Some dashed across the finish line, others walked by, some celebrated with impunity, and others acknowledged the finish matter-of-factly.
It was a competition for some, while for others it was a social event where resolve was on display. Whatever the emotion, whatever the reason for participation, it was obvious that the more than 6,700 people who ran in the ‘Nitte Celebration, Mangalore’ on Sunday had fun.
The second edition of the event, which included the half marathon, 10k, 5k, 3k races and a 5k celebration run, was organised by the Dakshina Kannada Athletic Association.
The last event of the day, 5 km celebrity run, was most attended. The half marathon, open category for men, saw Kalidas Hirave take the first spot (time 1:08:29), while Shabeena (time 1:28:43) took the gold in the women’s category. Amid hundreds of schoolchildren and college students, who formed the bulk of the runners, the seniors were also no less in enthusiasm and stamina.
The oldest participant in the half marathon was 77-year-old Nanjappa J. from Bagalkot district. Clocking over two and a half hours to complete the race, the septuagenarian became an object of awe and inspiration, and was even given a special award.
“I started participating in marathons 15 years ago, and since then participated in Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur marathons. As part of the training I run more than 10 km every day,” he said.
An agriculturist from Jaunpur village near Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, Sabhajeet Yadav, (56) had come to the city to participate in the half marathon. With an impressive 1 hour, 32 minutes and 2 seconds time, he took the gold in the senior citizens’ category. “Over the past two years, I’ve started participating in marathons, and the moment I got to know about the Mangalore marathon, I hopped on a train and came here,” he said.
While in the 10k Men’s veteran category Nemanna Gowda took first spot (time: 00:52:38), Sunnetha Prasanna (time: 01:53:02) was the only one who finished in the 10k Women’s (veteran) race.
Though the race was over, the party was not. Hundreds of boys and girls grooved to the music of a live band and a DJ there.