A month to go for Mumbai marathon!

After all the sad Mumbai events, I was concerned that this may also impact the Mumbai marathon dates. But fortunately, everything is on track and looks to be going good (and check out why Mumbai is not Asia’s largest marathon at the end of this post).

As per one of the press releases, I came to know about the participation cutoff for the 2009 event, which are as follows:

Full marathon (42K): 2,000 (sad)
Half marathon (42K): 9,500
Dream Run : 23,000
Senior Citizen’s Run: 1,900
Wheelchair event: 150

So, this makes up for a total participation count of about 36,000.

I read today that the model Milind Soman will be doing the 42K in this years event, I know he has been running over the last several years, but it was always the 21K, so this would be a first for him! This is being covered in the media also:
“Apollo Hospital presents Touching Lives: Marathon Man” on 19 December, 2008, Friday at 8.30 am and a repeat telecast at 7.30 pm only on NDTV Good Times.

I have been reading and hearing frequently about the Mumbai marathon being billed as Asia’s richest and largest marathon. I won’t talk about the richest aspect, as that is something which can be done any day for any marathon. However, the largest tag is surely suspect. Check out my best of asia marathons post, and all of the ones I have covered till date are bigger that Mumbai, including Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore. I would personally label the event with largest 42K participant count as the largest marathon, and there, Mumbai, with a meagre count of just 2,000, is not even close. To give an example, in Tokyo marathon, 1,05,000 entries for the 42K were rejected because the quota was 25,000. Yes, thats 1 lakh and 5 thousand rejections!

Even if we go by the criteria of total participation in all events, Mumbai is still far behind other Asia marathons. So, distance running still has a long way to go in India, from its current focus around fun runs, to the next level.

Update: Final participation figures (Jan 14) are as follows (total 40,000):
Full marathon (42K): 3,000
Half marathon (42K): 12,000
Dream Run : 23,000
Senior Citizen’s Run: 2,000
Wheelchair event: 180

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