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The launch of the Coimbatore Marathon 2018

The launch of the Coimbatore Marathon 2018  

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The sixth edition of the Coimbatore Marathon promises to be bigger and better with more than 15,000 people turning out

As Race Director Ramesh Ponnuswamy speaks at the press conference to launch the Vodafone Coimbatore Marathon 2018, one can’t help a shiver of pride. On October 7 is the event’s sixth edition and from eight thousand-odd runners in the first year, this time more than 15,000 people will be running. “The numbers would have been greater, but we closed registrations a month before in order to keep the event manageable and enjoyable for the participants,” he said.

The logo this time is a triangle with ‘My Fitness’, ‘My City’ and ‘My Cause’ written on each side. The Coimbatore running community now boasts ultra marathoners who began their running careers right here just a few years ago. “The theme is inspire and get inspired and that is exactly what is happening. We have seen the number of runners grow, many of the 5K runners have progressed to the 10K category and many 10K runners are running the 21K this year,” said Ramesh. The evolution into a world-class event has not been a random affair. It has been a carefully thought out, planned and executed event that has transformed lives. Where else would one find running groups across the city with award-winning marathoners mentoring rookies. They unfailingly turn up four days a week — come rain or hangover — to urge, encourage and run with people who have perhaps not even gone out for a morning walk in their lives!

Ever since registrations opened in June 2018, Coimbatore stirs at crack of dawn with joggers, huffing, puffing, and sweating down its streets. There are solitary runners and then groups that pass each other always exchanging a wave and a broad smile. The camaraderie is infectious. Runners bending and stretching before and after the runs no longer evoke curious stares. It is part of the city’s morning scenes.

The Coimbatore Marathon is also synonymous with the Coimbatore Cancer Foundation (CCF). The annual event since 2013 has raised ₹1.53 crore for CCF’s stellar work in conducting cancer awareness programmes, screening camps and providing support and counselling to survivors and their families. “This event has become bigger and better and there is pleasure and pride in the fact that 15,000 and more people are going to be running for a cause as crucial as Cancer care,” said Dr T Balaji, Managing Trustee, CCF. “The spread of awareness has transformed thousands of lives and given courage to thousands more to lead a meaningful life. The funds raised help us strengthen our services to the community of cancer patients, survivors and their families.”

Runner Parvathy Ramesh says this event is significant for her as she has lost several family members to cancer: “Running has taught me patience and determination...something we need; more so when have to handle family members who have been affected.” The 47-year-old is running the 10K but plans to do the 21K soon.

The Coimbatore Marathon has moved large groups of runners out of their air-conditioned corporate cabins into the outdoors. S Balaji, one of the organisers, says, “Bosch has 2,000 employees up and running; Elgi 1,500; Pricol 643; CRI Pumps 405; and the GKNM Hospital 312, besides many others companies who are well represented. The armed forces will also be running with 46 people from Air Force Station, Sulur; 43 from Air Force Administrative College; 68 from INS Agrani; and 12 from the Madras Regimental Centre in Wellington. There are 25 runners from the Railway Police and Central Prison, Coimbatore, and 25 each from CISF and RAF.”

The runners are going to be out on October 7. Many of the 15,300 runners will be fighting and vanquishing their fitness demons, and all will be contributing to a good cause. The event promises to be the perfect opportunity to “inspire and get inspired”.

And the prize goes to...

The prize money of ₹2.5 lakh is shared by the winners in the first, second and third positions in separate categories for men and women

Half Marathon (21.1 K): ₹25,000, ₹15,000 and ₹10,000

10 K: ₹15,000, ₹10,000 and ₹5,000

In the Veterans’ Category, Half Marathon (21.1 K): ₹15,000, ₹10,000 and ₹5,000

10 K: ₹10000, ₹7,500 and ₹5,000

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:48:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fitness/at-the-launch-of-the-coimbatore-marathon-2018/article25103939.ece

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