Special Correspondent

Kenya’s Maku Nzioka, Ngira Nyaga and Sua Matisya have already arrived

BANGALORE: The Bangalore International Marathon is getting bigger and better with each passing year and the 2007 edition, to be run on Sunday has evoked an overwhelming response, Dr. G. Parameshwara, the president of the Karnataka Amateur Athletic Association, said. The event is sponsored by BSNL.

Briefing the media here, he said “we are overwhelmed by the response and the registration figures have already crossed 7050 and we have extended the registration till Saturday.” Runners from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Morocco, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Indonesia are in the fray.

Kenya’s Maku Nzioka, Ngira Nyaga and Sua Matisya have already arrived for the meet. Nyaga, a veteran of 11 internationla marathons said “I am happy to be in Bangalore and I hope to do well, The weather seemed to be pretty pleasant for the run.”

The half-marathon for women has some noted runners including Preeja Sridharan, Preethi Rao, Chandrakala among others. Teams from Railways, Maharashtra and MRC Wellingdton are expected to be in fray for both men’s marathon and half-marathon for women.

“Though our meet is hardly three-years-old, it has been picking up pace in terms of popularity and we hope to have a good run,” said Mr. Satyanarayana, secretary of the KAAA.

The overall prize money at stake is $25,000 and the men’s full marathon winner take home $2,250 while the winners of the half-marathon in both the men’s and women section, would receive $2000.

A galaxy of sports personalities of Karnataka, will feature in the celebrity run. They include Kannada cine actor Ganesh, Olympian Kenneth Powell, Ashwini Nachappa, Rosa Kutty, Uday Prabhu and hockey Olympian M.P. Ganesh. Several corporate giants in the City including Infosys, HCL Technologies, Tiian,Wipro besides the sponsor, BSNL are expected to field their staffers for the run.

“We are working on the route for the marathon with local authorities and we should finalise it tonight and from next year, I wish we can ensure a permanent route for the Bangalore International Marathon” , said Mr.Satyanarayana.

Ultra marathon

Meanwhile, Runners for Life (RFL), a division of The Fuller Life announced India ’s first ever Ultra marathon – the “Bangalore Ultra” to be run on the same date of Bangalore International Marathon (Dec.16).

According to the organisers, Ultra marathon is a run where the distances covered by the participants are greater than the standard marathon’s distance of 42.2km.

Runners can pick any distance to run provided they manage it within 12 hours. The minimum distance that runners can register for is 26 kms. The run will take place in Hessaraghatta, on the outskirts of the City.

The start and finish points for the Ultra will be at ‘Our Native Village,’ a resort in Hessaraghatta. Ultra marathon has so far attracted 850 entries.

The Ultra marathon, however, does not have the recognition of AAFI. Mr. Satyanrayana referring the Ultra Marthon run said, “the event does not have AAFI’s recognition, but we do not intend hinder the event as in no way it is going to affect our show.”

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