The wheels behind the heels, those faceless men that go into the tremendous logistical exercise that is the Mumbai Marathon addressed the press yesterday at the media centre at Azad Maidan.
From left: Satish Uchil (AFI technical delegate), Milind Bharambe (Jt Commissioner for traffic), Hugh Jones, (race director) & Dr Nilam Gautam (medical director). PIC/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
ROUTE: London’s Hugh Jones, race director, who fixes the route of the race, amongst other things said, “a marathon on the streets of Mumbai is no small thing. In fact, the weather and the gradients all combine to make Mumbai one of the more challenging marathons of the world.”
Jones, said about the major tweak in the 21 km or half-marathon, with runners beginning at the Worli Dairy instead of Bandra. “Yes, it is a major shift and we are trying to cut out those little extras and turns they had to run to make up the distance.”
TRAFFIC: Jt Commissioner for Traffic, Milind Bharambe stated that the police, “are always ready to support such events.” While there is no doubt about the traffic cops commitment, here one has to admit that Mumbaikars are slipping up when it comes to getting their cars on the roads. We have seen many motorists bringing their cars on to the roads even before they are cleared of runners. Be patient and respectful, Mumbai.
MEDICAL: Asian Heart Hospital, medical partners, Dr Nilesh Gautam, stated that global statistics show mortality in marathons is between one and two per cent. “Last time around, we had zero mortality, this time too we aim for a double,” he said to cheers.
TIMING: The inevitable question cropped up whether we will see a new course record, under (2.09) but Vivek Singh, director, Procam International, event organisers claimed there is more to a marathon than records and timings. There is backdrop, drama and soul.
Running for a cause:
Cancer survivor Samuel Chettiar runs with a group of athletes while training for Sunday’s Mumbai Marathon.
Chettiar (38) who survived Stage IV Cancer, is a pace-setter (2 minutes 50 seconds) for the January 17 event