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On the starting line for ‘Maduraikkagathan’

Special Correspondent
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Forerunner to three-day ‘Maamadurai Potruvom’

A marathon, ‘Maduraikkagathan,’ is to be held in the city on Sunday as a forerunner to the three-day ‘Maamadurai Potruvom’ programme. It will be flagged off at the Railway Stadium, Arasaradi, by Abhay Kumar Singh, Inspector General of Police, South Zone, at 7 a.m.

‘Maduraikkagathan’ is an opportunity for the residents of the ancient city to trace the footprints of history and also involve themselves in the celebration of Madurai, according to S. Venkatesan, vice-president of the organising committee. It is intended to create awareness of ‘Maamadurai Potruvom,’ which is to begin on February 8.

A unique feature of the event is the participation of six sportspersons, including an Arjuna awardee, who have appeared in national and international events. Natarajan, a national-level sprinter who holds the record for 100 meters dash; K. Solaimathi and Pandeeswari, international athletes; Balasubramanian, weightlifter and an Arjuna awardee; V. Raja, hockey player, and Ukkirapandian, volleyball player, will run along with others.

Those above 15 years of age can take part in the marathon. Boys and girls below 18 years of age will complete the race at Setupati Higher Secondary School on North Veli Street. The women’s race will end at Sri Meenakshi Government College for Women. And the rest will finish at Race Course. Prizes will be distributed to the top 10 finishers in all the three categories. The marathon will begin at Arasaradi and run through Travellers’ Bungalow Road, Periyar Bus Stand, Railway Junction, Head Post Office, North Veli Street, Simmakkal, Yanaikkal, New Bridge, Goripalayam, Tallakulam, Gokhale Road, Fortune Pandiyan Hotel, Alagarkoil Road and TNEB Office to reach the MGR Stadium at Race Course.

Traffic diversion

The city police have announced the following directions in traffic between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. in view of the marathon:

Vehicles coming from Theni and Dindigul should reach Periyar bus stand through Bypass Road and Palanganatham. Those moving towards Mattuthavani through Simmakkal should go towards Bypass Road, Fatima College, Sellur overbridge, Vaigai Vadakarai and Panagal Road.

Vehicles bound for Mattuthavani through Periyar bus stand should pass through Tirupparankundram Road, South Marret Street, East Gate and Kuruvikkaran Salai.

Those from Alagarkoil Road should take a detour at the ITI bus stop and pass through Industrial Colony, District Court, Tallakulam and Goripalayam.

Vehicles coming from Natham Road should take a diversion at SP’s Camp Office junction and take the Bharathi Ula Road, ITI bus stop, Industrial Colony, District Court, Tallakulam and Goripalayam. Vehicles coming from Sellur should pass through Kumaran Street, Vaigai Vadakarai and Alwarpuram.

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