New Delhi: The ‘Great India Run’, India’s first multi-city marathon was flagged off in a gala ceremony at the iconic Amar Jawan Jyoti in India Gate here early on Sunday. The event kicked off with a warm up session of the participating 15 ultra runners followed by flagging off the ultra-run and a five kilometre ‘fun run’.
The event was flagged off by Sports Minister Vijay Goel and 2003 World Athletics Championships medallist Anju Bobby George. The 1,480-km run, India’s first multi-city marathon, features 15 of the best ultra-marathoners from across the world.
Arun Bhardwaj led the team of 14 ultra-runners at India Gate while three of the runners simultaneously flagged off the event from Ghaziabad. At around 10:30 a.m., all runners gathered at Kingdom of Dreams in Gurugram to kick start the Haryana leg. Five-kilometre ‘fun runs’ were also organised at each of these venues that saw a lot of participation from youngsters.
In its inaugural year, the ‘Great India Run’ has been strategically placed prior to the Olympics, in order to stoke the flame of sport in the country.
The run, one of the longest and most challenging in Asia, will test the resilience of even the most experienced of the pack. An almost pan-India event, it will pass through Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, finally culminating in Mumbai on August 6.
The run from Delhi will move on to Jaipur and pass through Ahmedabad to culminate in Mumbai. The contingent consists of Arun Bhardwaj, Siddharth 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.