Special Correspondent

GWALIOR: For G.C. Tiwari, an unsung athlete from the Indian Air Force, winning the Madhavrao Scindia udbhav mini-marathon held value only for the fact that he got to meet the legendary Milkha Singh.

In finishing the 12-km event in style, leading all the way, Tiwari only reconfirmed his belief that determination can help one achieve dreams and Saturday was one unforgettable day for this unassuming runner. Tiwari beat Ashok Kumar Yadav and Om Prakash Yadav, both from Central Reserve Police Force, to second and third places respectively.

Neha Agarwal was a clear winner of the girls' 5-km event followed by Shashi Saroj and Chandraprabha. The attraction in the veterans' section was 80-year-old Sarla Tripathi, who ran the distance for the second consecutive year.

The enthusiasm among the public of Gwalior was evident with people lining up the entire course to cheer the over 7,000 participants, who braved the early morning rain. This was not the only challenge they had to contend with. The puddles and potholes tested their endurance and skill while the traffic in the small city was always going to pose problems.

Nevertheless, the kids, in the under-15 category, took it in their stride and completed the run with enthusiasm.

The top 10 finishers in each section were awarded cash prizes, Tiwari taking home Rs 20,000. Milkha Singh, who gave away the prizes, praised the athletes for their spirit, while Jyotiraditya Scindia promised to make the event a national affair in the coming years.

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