Mumbai

Runners celebrate corona warriors with marathon

56 Thane residents hold indoor relay race

Thane residents paid a unique tribute of sweat to ‘corona warriors’ — those working tirelessly throughout the pandemic — by running inside their homes for two hours straight on Sunday.

The ‘indoor relay’, organised by Furious Running Culture Foundation, Thane, was aimed at promoting the practice of running and celebrating people like bankers, police personnel, doctors and nurses, civic workers, journalists, transporters, labourers, shopkeepers and all others who have been braving the risk to their lives to keep the country functioning during a crisis.

“Due to the lockdown, it was becoming difficult for us to follow our four-days-per-week exercise routine. Hence, we decided to hold an indoor relay, where participants ran in their houses, in the corridors, or on their terraces,” Milan Rai, president of the foundation, said.

The 56 participants were divided into teams of three men and one woman. The marathon went on from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with each participant getting slots of two hours each. A total of nine teams ran, while five teams, including senior citizens who found it difficult to run for two hours, walked during the time. Mr. Rai said the participants’ ages ranged from 18 years to 69 years.

The longest distance covered by an individual participant within the two-hour time limit was 22.72 km, while the longest distance covered by a team during the time was 73.36 km.

“The winners were selected with the help of electronic gadgets that mapped their progress, and they will be felicitated after the lockdown ends,” Mr. Rai said.

The relay runners covered a distance of 854.2 km through the day, motivating their families and friends to join them. Ashwini Kadam (31), one of the participants who ran from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and covered 19.28 km said, “This was not only the first time I have run inside the house, but also my first run for two hours straight. I work in the information technology department of a bank and my team was called ‘Run for Bankers’, which gave me the motivation to cover the distance. My family moved the furniture to give me space and cheered for me the whole time. It was a great experience.”

Akhil Kamdar (38), another participant, said the relay helped him bond with his five-year old daughter. “My daughter had never seen me run. She was very excited and even ran with me for about 10 minutes. She cheered me on the whole time along with my wife. It felt great to cover a distance of about 16 km as a tribute to the doctors who are working selflessly during this difficult time,” Mr. Kamdar said.

Rajlakshmi Easwar (47), a participant and one of the organisers, said, “We usually run for ourselves, but it felt good to run for the people fighting the pandemic for us. The thought of running indoors initially brought up mental blocks and we were worried if it would work out. But once we started running, we did not even realise how two hours had passed.”

Mr. Rai said another such event is being planned for this Sunday. “It will be an individual indoor marathon in the 5, 10 and 21-km categories. Children under the age of 12 years will participate in the 5-km marathon,” he said.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 10:00:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/runners-celebrate-corona-warriors-with-marathon/article31467877.ece

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