More than 17,000 runners are expected to take part in the first-ever marathon organised by the Maharashtra Police as a fitness promotion and citizen outreach initiative on Saturday.
Called the Maharashtra Police International Marathon (MPIM), the run will extend from Gateway of India to the Bandra end of the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link. Police personnel, members of the armed forces and civilians will take part.
“The marathon is not an event but a movement. The police will run shoulder to shoulder with citizens, this time not to chase someone but to become a catalyst of change for a fitter India,” said Special Inspector General of Police (Administration) Krishna Prakash, Maharashtra Police. Mr. Prakash was addressing a press conference to discuss details of the event at the Bombay Yacht Club in Colaba on Thursday. “The MPIM is a step forward towards building a rapport between the police and the public, since the police should also motivate people to be healthy and physically sound,” he said.
The participants include 700 full marathoners and 3,250 half marathoners. The race will have four categories of 5 km, 12 km, 21 km and 42 km. The age limit for the 5 km category is a minimum of 12 years while for the other three it is 18. The winners of the full marathon will win ₹3 lakh each, while those who win the half marathon will get ₹2 lakh each in the male and female categories.
The marathon will also see around 50 top Indian male and female athletes and about 10 international athletes vying for the top honours, with actors Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn too participating in the event.
“There will be 21 ambulances along the route and police personnel will be deployed every 250 m. There will be medical aid centres to administer first aid to runners with minor bruises or cramps and help them complete the run. Doctors, nurses and paramedics will also be on standy for emergencies,” said sports medicine expert Ashish Contractor.
The MPIM has tied up with India Cares Foundation as a philanthropy partner. The foundation has set up treadmills in Gold’s Gym centres in 10 cities in Maharashtra, where ₹100 is donated to charity for every kilometre achieved by a runner on the treadmill.“The Tread For Change initiative has been operational since Monday and we are planning to set up similar treadmills on Saturday, if space permits,” said Meena Dave, chief executive of India Cares.