When Pink Denotes Fitness
The second edition of Pinkathon to be held on February 16 hopes to see thousands of women running to spread breast cancer awareness and promote the habit of exercising among women, thereby boosting immunity against lifestyle diseases and other health problems.
Put together by runner and athlete Milind Soman’s event solutions company Maximus MICE and Media Solutions, the event comprises 10K, 5K and 3K runs, so that people with different levels of fitness can participate.
Speaking at a press conference that announced the event, Soman said, “The idea is that women start off with running. Then they can transition to any other form of exercise that they prefer - cycling, aerobics, yoga. We Indians give a lot of importance to academics, which is good, but we also have to exercise regularly.”
He further added that the first edition of Pinkathon, which was held in Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore in 2013 saw 12,000 women running. “We’re planning to expand to six cities this year and are hoping for a participation of 15,000 to 20,000,” he added.
Former Miss India and fitness enthusiast Gul Panag, who is also the ambassador for Pinkathon, quoted statistics and stated that women’s participation in mainstream running events in India is between 10 and 15 per cent. “And fitness is not just about being fat or thin. You could be thin but suffer from risk of lifestyle diseases if you don’t exercise, or you could be ‘fat’ but perfectly healthy depending on your lifestyle,” she cautioned.
Talking to City Express, Bangalore-based runner and Arjuna awardee Reeth Abraham said that Indian women need to pay more attention to their health and fitness. “Last year, I was amazed to see that there were about 3,000 women of all shapes and sizes running on the streets of Bangalore, and men were cheering us on the sidelines with pompoms; it was very heartening. But a lot of women, when I ask them if they exercise, still say that they don’t have time. That’s the most ridiculous excuse.”
She further added that running makes one feel good about oneself, and the happiness of the woman is crucial to the well being of the family. “I think fitness should top the priority list,” she said.
This year’s mascot RJ Lavanya from a radio channel in Bangalore will run for the first time. “I’ve always found excuses not to exercise or go to the gym, but now, I think Pinkathon will be a good start,” she said, adding that the fight against breast cancer is one that is close to her heart.
“I lost someone - an aunty - to breast cancer last year. She was 80 and a doctor earlier. This was really a revelation, that breast cancer affects people of all ages and walks of life,” Lavanya further said.
Pinkathon has also tied up with Running Protons, a running group in the city, where participants who wish to run regularly can approach.