CHENNAI: On Sunday morning, the field in Olcott Memorial High School was filled with people wearing orange t-shirts on the occasion of the first edition of Magnathon 2018. The marathon, hosted by the Rajasthan Country Club, was open to all those interested.
Held under the theme ‘Run to Ignite a Life’, all proceeds from the marathon were directed to skill development institutions set up by project director Mitesh Bhandari and president Narendra Sanghvi in Kancheepuram for unemployed women and youth.
“With this training, people are able to get jobs and earn money for themselves. Most of their problems are solved through employment. They send their children to a better school, get a better house, and much more. We decided to hold a marathon as it attracts more people than any other event,” said Sanghvi. About 1,700 people took part in the marathon.
Participants could opt for the 5-km, 10-km or 21-km marathon. Several Chennaiites took part in the event, not only to help a cause but also for personal reasons. For 29-year-old doctor M Suresh, who ran the 10-km marathon, the event was a chance to train and work on himself while contributing to a good cause. “This is the third time I’ve run a 10-km marathon. It is difficult because we usually use up our energy in the first half, but I encourage people to start with 5-km marathons and move upward,” he said.
A special 1.5-km marathon for children and parents was also held. After completing the race, seven-year-old Vedanth Devaguptapu gives his mom, 38-year-old Divya, a high-five. His other hand has an orange helium balloon tied to it. “This is for a good cause. We usually don’t get a chance to spend time together, so this was a great opportunity to spend some mother-son time together,” said Divya.
Another special event was when ADGP Sylendra Babu ran with 20 police officers to boost their morale. ADGP — South, Mahesh Babu, flagged off the 10-km marathon. Through all routes, the Chennai Police kept a close eye on runners and traffic, ensuring that no incidents occurred. The event ended with the runners receiving medals and certificates. The students of Ethiraj College, who also took part in the marathon, were seen taking a selfie before a banner that read ‘I completed the 5-km marathon’.