Thousands run for unity at Mumbai marathon
Thousands of Mumbaikars participated in the
city's annual marathon event on Sunday, the first big public event since the
November terrorist attacks, dpa reported.
The event, with the theme of peace and unity, started from Mahapalika Marg, adjacent to the Chhatrapati Shivaji railway terminus, one of the sites targeted by the terrorists in November, IANS news agency reported.
There was tight ground security for the event and air security cover was provided by three helicopters.
More than 1,500 policemen and 1000 volunteers were posted along the 42-kilometre full marathon route.
An estimated 30,000 people participated in the event, including many Mumbai celebrities ranging from corporate heads to film stars.
More than 200,000 Mumbaikars gathered along the route which passed the Trident Hotel, another target of the terrorists in November, to cheer on the runners.
"I salute Mumbai. It is very powerful and is never going to get scared. The people are showing that the intention behind the attacks has failed," said actor Om Puri, one of the participants.
The oldest participant of the marathon was 77 years old and the youngest just 12.
There were five main events in the marathon and the total prize money amounted to 250,000 dollars.
A total of 150 elite foreign athletes, including 52 women, took part in the full marathon.
Kenyan runners swept all the three positions in the men's open section.
Kenneth Mugara won the first prize of 31,000 dollars with a new course record of two hours 11 minutes and 51 seconds, ahead of compatriots David Tarus, who came second, and John Kelai in third position.
This was the sixth year of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, an annual event which is the third leg of a four-event marathon which includes Nairobi, Singapore and Hong Kong. The Hong Kong leg is scheduled to be held on February 8.