50 lakh expected to join 'Run Kerala Run'
Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 19 (IANS)
In what is believed to be the largest gathering to join in a run worldwide, the curtain-raiser event to the 35th National Games, "Run Kerala Run" would be held across the state Tuesday with an estimated five million people expected to take part. The January 31-February 14 National Games will be held at 30 venues across seven districts of the state. Kerala's Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said the response has gone beyond the government's imagination and they are certain the event would get an entry into the Guinness World Records for the number of people taking part.
"The response is such that when we began planning for this event, it was supposed to have 7,000 starting locations for the run and now that it has crossed 10,000," Radhakrishnan told IANS Monday.
He said he would himself be running along with cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, the goodwill ambassador of the upcoming Games.
"Kerala Governor P.Sathasivam would be flagging the main run that would take place in front of the state secretariat and would include Tendulkar, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and numerous high profile people, cutting across various political parties," said Radhakrishnan.
The run would start at 10.30 a.m. across more than 10,000 locations and each group was expected to cover an average distance of 500 metres.
The Kerala government has given a a one-hour break to its employees to take part in the run.
"The 14 district collectors are overseeing the conduct of the event in their zones," said Radhakrishnan.
Movie stars Mammootty and Mohanlal, among others from the Malayalam film industry, would also participate.
"One main reason why this appears to have become the talking point is because of the massive publicity this event got after it was taken up by the event management company of the leading regional daily Malayala Manorama," said an official.
"They through their newspaper and TV channel have really made it visible across the face of the state," he said.