All roads led to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Sunday morning with thousands of runners imbibing the spirit of the ‘Namma City, Namma Run’ to take part in the TCS World 10K Bangalore.

Overnight showers ensured that the weather remained perfect for the runners, a relief from the blazing heat of the summer.

A number of celebrities were present on the occasion, providing the runners encouragement. The crowd was not disappointed, with Puneeth Rajkumar, Rahul Bose, and the event ambassador, Maria Mutola, flagging off the Majja Run.

The participants turned up with smiles on their faces as the thumping music from the speakers and Puneeth Rajkumar’s encouraging cries of “Odi Odi” (run, run) keeping their spirits up.

B. Nagaraju (71), a resident of AGS Layout, completed the Senior Citizens’ Run with gusto, and showed no signs of fatigue at the end. “I have participated in five marathons in Mumbai and this is my fourth in Bangalore,” he said. “I run because I don’t want to take any medicine; running is my medicine,” he added. Nagaraju also had a message for other senior citizens. “Be energetic and be like youngsters,” he signed off. The World 10K was a family event too. N. Anil, 36, turned up for the event with his wife and two children. His wife, Gayathri Gupta, said that she had been participating in the event since its inception. “This is a fun outing and all people should make sure they put their heart and soul into it and enjoy the run,” their daughter Sahana said.

The Champions With Disability event showed that disability was no bar when it came to participation. Umesh (38) damaged his spinal cord 12 years ago in an accident on a construction site and has since been wheelchair-bound. Yet, his confidence was soaring high. “This is my first time here,” he said. “To all disabled people, I wish to say that winning should be their goal,” he said.

Khalida Begum (11), a class five student from Shivajinagar, was representing the Association for People with Disabilities. “My greatest difficulty in life is that I can’t walk,” she smiled. “But that does not prevent me from coming here today. I want to win,” she said. Like her, many other Bangaloreans had a rollicking time on a pleasant morning.

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