MUMBAI: Mumbaikars have begin to get ready to put on their running shoes for the one of the country's biggest run, the Mumbai Marathon, on January 15. This year, with more than 6,000 full marathon runners registering, the numbers are up by almost 22% as compared to 2016.
A total of 42,379 runners will be at the starting line. The full marathon (42.195km) has seen its all-time high registration of 6,342 runners. The half-marathon (21.097km) and the dream run (6km) have 14,663 and 19,980 runners respectively. "The event was oversubscribed about six months ago. Today the marathon symbolizes the spirit of Mumbai and carries with it a message of hope and inspiration to achieve the larger good," said Vivek Singh, joint managing director, Procam International, organizers of the marathon said on Thursday.
The other race categories include, 'champions with disability' (2.4km) and senior citizen run (4.3km).
Among those leading the field at the starting line will be Ethiopia's Ayele Abshero and two-time winner in Mumbai, Dinknesh Mekash. Actor John Abraham, the face of the marathon, said, "The marathon gives us two things-getting fit and running for a cause. Everyone must take a cue from the runners and stay healthy and eat healthy." At stake is prize money of $ 3,84,000 and one of the largest platforms for philanthropy.
A unique feature introduced in the marathon this year is the 'Mumbai Portal'. The vessel equipped with audiovisual technology will be stationed outside Trident Hotel. The portal will connect visitors for a conversation with people in 20 other cities in the world.
A free shuttle service will be availabe from Currey Road station and Lower Parel for half-marathon participants. These buses will operate from 3.30am to 5am on the day of the marathon. Participants from the city can collect their running numbers at the 'Mirchi Get Active Expo' from January 6 to 8 while outstation runners can do so on January 14 at Richardson and Cruddas, Byculla.