John Wembusa of Kenya won the Idea Chennai half-marathon in the International Men’s category here on Sunday. The Kenyan, ranked 42 in the world, pocketed the prize purse of Rs. 5 lakhs.
Nelly Jepkurui and Rose Kosgei of Kenya finished first and second in the international women’s category respectively. Deepchand Saharan of Rajastan took the honours in the national men’s section while Panpa Chanda of West Bengal was the winner in the national women’s category while Nagendra Rao of Ooty finished first in the Tamil Nadu men’s section.
Even as the athlete finished his run, the persistent drizzle intensified to a downpour, turning the roads into slush-pools and the drains into eddies. The rains and the public holiday meant that the numbers were significantly less than last year, but the cheerleading and the music kept the crowd that had turned up amused if not entertained. ‘Rain or shine, Chennai will run’ chanted the Public Address System, but the rains thankfully stopped before the 7-km city run in which the bulk of the participants had enrolled. The shorter run was also kinder on the sleep-cycle of the Chennai-ites, starting at 7 a.m. an hour after the half-marathon had kicked off.
The proceeds from the marathon will be used for charity and the race is also a platform to raise awareness about diabetes and organ-donation, it was announced. The popular city-run witnessed as much sloganeering, placard holding and fanfare as actual running. When the races wound up, and the protective embargo of the police allowed for the resumption of normalcy on the roads, discarded sponsor sun-visor caps and billboards were the remains of the day.
1. John Wembusa, 2. Daniel Cherviyout, 3. Tewodros Shiferaw.
1. Nelly Jepkurui, 2. Rose Kosgei, 3. Ayelu Lamma.
1. Deepchand Saharan, 2. Arvind Kumar, 3.Ajay Kumar.
1. Panpa Chanda, 2. Sukanya Mall, 3. Rameshwari.
Tamil Nadu Men:
1. P.Nagendra Rao, 2. Loganathan, 3.Ezhil Nilavan.
Tamil Nadu Women:
1. Suriya, 2.Maheshwari, 3.Renuka.
Wheel Chair Run, Men:
1. Madasu Srinivasa Rao, 2. Mariappan, 3.Govindan.
Wheel Chair Run, Women:
1. Deepika, 2.Anuradha, 3.Baby.