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Three cheers for cool Vasai-Virar marathon

Three new marks set as temperatures dip at Vasai-Virar Mayor's Marathon

Neeraj Pal Singh of Army (Hyderabad), G Lakshmanan of Army Sports Institute (Pune) and Kavita Raut of ONGC created new course records en route winning the men's full marathon, men’s half marathon and the women’s half marathon respectively, in the Rs 25 lakh prize money 4th Vasai Virar Mayor’s Marathon yesterday.

Kavita Raut wins the women's half marathon event
ONGC's Kavita Raut wins the women's half marathon event. Raut clocked 1:16.10, beating the previous mark of 1:22.07 held by Lalita Babbar by over four minutes. Pic/Sameer Markande.

Pal, who was leading the elite pack throughout and broke away from the field around the 25km-mark, clocked two hours 22 minutes & 38 seconds to break Elam Singh’s time of 2:22.44 set in 2012. Pal walked away with the
winner’s purse of Rs 2 lakh with Prahlad Sahai Meena finishing second (2:23.39) and Girish Chandra Tiwari of the Air Force (2:24.37) in third place.

Men's full marathon winner Neeraj Pal (centre)
Men's full marathon winner Neeraj Pal (centre) is flanked by second-place winner Prahlad Meena (right) and third-place winner Girish Tiwari at the 4th Vasai Virar Mayor’s Marathon yesterday. Pal set a new course record of two hours, 22 mins & 38 seconds. Pic/Sameer Markande.

Lakshmanan broke his own record of 1:07:00 clocking 1:04.56. He finished ahead of Kheta Ram (1:05.33) and Soji Mathew (1:06.37).

The early start and improved course helped Raut win the women’s half marathon for the third time and in style too, clocking 1:16.10, bettering Lalita Babbar’s 2013 mark of 1:22.07 by a whopping six minutes. Raut, was warded Rs 1 lakh for her effort. She said the race was the apt test ahead of next month’s National Games. “I’ll be participating in the 10,000m event at the National Games. This was an endurance test for me. I’m glad I did well,” said the Nashik-based athlete.

Full marathon champ Pal said the cooler weather this year helped. “Unlike earlier, where the conditions at the finishline were hot and humid, today it was cool. Some alterations in the course also made it quicker. It didn’t feel like I ran 42 kms,” said Pal.

Results:
Full marathon (Men): Neeraj Pal (Army, Hyd) 2:22.38; Prahlad Sahai Meena (Army, Hyd) 2:23.39; Girish Chandra Tiwari (Air Force) 2:24.37

Full marathon (women): Jyoti Singh 3:11.39; M Sudha 3:27.27; Indresh Dhiraj 3:40.24; Half marathon (men): G Lakshmanan (ASI, Pune) 1:04.56; Kheta Ram (ASI, Pune) 1:05.33; Soji Mathew (Western Railway) 1:06.37

Half marathon (women): Kavita Raut (ONGC) 1:16.10; Monika Athare (LIC) 1:17.48; Monika Raut (1:20.06)

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