Madurai set to run plastic-free marathon


The theme of the fourth edition of Madurai Marathon is ‘Run to save a life’

: “Going by the registrations, not less than 5,000 people are expected to run the marathon on Sunday and we are happy how it is inching closer to our aim of turning into one of the biggest annual events in the region,” says Dr.Hema Sathish, the key planner, coordinator and everything else required to organise such mega events rolled into one. “It has earned lot of goodwill and now figures in the calendar of professional marathons conducted across the country,” says her husband Dr.Sathish Devadoss.

Among the participants will be R Selvakumar, all prepared to run his fourth consecutive marathon. “I am excited to be able to do something normal like all others,” says the 56-year-old who is visually challenged. After successfully running 21 km in the previous three years, he says, the feat makes him feel proud.

Born with night blindness, Selvakumar works as lift operator at Devadoss MultiSpeciality Hospital, helmed by doctor couple Hema and Sathish, as Managing and Medical Directors respectively. They have the support of their entire team of employees to either run, manage or volunteer at the marathon. The training Selvakumar undergoes is the evening walk at Walker’s Club led by a core team and a trainer from Devadoss Hospital two months prior to the event. Seeing him walk, jog and run, many regular walkers at the park have got inspired and enrolled for the marathon.

“I do get tired while running and slow down when needed. It is the happiness of reaching the finishing line that keeps me going,” says Selvakumar who has been clocking a little less than three hours to complete the half marathon.

Like him, there are are quite a few regulars who have been participating in the Madurai marathon since 2017. “I was 20 years old when I came to the city for a job from my hometown Kottayam,” says K Pretty, working as physiotherapist at Pink gym. “I remember seeing an ad for the marathon in the first year. Getting bored alone on a Sunday at home, I just went thinking I will watch what happens. But seeing other young and old runners, I got tempted and went for on-the-spot registration and with much ease ran five km,” she says. The satisfaction of touching the finishing line was enough for Pretty to return in 2018 and 2019 for 10.5 km. This year as she celebrates her 23rd birthday, she is taking her friends from the gym. “I run for fun and feel very fit and fresh,” she says.

Paramesh M, IT professional with Honeywell, has been into group runs for a decade. He ran 10.5 km in the first Madurai Marathon and felt “refreshed and recharged”. “It is good to be health conscious and maintain your physique,” says Paramesh, who stays in practice with his regular morning walks. Last two years, he completed the half marathon in little over two hours. “The long run calms me down. I don’t participate to compete but I know I am bettering my timing each year,” he adds. As an organiser of sports activities in his company, Paramesh has motivated 50 employees and their family members to participate in this year’s marathon.

This is the best weather to run and there have been enquiries from professional runners from Kenya, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Nepal, says Sathish. Hema quips, people experience a sense of pride when they run a marathon. The couple ensure that everybody who participates or comes to cheer returns with a valuable health tip. If in the previous years, the themes varied from healthy body and healthy nation to cleanliness, this year’s theme is “run to save a life.”

In the run-up to the marathon, brief training demos in Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) were given at various public places, schools and colleges by teams from Devadoss Hospital. CPR is a vital medical assistance that can be given in an emergency situation. “At the inaugural and valedictory sessions of the marathon too, the CPR training will be demonstrated for all participants while at multiple stalls there will be ongoing demos too for general public who come to watch and cheer while the marathon is on,” says Sathish.

Every participant will be given a free sapling along with all the other goodies, certificates and medals they take home after successfully completing the marathon. “We will also distribute seed balls among the visitors as part of our green campaign,” adds Hema.

The runners will enjoy the scenic backdrop of the green Alagar Hills and by keeping the marathon free of any plastic at hydration points and providing breakfast on leaf-plates , we hope the realisation for a clean and green environment and healthy ourselves will remain strong in each individual who joins us on Sunday,” says Sathish. “When you run the Madurai marathon, the simple takeaway is to be a hero and save lives,” adds Hema.

(The Hindu is the print media partner for the event)

Info you can use:

The marathon will be run in four categories: 21 km and 10.5 km (for all above 13 years); and five km for children between eight and 12 years and for adults for fun.

Online registration is closed.

On-the-spot registration will close one hour before the event

Marathon will be flagged off at 5 am from Devadoss Hospital.

The route is in the city’s green corridor on the Alagar Koil Road till the Kallantheri channel and return

Registration fee: Rs.300 (per adult), and Rs.200 (per kid) includes kit containing T-shirt, water bottle, a fruit, welcome drink and breakfast.

Bulk registrations and groups with more than 10/25 participants get discounts

13 Hydration points set up along 21 km route.

Four ambulances and a dozen bikers with first aid will move along the route.

Chip-based timing system will clock the running time for each participant, provide live results through SMS, 20-second video for each runner at the finishing line and digital certificate

For more details call : 0452-4521000

Highest registrations:

Al Ameen Higher Secondary School: 500 students + 3 teachers

Pathrakaliamman Matriculation School: 412 students + 48 teachers

Annamalaiyar Matriculation School: 363 students + 3 Teachers

Vallaba Vidyalaya: 285 students + 3 teachers

Indus Ind Bank: 220 employees

Many corporates and bankc have registered with 50 plus employees

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 11:21:13 AM |

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