Test of will power on the slopes

Picturesque: A view of the half marathon being run in a previous edition.  

The eighth Satara Hill Half Marathon, increasing in popularity for the difficulty of the course, scenic value and organisation, will be flagged off today in Satara district of Maharashtra. It is listed in the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), and is run along sprawling hill slopes and attracts runners from across the world, including Africa, Australia and the Gulf nations.

Dr. Prataprao Gole, president Satara Runners Foundation, a non-profit body of running enthusiasts from the local community which organises this marathon, said: “From 2,618 participants in 2015, to 4,801 in 2017, this year we have received 5600 registrations. Every year the SHHM attracts distance runners from Kenya, Ethiopia, the European Union, Middle East, South East Asia and Australia.”

The race entered the Guinness World Records list in 2017 for ‘Most People In A Mountain Run’ when 4801 runners had taken part, as per official figures. The half-marathon has six categories — Open is the main event for those in the 16 to 29 years age group, followed by Neo Veteran (30-39), Veteran (40-49), Senior Veteran (50-59), Super Veteran (60-69) and Ultra Veteran (70 years plus).

The Open race is further split into four categories (Elite Open Male, Elite Open Female, Indian Open Male, Indian Open Female). The winners last year were: Elite Open men — Sikiyas Abate (one hour, seven minutes, 57 seconds); Elite Open Female — Abebech Gela (1:20:01). Indian toppers in their respective categories were Adinath Bhosale and Manisha Salunkhe.

The prize money is ₹1,50,000 for Elite male and female champions, and ₹50,000 for the fastest Indian male and female runners.

The 2019 edition has #MainBhiSipahi as the theme to encourage awareness towards one nation-one people.

The idea is to salute and express gratitude towards the men and women in uniform.

The SHHM is nicknamed the Mini Comrades, after the gruelling Comrades Marathon in South Africa, run between Durban and Pietermaritzburg cities.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 10:24:12 PM |

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