Emotion 'n' excitement mark marathon mix
It was an emotional, nostalgic time for the core team - the technical committee, race organisers, race directors and doctor in charge, (considering most of them have been with the event since 10 years), at a press conference held on Wednesday to explain to the media the technical aspects of the race.
Race organiser Procam’s joint Managing Director (MD) Vivek Singh said that the excitement in the city was “palpable” while race director Hugh Jones from London spoke about being associated with Mumbai and the race for 10 years. “Ten years ago, if somebody had asked us where we wanted to be 10 years from now with reference to the marathon, I would say exactly at the juncture we are at,” said Jones claiming that the event is only getting bigger and better, as the years go by, with some “major milestones” on the way. Jones spoke about how the winner of the inaugural 2004 event Hendrik Ramaala is back in the city to compete and the “race has a lot of personal significance and he has an emotional attachment to it.”
Jones also added that the top three men finishers are back this time to compete and the years have shown us that, “it is pretty much down to the wire.” Medical director, Dr Ashish Contractor said there would be at least 350 medical personnel on duty on the day and they have a new initiative this year. “We sent out mailers to runners doing the 21-km and the 42-km event. Each one had to send in a medical history of sorts - if they are allergic to a drug perhaps, whether they are on medication… the doctors have a tablet with the information stored. In case the runner needs medical attention we can at once log back to his history.” Today, even as you read this long distance running legend Haile Gebrselassie is called will be in Mumbai as brand ambassador for the event. In its tenth year, Mumbai hails the man they call The King.