CHENNAI: The feel good factor of morning exercise doubled this Sunday at the Marina Beach, as more than 250 people, a majority of whom were students, gathered for ‘MADathon’, a marathon for a cause. The event was conducted by the AIESEC, a student-based organisation, Chennai.
It was organised in three phases of 3 km, 5 km and 10 km and was attended by a wide array of people ranging from record holding marathoner Neville Billimoria to kindergarten children running along with their grandparents and parents, the stretch along the Marina Beach was filled with hustle and bustle.
The ‘MADathon’ was conducted as a prelude to AIESEC’s forthcoming event, Balakalakaar — a day of fun for 3,000 underprivileged kids. Balakalakaar, as the name suggests is a talent hunt for children from orphanages and underprivileged families.
Jeffry Alex, a runner at the event and publisher who finished the 10 km run said, “I was initially doubtful about going for the event when I heard it was being organised by students. But the logistics were brilliant and it had much more energy than the usual marathons.”
“Many of us have taken time off from college and invested a lot of time to make this dream a reality. Usually, marathons are conducted by organisations with mega sponsors, but the fact that a group of students have organised it is a feat in itself,” said Akhil Thomas, vice president, business developer for AIESEC, Chennai.
The buzz at the Marina on Sunday started as early as 5 am. Fifteen foreign enthusiasts, students and professionals lined up for the 10 km run. The runners felt that running for a cause was more important than winning a prize.
With group photographs, autographed posters and pep talks by expert runners, the event by amateurs left a lasting impression on the participants. Everyone who successfully finished the ‘MADathon’ went home as a winner, with a medal and certificate.