Mumbai Marathon: Blistering sun and heat plays spoilsport for elite athletes
Say an earlier start can make a world of difference, and even be conducive for setting records
Indian women's category topper Sudha Singh, who suffered cramps multiple times, at the finishing line on Sunday. Pic/Shadab Khan
Heat played spoilsport for both Indian elite men and women winners of the Mumbai Marathon yesterday. Olympian Gopi Thonakal, who clocked 2:16:51, ahead of his army rivals Nitendra Singh Rawat (02:16:54) and Srinu Bugatha (2:23:56), said he had aimed for a record, but after the halfway mark, his pace slowed, with the increase in temperature impacting his performance. Thonakal and Rawat finished 11th and 12th overall, respectively. "When we started, the weather was good, but soon, the temperature soared, and it became very hot," said Thonakal.
Rawat said, "I request Procam (the organisers) to start the full marathon at 6 or 6.15 am, instead of 7 am. An hour early can make a world of difference." "If they start around 6 am, even a world record is possible here," said Sudha Singh, who topped the Indian women's category (02:48:32). Jyoti Gawate (02:50:47) came second, while Meerut girl Parul Chaudhary (02:53:26), who ran her first marathon, came third.
Singh said this was the first marathon where she suffered cramps multiple times because of the heat. "My aim was to finish under 2:33:00, and till the 21-km mark, I was able to keep my pace. But the last 10 km was very hot," added Singh, a chief ticket inspector with Central Railway.
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