“I had played my part in a couple of marathons in the past but I am happy to see it happening right in my hometown,” added the fastest Indian in the world, who flagged off the boys’ event.Narain said it is only going to get bigger from here as the news would have spread like wildfire by this time. “It is definitely a nice way to the spread the message. The rest is bonus.”
The Race Course Road, considered a ‘Walkers Paradise,’ was closed for once to accommodate the runners. It did upset a chosen few but those who attended it considered it a great privilege to be part of this big event. With billboards and banners practically in every tree and lamppost, and the band playing loud, the entire stretch of the road wore a festive look.The atmosphere was certainly electric. And, that set the tone and the pace for both the young and the aged to last their respective distance.
R. Rajesh of Government Arts College and K. Maheswari of Southern Railway raced to gold and glory in the men’s (10 km) and women’s (5 km) section respectively.P. Dhanapriya of PSGR Krishnammal and P. Karthick of Government Boys HSS, Ondipudur, did likewise in the under-18 girls’ and boys’ section, which stretched a distance of 5 km.There were many who were initially sceptical about the safety aspect of the event as the city had never witnessed a crowd like this before.
It did worry the organisers but at the end they heaved a sigh of relief as there was no real damage done. Cine actor Surya must be convinced as well that all his people came out safe.If an event of this magnitude managed to see the safer side it was mainly due to the large support extended by both the public and the police.The marathon, after close to a two-hour excitement, culminated at the Government Arts College.The top ten winners in each of the four categories were presented with cash awards and certificates by a host of dignitaries.And, those who played their part in the success of the show were also honoured.