Maharashtra's Santosh Kumar and Pampa Chanda of West Bengal won the men's and women's half-marathon (21 km) in the Marg Chennai Marathon, organised by Tamil Maiyam, on Sunday in contrasting styles.
While Santosh had to slug it out with his rival Sunil Kumar of Haryana to bag the first prize of Rs. 3 lakh, Pampa broke away from Preethi Patel in the second half of the race to win quite comfortably.
“We (Sunil and I) were mostly together for most part of the race. Towards the last lap (1 km) there was stiff competition when he overtook me for a few seconds, but I picked up speed to come first. This was a very tough race, tougher than the 2008 Chennai marathon where I finished first” said Santosh, a ticket examiner in Western Railway. Pampa, for whom this was the first visit to the city, adjusted to the humid conditions better than Preethi, who encountered stomach problems mid-way through the race. Pampa received Rs. 3 lakh as prize money.
Preethi, who finished second, said her husband's (Santosh) support was instrumental in her taking part in the half-marathon. “My first half-marathon race was this year in Delhi. Santosh always offers me guidance,” said Preethi, who married Santosh in March this year.
Half-marathon: Men: 1. Santosh Kumar (Mah) 1:07:09, 2. Sunil Kumar (Har) 1:07:17, 3. Ajay Kumar (UP) 1:08:30. Tamil Nadu: Men: 1. P. Nagendra Rao 1:07:16, 2. Tilak 1:11:14, 3. Rajesh 1:13:06. Women: 1. Pampa Chanda (West Bengal) 1:21:42, 2. Preethi Patel (Karnataka) 1:23:50, 3. M.V. Rameswari (Kerala) 1:24:48. Tamil Nadu: Women: 1. Sudha 1:25:13, 2. Padmavathi 1:34:11, 3. Shanthi 1:35:18. Wheel chair: Men: 1. Madasu Srinivasa Rao, 2. Mariappan, 3. K. Mohan.
Keywords: Marg Chennai marathon