It was organised to raise awareness on keeping Mangalore clean and green

Air at Nehru Maidan on Sunday morning was filled with anticipation and enthusiasm as participants geared up for the half marathon organised in the city to raise awareness about keeping Mangalore clean and green.

The district administration and the Vijaya Bank organised the half marathon (21km) and the cross-country race of 6 km in which 5,000 people participated. The race, which kicked off in four batches after 6 a.m. for men and women, ended at the Mangala Stadium through a circuitous route around the city. Only professionals were allowed to compete in the half marathon, while the other race was open to all.

The first 50 people to cross the finish line at the Mangala Stadium were given tokens which were later used to identify the winners. The first three men and women in each category were given cash prizes while the rest received participation certificates.

Shaheen Mohammed, a physiotherapy student from Kerala, was exhilarated at having completed the half marathon. “We play football regularly, but I wasn't sure if we would finish the race. I am just glad I did,” he said.

A group of girls studying D.Ed. in St. Ann's College just wanted to give it a try. Some of them were not confident of completing the race. “I wasn't sure that I would be able to reach the finish line, but because others were watching, I felt encouraged to complete the race,” said Preethal Castellino. Her friend Steffi D'Souza said that it was possible for her to get to the finish line only because she “stubbornly” wanted to be ahead of others.

Shanti Kamat said her eight-year-old daughter Akshata came 48{+t}{+h} in the cross-country race. “She ran ahead of me even though I told her not. I arrived here much later,” she said.

A group of women and children, who are neighbours in an apartment complex, were excited about having completed the race. Among them, was a seven-year-old girl who had also stubbornly run all the way through.

Winners

Mamata K.C. and Sujata A.S. won the first and second places, respectively, in the cross-country race, while Devanna Naik and Pradeep M.N. were their counterparts in the men's category. First prize winners were given a cash award of Rs. 3,000.

Ramachandran R. and Shanawaz P.M. came first and second in the half marathon winning cash prizes of Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 10,000, respectively. In the women's category, Shabbeena and Sukanya came first and second, respectively.

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