. A little later Tina Ambani and Shilpa Shetty made an appearance and joined the cheerleading squad.


Siddharth Mallya, Gul Panag and Milind Soman were a part of the run as was Purab Kohli who was dressed in fluorescent yellow.  Biz men Ashish Raheja and Anand Mahindra were enthused about the Dream Run. Also spotted were Yana Gupta, Neerja Birla, Juhi Chawla, Shobhaa De and Shaina NC.



Sajjan Jindal, vice-chairman & managing director, JSW Steel , along with his team, was among the first few corporate leaders to finish the 6-km dream run. Jindal was satisfied with his 39-minute timing, but said, "I could have done better. Next year, my target will be 30 minutes." He ran in support of Maharashtra Dyslexia Association.


Neerja Birla, Aditya Birla Group’s vice chairperson for education projects, completed the dream run in an hour and 10 minutes, but is hopeful that in the next marathon she will be able to finish it in around an hour. She was happy that four and 25 members of her team completed the 42-km and 21-km run, respectively. Around 125 employees of the Aditya Birla Group, including DD Rathi, director, Grasim Industries , participated in the event. Among others, several expats of multinationals and foreign nationals from the overseas arms of various Indian companies ran the race.


Anil Ambani, chairman of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, Anand Mahindra , vice-chairman and managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra, and N Chandrasekaran, chief executive officer of Tata Consultancy Services , were among other major business leaders who participated in the marathon. Reserve Bank of India deputy governor Shyamala Gopinath , in her third consecutive year, clocked little over an hour to complete the dream run. She was happy to participate in the event along with her over 200 team members.







HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh summed up almost everyone’s view when he said, "The marathon experience is always overwhelming for me. It is heartening to see such huge crowds come together and support causes of their choice. It leaves one with a feeling of having achieved something just by being part of such an enormous event." This was HDFC’s seventh year of participation in the Mumbai Marathon with its team of 155 runners. The team pledged support for Bhavishya Yaan, a project looking into the overall development of children in municipal schools.


Colonel Shanthakumaran and Captain Dinesh Desai flew in from Hyderabad specially to participate in the marathon as an extension of Army Day celebration on Saturday. Govind Parab, a 92-year old was among the eldest to participate. This was his fifth consecutive year of marathon. For him the reason to be ecstatic was that he was with his friends from Andheri Progressive Senior Citizens Association.


Girima Assefa, an Ethiopian athlete, won the 42-km full marathon or Marathon Elite for men, while Koren Yal, another Ethiopian, won the women’s full marathon. BC Tilak from the Army Sports Institute, Pune and Priyanka Singh Patel from Indian Railways won the men’s and women’s 21-km half marathon, respectively.

- Agencies



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