Padma Shri Krishna Poonia flags off The Great India Run
Pink city Jaipur witnessed one of the greatest running events in the country- The Great India Run. India’s first multi-city marathon began its second leg at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur where it was flagged off by none other than Padma Shri Krishna Poonia along with Shri Yunus Khan- Cabinet Minister (PWD) and Smt. Manan Chaturvedi- Chairperson of the Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
The run, conceptualized by ProSportify in association with MobieFit Technologies began from the iconic Amar Jawan Jyoti in New Delhi on the 17th of July. Taking part in this running extravaganza are 15 of the foremost names in Indian and International Ultra Running. The 5k run, aimed at imbibing the culture of running at every key pitstop was also carried out amidst much fanfare.
The 15 Ultra Runners were way ahead of schedule by completing the distance in less time than expected. The runners oft exceeded the average distance required in a day of 74 kilometres, and on one occasion even ran more than a 100km! It was not, however, smooth sailing all through as the team had to constantly deal with injuries attributable to the treacherous extremities presented by the weather.
At present, the contingent consists of Arun Bhardwaj, Siddarth Choudhary, David Bredo, Yuri Esperson, Meenal Kotak, Ranjana Deopa, Melanie Delaney, Joginder Chandna, Dinesh Heda, Sreekanth Reddi, Pia Hansson, Shweta Sharma, Sunil Sharma, Dhanaee Kumar and Kaushal Chauhan along with two Ambulances, a Nutrition vehicle and a nutritionist, three physiotherapists, and two masseurs with a support staff of 40.
Following the iconic state of Rajasthan, the mega event will pass through the states of Gujarat, Dadra and Nagar Haveli to culminate in Maharashtra. The main stops during the remaining journey are at Ahmedabad, Silvassa with the penultimate stop at the nation’s financial capital, Mumbai on the 6th of August.
‘The Great India Run’ aims to promote the sport of running, as well as build a fitter India and in accordance with this goal in mind a 5k Fun run has also been organized at every major pitstop (Ghaziabad, New Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Silvassa and Mumbai) to encourage the locals to come out of their shell and participate and enjoy the joy of running.
The picturesque city of Silvassa will see a full-fledged 21k run also. The proceeds from the event will go to the ‘Go Sports Foundation’, to make an impact on the nations sporting future by backing future Olympians.
A blend of youth and experience, the contingent are surpassing expectations on a daily basis. With a very positive and rather bubbly atmosphere, rather than just finishing the marathon, they are looking towards challenging the limits of their own endurance.
Pia Hansson, a Danish runner at the event was in a cheerful mood ahead of the flag off. “We’ve had good spirit so far, and we’ve been making good time. We look to continue this, as it’s not going to be easy but definitely worth it.”
“We are happy that the event has taken the course we intended. Our aim was to create new icons for Indian running, & that has been achieved. It has been an absolute treat so far.” said Utkarsh Veer Singh, COO MobieFit Technologies.
In the first year of its existence, the noble cause of The Great India Run which is to make the country fit, has seen much support from sponsors, a rarity for non-cricket sports in the country. With the powerful name of Tata Salt as the title sponsor, the event has also received backing from Aquaguard.
Adidas has also been roped in to outfit the elite athletes on their sojourn. NewsX, the iTV owned and operated 24hour news channel is on board as producer of the run, and will telecast live the most crucial moments of the race.