Hyderabad: Around 23,000 people are set to participate in the eighth edition of the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon to be held on August 26. The latest edition is set to be bigger and better in terms of participation as this year has seen a rise of around 20 per cent from the last year.
The organisers, Hyderabad Runners Society, are confident of conducting the event smoothly with the help of over 3,500 volunteers, police personnel and with the help of the State government. Race Director Abhijeet Madnurkar said that the event will have three categories with the 5k fun run scheduled for August 25. The half marathon (21.1km) and full marathon (42.2km) will be held on August 26 with the former starting from the Hitex Exhibition Centre and the latter from People’s Plaza at Necklace Road.
This year’s edition will be certified by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) which will help the runners to compete in international marathons like the London Marathon and Boston Marathon, the organisers revealed.
“Runners’ security is paramount for us and we will have medical stations, foot cen
tres and recreational activities throughout the route and everyone will have fun. We have also tied up with 40 NGOs. Last year we have raised over Rs 1.01 cr for charity and we are hoping to cross that this year,” Abhijeet said.
Lieutenant Commander Aishwarya Boddapti, who was the member of the six-member women team that circumnavigated the globe for 190 days, said running has no gender inequality and everyone should run to keep themselves fit.
Later, Minister for IT and Municipal Administration, KT Rama Rao, along with others unveiled the finishers’ medal and t-shirt and the logo of the event. The last date for registration is July 26 and interested candidates can log in to www.hyderabadrunners.com or www.marathonhyderabad.com.
KTR says no to plastic
Minister for IT and Urban Development, K T Rama Rao, who was the chief guest of the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon logo and jersey unveiling programme, said no to plastic by not accepting the bouquet of flowers that were wrapped in plastic. When Sunitha, who has completed 50 marathons across the globe, went on to the stage offering the chief guest a bouquet, KTR said, “No plastic please, thank you!”
Speaking at the function, he also revealed that the Gandipet Lake, which will turn 100 years in 2020, will be a recreation centre soon. “We are going to lay foundation in July to turn the Gandipet Lake into a recreational centre. The lake has a perimeter of 46 km. We will have 26km of walking, cycling and running tracks. It will be ready by 2020 and we hope to see some of these marathons being held there,” he added.
He further said the city of Hyderabad was miles ahead in comparison with other cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata. “Our city is relatively the best city on the livability index for the fourth year in a row. There is always room for improvement and we are striving to make it a better place,” he said. When asked whether he would be running, he said with a grin that he was expecting early elections and would be running for them.