Bhayandar: Despite discontent and objections raised by the Opposition leaders, the inaugural edition of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation’s (MBMC) “Mayor Marathon” witnessed the participation of 8,500 people, who ran on the streets of the twin-city on Sunday morning.
The participants from different age groups and all walks of life ran to highlight various causes and spread awareness on water conservation and tree plantation and also to promote the Swachh Bharat initiative in the twin-city.
Scores of enthusiastic Mira-Bhayandar residents, along with people from nearby cities and national and international level athletes took part in the marathon held under the aegis of mayor Dimple Mehta and civic chief Balaji Khatgaonkar.
State education minister Ashish Shelar flagged off the marathon at 6am from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Municipal Stadium in Bhayandar. The event was attended by MP Gopal Shetty and local legislator Narendra Mehta among others.
While the coveted 21-km half marathon trophies were won by Ranjit Kumar Patel in the men’s and Hannah Gathard in women’s category, Rohit Yadav (men’s) and Sreedevi Somanna Mhatre (women’s) bagged the top slots in the 10-km Challenge Marathon. The 5-km Fun Run turned out to be a hot favorite among the local populace.
Apart from a well-organised event, the MBMC claims to have integrated futuristic elements like a time-recording chip to ensure proper transparency. However, several participants complained of shoddy arrangements in the politically-motivated sports event.
A serious question mark has also been raised on the validity of certificates awarded to winners, as the concerned athletic federations did not recognise the inaugural civic administration-organised marathon run, sources said.
By Suresh Golani