CHENNAI: The city turned out in its sporty best for the GiveLife Chennai marathon on Sunday. The number of participants went well above the registered 50,000 as celebrities, students, senior citizens, corporate firm employees and representatives from voluntary organisations gathered for the run. At 8 a.m., bunches of white and green balloons went up in the air amid loud cheers of ‘We love Chennai’. The event was the biggest marathon in the city in terms of the huge response it drew. The 7-km run was flagged off by Union Minister for Sports M.S. Gill. Actor Surya charmed the swarming crowd: “Be safe. Take care of the person beside you. You are running for Chennai.” Actor Napolean and Member of Parliament Kanimozhi added their words of caution.
Participants carried placards or banners bearing messages such as ‘Paint the plant green’ and ‘Please avoid plastic bags’. The marathon began near the Island Grounds entrance on Anna Salai and ended at Gandhi Statue on the Marina. The 21.09-km half marathon for professional athletes and a 3-km run for those above 50 years were also organised.