A lot many of the city’s denizens are taking to running as lifestyle statement. The record number of amateur runners participating in this year’s Mumbai Marathon, scheduled to be held on January 19, is proof of the growing popularity of running as a lifestyle activity. Nearly 150 runners from the city will try crossing the finish line of half (21.1 km) and full marathons (42 km) on Sunday

For some, running is a leisurely pursuit. For some others, it’s an addiction they can’t do without. And for others, it is a sport that helps them stretch their limits.

Reasons for running could be many, but of late, there has been a steady rise in the number of those putting on running shoes, pounding the roads and sweating it out.

That tribe of recreational runners has never been so vibrant and visible in Hyderabad.

The record number of amateur runners participating in this year’s Mumbai Marathon, scheduled to be held on January 19, is proof of the growing popularity of running as a lifestyle activity. Nearly 150 runners from the city will try crossing the finish line of half (21.1 km) and full marathons (42 km) on Sunday. “People have begun accepting running as a way of life, and a better alternative for walking. This is heartening,” says Rajesh Vetcha, founding member of Hyderabad Runners, the non-profit body that has been promoting running since 2007.

Interestingly, there are three husband-wife teams taking the train to Mumbai this year.

“We will be running our fourth consecutive marathon together in as many months. While we are excited to participate, we are also glad that we were able to inspire our friends and close ones to lead active and healthy lifestyles. It has also taken a lot of hard work, determination and discipline to inspire each other,” says Gogulla Samuel Sudhakar and Sarvani Rao, one of the couples.

So why are so many taking to running?

“Running is the simplest form of exercise. You can run anywhere and don’t need a gym membership to stay fit. It is cheap and there is no discrimination because people from all walks of life run. Mumbai attracts nearly 40,000 runners from across the country and outside. It is also a marathon that is recognised internationally,” says ultra marathoner Sunil Menon.

If you’re interested in running, visit www.hyderabadrunners.com

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