Nearly 39,000 Mumbaikars — ranging from celebrities, industrialists, women, senior citizens to minors, physically-challenged and commoners — are readying themselves to run Sunday morning in the much-awaited and richest sporting event in Asia – the 9th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon.
The registrations, notching house-full in different categories, closed a few months ago. The event will kick off at dawn on Sunday, said Bruno Goveas, director – media relations for the promoters, Procam International.
This time, 250 running places in the full marathon and 1,000 in the half-marathon have been reserved for women runners.
Bollywood actor John Abraham and former tennis player Vijay Amritraj will be the two event ambassadors for the Mumbai Marathon, Goveas added.
According to Goveas, the prizes on offer have become more attractive – a total purse of $340,000 – with an overall increase of $15,000 for the different categories of winners, including prizes for the top three winners, as compared to 2011.
Even Indian athletes will be entitled to compete for a separate prize fund for the full marathon, with $52,000 offered, which is $10,000 more than last year.
Accordingly, the top Indian male and female winners will gain $7,500 each while amateur winners in the open marathon will get $1000, $750 and $500 each for the top three slots respectively.
The charitable aspect of the event has also been well recognized and in the past nine years over Rs.53 crore have been collected in charities through the runs, Goveas added.
Hoping to continue the trend this year, 10,500 running places have been allotted to United Way of Mumbai, the official charity partner, including 5,000 for the Corporate Challenge (a category of charity bibs), and the rest to be distributed among NGOs registered with the event.
A total of 3,500 people will run for the Full Marathon, and 11,000 for the Half Marathon. The Dream Run will have 22,000 participants, 1,800 in the Senior Citizens’ Run and 200 in the Wheelchair event.
The marathon will start from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) in south Mumbai and go up to Bandra via the Rajiv Gandhi Bandra-Worli Sea Link, before taking a different route to return to the CST.