The early hours and a brief downpour could not dampen the spirits of over 10,000 runners as they participated enthusiastically in the second edition of the Wipro Chennai marathon 2013 on Sunday. Several enthusiasts cheered on the runners that included athletes from Uganda, Dubai, Algeria and Ethiopia and 16 amputee blade runners, who also participated and completed the marathon. Both young and old, beyond their differences ran together.
Last year’s winner Ismail Ssenyange from Uganda successfully defended his title in the full marathon spanning 42.2 kilometres. He clocked in a time of 2 hours and 32 minutes to emerge the winner. “The level of competition this year was tough. I am enjoying running marathons in Chennai and I will definitely be back next year,” said a visibly-elated Ismail Ssenyange. Getinet Chala Dessie from Ethiopia was the first runner up and Murugan from Chennai was the second runner-up.
Several women also competed equally well. Sudha Rani from Tamil Nadu won the full marathon for women, clocking in a time of 3 hours 37 minutes. Although she was elated with the win, she also said that this was not her best performance. Indresh Dhiraj came second and Kalpana Komal was third.
The marathon commenced at the OMR near the Indira Gandhi MRTS and took a route that went up to the War Memorial and back. A half marathon of 21.1 kilometres and a 10 kilometre-run also took place simultaneously. Traffic along the route of the marathon was restricted.
The full marathon began at 5 am and was flagged off by Bosco, a marathoner, part of the Chennai Runners. The half marathon began at 5:15 am and was flagged off by Ram Vishwanathan, founder Chennai Runners, while the 10 kilometre-run was flagged off at 7 am by Rajendran IPS (ADGP) Law & Order and Secretary of TNAA.
C Sylendra Babu IPS, Additional Director General of Police (Coastal Security) and his team of 20 coastal security personnel also participated in the 10 kilometre- run. The first three winners of the full marathon got cash awards of Rs 35,000 each, while the runner up and second runner up received Rs 20,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively. In addition to this, Adidas and Nathella gave away prizes to the top three finishers. The winners of the half marathon got cash awards of Rs 25,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively and prizes from Adidas and Nathella, while for the 10-kilometre category prizes were sponsored by Adidas and Nathella.