Hundreds of students and general public enthusiastically participated in the Madurai Marathon, 2010, which was held here on Saturday. The marathon organised by DHAN Foundation (a non-governmental organisation) had six different events, which started at four points.

Half marathon for men and women started from Thamukkam Grounds, mini marathon from Fatima College, walk for a cause started from Madura College, dignitaries led walk and walk differently-abled persons started at Race Course grounds. This year’s theme for the event was to create an anaemia-free world.

M. Manoharan, Superintendent of Police, flagged off the half marathon, event for men which was for 21 km and for woman it was 11 km.

M.P. Vasimalai, Executive Director, DHAN Foundation, B. T. Bangera, Managing Director, Hi Tech Arai, Madurai, S. Akilan, Senior Divisional Manager, National Insurance Corporation, were present at the venue.

The dignitaries-led walk at Race Course was flagged off by R. D. Thulasi Raj, Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology in the presence of Allan Curtis, University of Charles Stuart University, Australia.

More than 100 celebrities took part in the event to sensitise the public to anaemia and strive for creating an Anaemia-free world. Differently-abled walk was flagged off by Kathiresan, Deputy General Manager, Indian Bank. There were more than 100 participants.

S. Sebastine, Commissioner, Madurai Corporation, Sakthivel, Chief Engineer, Madurai Corporation, V. Subramanian, Chief Health Officer, Madurai Corporation, Sr. A. Fatima, Principal, Fatima College, flagged off the Mini Marathon, run for six kilometres from Fatima College to Thamukkam grounds.

Walk for a cause, a walk from Madura College to Thamukkam grounds was flagged off by Dr. I. Chandra Sekar, Dean–in-Change, in which an estimated number of two thousand and five hundred people took part.

Cultural programmes were held at Thamukkam grounds and prior to the event, around 50 adolescent girls shared their experience of their severe anaemia level before two years and how inputs from the health programme of DHAN Foundation, helped them to increase their haemoglobin level as a result of behavioural changes like taking iron tablets and nutritious food.

Allan Curtis, CSU, Australia, appreciated the girls who were brought out of anaemia. He said there is direct correlation between anaemia and poverty. The theme of the next edition of Madurai Marathon will be Climate Change.

Winners

Sivakumar from Melur secured the first prize, Sivanandan bagged the second prize and Dakshinamurthy came third in the 21 km half marathon event for men. In the 11 km half marathon event for women, Shanthi, Vidhya and Pon Kavitha secured the first three prizes respectively.