The participants of the second edition of the Vasai-Virar Marathon had to overcome hot and humid conditions to emerge winners in their respective categories. Yesterday, Elam Singh and Ashish Singh Chauhan won in the men’s full and half marathons respectively, while Nashik-based Kavita Raut finished on top in the women’s half marathon.
Elam of Army Sports Institute (ASI) clocked 2:21:58 to set a course record, pushing the country’s top marathoner and his ASI teammate Lyngkhoi Bining to second place, who clocked 2:25:10. Indian Air Force athlete Girish Chandra Tiwari finished third with a timing of 2:28:36. His performance is creditable considering the fact that he landed in Virar late on Saturday evening from Ghaziabad, where he is posted. Elam erased Deep Chand’s record of 2:28:03 set in the full marathon last year.
Chauhan clocked 1:07:28 to lift the top honours in the men’s half marathon. Meanwhile, ASI’s Arjun Pradhan finished second with a timing of 1:09:36, while Sandeep Kumar, having run a couple of half marathons in 15 days had to be content with a third place (1:09:36).
Women’s half marathon winner Kavita Raut also failed to cope with the conditions and was seen throwing up after completing her race.
She piped her junior from Nashik, Monika Athare in a photo finish after both clocked identical times of 1 hour, 22 minutes and 3 seconds. Third place went to defending champion Kiran Tiwari, who finished in 1:24:53 seconds.
Raut (27) blamed the conditions for her bad timings. “Before the Delhi Half Marathon, I had viral fever. For this event, I was completely fit. The slight vomiting is due to heat and humidity. I feel that the organisers should look for a 6.30 am start to avoid such situations,” said Raut.
Full marathon winner Elam also voiced similar concerns. He said: “The climate hit us hard. This year the race route was tougher compared to last year. I feel either they should have an early start or postpone the event till November.”
Kavita was richer by Rs 1 lakh while the second and third-place finishers got Rs 60,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively. Elam won Rs 2 lakh for his efforts, while Bining took home Rs 1.10 lakh. Girish Chandra got Rs 75,000.