The 10th edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon was unveiled at a function in Mumbai on Friday. The marathon, which has seen bigwigs from the corporate world like Anand Mahindra and Anil Ambani to stars like Milind Soman, Rahul Bose and Shazahn Padamse participate, will for first time see the winners get a special trophy. The richest Marathon in Asia will take place on the 20th of January next year.
The full marathon has already seen 4169 entries for the 2013 edition and over 40,000 people are expected to participate in the event. The run is supported by the Indian Navy, the Government of Maharashtra and the Athletics Federation of India. The top Indian male and female finishers will take home Rs 4,50,000 each. The winners, who have usually been African athletes, will get the special trophy that represents the idea of Mumbai along with the prize money.
The trophy for the winners has been designed by sculptor and painter Paresh Maity. The Governor of Maharashtra K Sankaranarayanan, who was the Chief guest at the function, unveiled the trophy. Speaking at the event the Governor said, " It was really nice to see the number of people participating go up every year and to see so much money being raised for charity through the event." In the past nine editions, the marathon has raised Rs 71 crore for charity. Besides charity the marathon has also seen many Mumbaikars take to running that has gone a long way in increasing their fitness.
Well known cardiac surgeon Dr. Ramakant Panda, in a video message said, Indians are prone to heart diseases and events like these go a long way in improving the fitness of individuals, thus reducing the risk of heart ailments."
Maharashtra's PWD and Tourism Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said "It was heartening to see people from all classes and religion come together as Mumbai and run for charity". Bhujbal added that the marathon was started during his tenure as Home Minister and while he was initially skeptical about its success, he did have faith in the organisers.
He told the audience that initially there was resistance to the event from the police fearing traffic problems but they did manage to overcome their fears and put on a splendid show.
The highlight of the unveiling ceremony though was a performance by supernatural entertainer and mentalist Lior Suchard. He has an extraordinary talent for mind reading, thought influencing and telekinesis. Performing amazing feats before the live audience, he brought out the wonders of the human brain as he read their minds. Suchard ended the function with a message for Mumbaikars which said "Always think positive, even while running. You never know who is reading your thoughts."