BENGALURU: Over 15,000 Bengalureans woke up, laced up and showed up at the fifth edition of the Shriram Properties Bengaluru Marathon (SPBM) in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Participating in the full-marathon (42.2km), half-marathon (21 km approx), 5 km Hope Run, the city with a growing number of keen runners, took to the streets as early as 4am.
Mikiyas Yemata from Ethiopia and Aneeta Chaudhary from Mathura took the winning position in the full-marathon in the male and female categories, respectively, clocking in 02:35: 20 and 03:11:53, respectively. About 2,000 runners took part in the full-marathon and 7,000 in the half-marathon.
Post the win, 26-year-old Mikiyas said, “This is my second marathon and I am happy as I got the first place. I have been practising for 12 hours a day.” Sharing the same sentiment, 25-year-old Aneeta said, “We dedicate our time to training daily and participate in as many national and international marathons. I have participated in more than four marathons in the last one year. When you win, it increases your confidence.”
Sunitha, 22, from Samarthanam Trust won the women’s full marathon, in the visually-challenged category. Currently pursuing her BA, Sunitha has been training for the last one year. Fifteen visually-challenged runners from the trust participated in the full-marathon with the help of guide runners. The half-marathon event saw more than 7,000 marathoners. Evans Saitoti, from Kenya, secured the first place in the male category, with a timing of 1:08:54, while Birtukan Shewaya, from Ethiopia, won in the female category, with a timing of 1:29:19. Hyderabad-based Ravi Prakash and Nitu Singh were runners-up in the two categories, clocking in 1:10:32 and 1:36:26, respectively.
Geetha, a 50-year-old cancer survivor, participated in the half- marathon with elan. “Cancer is not the end of life. We need to celebrate life. A marathon is nothing but mind over miles,” she said.