CHENNAI: The light showers on Saturday evening came as a welcome relief for Chennaiites, including the 5,000 participants who ran the Dream Runners Half Marathon on Sunday morning.
Matthew, a ticket collector with the Indian Railways and a participant at the marathon, said that the overnight rain had ensured a suitable climate and softer course. However, he blamed the city’s humidity for finishing nine minutes slower than his personal best — one hour four minutes — which he had clocked during a marathon in the Delhi winter.
The marathon was organised by the trust, Dreamrunners to aid a Chennai-based NGO that works towards the cause of helping people with mental depression, and preventing suicides. The event started at 5 am from the Olcott Memorial School in Besant Nagar and saw people from different age groups and nationalities taking part in the 10 kilometre and 21 kilometre runs. Trudging along with professional athletes like 32-year-old Soji Matthew, were bladerunners, wheelchair runners and running evangelist P Venkatraman, who recently underwent a bypass surgery. There were also a few like 20-year-old P Rani from Pudukottai who ran barefoot.
After the marathon, people crowded in front of a giant screen to check out their finish time. Later, squash champion Dipika Pallikal handed over prizes to the winners.