Chennai: Thousands of men and women assembled in the small hours of Sunday morning to participate in various categories of the fifth edition of the Wipro Chennai Marathon.
By 7 am, with a sea of participants, the road near Napier’s Bridge appeared to be dotted with fluorescence.
Men and women enthusiastically began the day assembling for the run and more heart-warming were differently-abled participants wholeheartedly taking part in the run on their wheelchairs or with their crutches.
The full marathon, which had 42.2 kilometers to be covered, commenced at 4 am while the half marathon, 21.1 km, commenced at 5 am. The 10 km run that commenced at 7 am from Napier's Bridge saw the most participation.
"The crowd was so much that for the 10km run, they divided all the participants into four groups and each group started running three minutes after the previous group," said Naveen Narayanan, a Bengaluru-based software professional.
Enthused with energy early in the morning, participants took turns running, walking, taking breaks, repeating the same as they kept moving towards the finish line fatigued, but with pride.
Participants were happy about the arrangements with regard to traffic, refreshments, water stands and availability of medical help. "There were food and water stands and medical stalls at all the correct distances. So as soon as one started getting tired, he could munch something or gulp some water," said Justin Glen, an amputee, who participated in the 10km run.
Another participant of the 10 km run, Bhuvaneshwaran G, said: "This is the second time I am participating. Five of my friends and I ran together. I finished the run in 77 minutes. Though the number of people who registered was over 20,000, I suppose, about 14,000 participated today."
Isaac Kemboi from Kenya won the marathon in the men's category and Simta Sharma, from Mumbai, in the women's category....