Puducherry

3,500 take part in Auroville Marathon

The 13th Auroville Marathon held here on Sunday saw hundreds of participants finishing the long run. A section of runners is seen here in Auroville on Sunday. T. Singaravelou

The 13th Auroville Marathon held here on Sunday saw hundreds of participants finishing the long run. A section of runners is seen here in Auroville on Sunday. T. Singaravelou   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

The annual event, which is the largest and most popular, sees participation from various parts of the country

Running enthusiasts from far and near rose ahead of the sun to participate in the 13th Auroville Marathon on Sunday.

About 3,500 enthusiasts cutting across age groups and gender lined up at the start-line of the event, which began around 5 a.m. amid bursting of firecrackers and cheers.

The large crowd turnout also reflects the core purpose of Auroville which is to realise human unity in diversity while for participants it also serves as an initiation into the uniqueness of the experimental township.

The poster of the 2020 event was taglined, ‘Run for the Joy of Running’ and ‘Run the Galaxy’ against the backdrop of the galaxy-shaped insignia that serves the model for the universal township conceived by Mirra Alfassa, or The Mother who was spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo.

The first segment was the longest at 42.195 km, which attracted 212 participants. The 21.1-km half-marathon segment saw the largest group of participants — 1,193 runners.

There was the shorter 10-km run that fielded 1,154 runners and the mini-marathon of 5 km, which attracted 740 participants. The run courses mostly along the dirt roads, starting at the Auroville Visitor Centre and proceeding along notable sites such as Auroville Town Hall, Bliss Forest and Matrimandir Main Gate.

The Auroville Marathon is an annual event, held on the second Sunday of every February which courses through the City of Dawn.

It has emerged over the years as one of the largest and most popular running event in India, with participants from all parts of India.

The event is largely publicised by word of mouth and through blogs and other social networks by runners who have run the race before.

The event is organised by Auroville Runners in association with the Auroville community since 2008.

Originally started to celebrate the 40 years of Auroville, it has become an annual fixture attracting runners from other cities.

According to organisers, the event is non-commercial, non-prize and non-clocked as it is organised purely for the joy of running — where all the finishers are considered winners.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 6:28:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/3500-take-part-in-auroville-marathon/article30778025.ece

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