The 4th Edition of the annual Manipal Marathon held at the University town of Manipal and the temple town of Udupi traversing scenic beaches and forest covers and asphalt jungles and cityscapes alike took place in the wee hours of a Sunday morning, on 9th February.
With over 8000 runners from all walks of life trying their mettle in different categories, the Marathon had 5 different categories. The 3k Fun Run, the 3k Race for School, High School and College Categories, the 5 km Run, the 10 km run, the AIMS Certified 21.1 km Half Marathon and for the first time ever, an AIMS Certified 42.2 km Full Marathon. To top that off, a special postal cover commemorating the 4 years the Marathon has been taking place and to celebrate the inauguration of the first ever full Marathon, was released on the Marathon Day.
Dr Girish Sehgal, Wealth Management Head, ICICI Bank was the Chief Guest of the day along with Mr Robin Singh, former International and Domestic Cricketer and Head Coach at the Robin Singh Sports Academy. Ms Trupti Murugundi, International Badminton Player with laurels won for the country in Asian and Commonwealth Games was also a Guest of Honor. Mr Bhaskar Hande, General Manager, Syndicate Bank, Manipal, Mr Ravindra Rai, Regional Manager of Bank of Baroda, Mr Kishore Alva, Executive Director of Adani UPCL were the guests from the Sponsors joined by Dr HS Ballal, Pro Chancellor, MAHE, Dr H Vinod Bhat, Vice Chancellor, MAHE, Dr V Surendra Shetty and Dr PLNG Rao, Pro Vice Chanellors and Dr Narayan Sabhahit, Registrar, MAHE along with all Deans, Directors and HODs of various Departments and Institutes were present. Mr HT Mahadev, Senior Vice President of KAA, Mr Raghuram Nayak, President of UDAAA, Mr Suprem Poojary, AGM of United Toyota and Mr Purushottam Shetty of Ujjwal Developers were present.
The dignitaries flagged off various races and awarded the prizes to the winners of the day. The 42k Open Category had the International Athletes from Kenya taking home the Gold with Stephan with a timing of 2:33:38, Japhet, and Issac placing 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively followed by Sunil and Pranav Prakash.
The Female Open Category of 42k was won by Bhoomika from Bangalore with a timing of 3:37:09 followed by Deepika Prakash, Priyanka HB, Usha MN and Sunitha Gujjar placing after her.
There were awards for every category and age group worth a total of 12 lakhs for the Marathon. Accompanying the Marathon, was a Carnival put up by the students of Volunteer Services Organization with lots of sports, games, photobooths, mascots, music, dance, zumba, pound and just about everything else to make it a festival!
62-year old Rajeeva Shetty, a frequent marathoner, ran the Half Marathon barefoot. “Age is just a number, he said “And if you love what you do and are mentally prepared for it, nothing is impossible.”
A pristine beachside route, an army of student volunteers to cheer you on and take care of you, the famed Manipal Healthcare extending its services, a Carnival to welcome you back at Manipal, Photographers everywhere to click your memories, the famous Udupi Food waiting for you at the Finish Line and a memory of a lifetime, what more is needed when you’re pushing yourself to run the Marathon?