On Sunday morning, people from across the globe congregated in Mumbai to participate in the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020. It was an eclectic crowd, from pro-runners, to amateurs that set off to achieve their own personal records.
The full and half marathon kicked off at 5.15 am, while the Dream Run started at 8:05 am. The half marathon was flagged off by Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Aaditya Thackeray."Amazing to see so many enthusiastic people to turn up for the Half Marathon of @TataMumMarathon ! What electric atmosphere. Honour to flag off the Half Marathon this morning," he wrote in a tweet.
Later, at around 8 am Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray flagged off the Dream Run of the 17th edition of the Mumbai Marathon. CM Uddhav Thackeray was also spotted cheering on the Marathoners. He was accompanied by his son Aaditya Thackeray, Chhagan Bhujbal, Kiren Rijiju, Jayant Patil, Aslam Shaikh and Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar.
After the flagging off of the Dream Run, Aaditya Thackeray tweeted saying, "CM Uddhav Thackeray was truly delighted to see the josh at the @TataMumMarathon dream run that he flagged off this morning! This truly brings the world to Mumbai. More such global sporting events in Maharashtra will be a boost to tourism as well."
Approximately 55,000 runners took to the roads in Mumbai for six different races in what has become a traditional annual event in the city on the third Sunday of January. In addition to the flagship event, which has a total prize fund of $ 420,000, there is also a half marathon, a 10 km race, a Dream Run (5.9 km), Senior Citizens Race (4.2 km) and a Champions with Disability Race (1.5 km).
The interest in recreational running is growing rapidly in India, and TMM's increasing popularity seems to support that idea. Given the country's massive population, India is obviously a reserve of untapped elite talent as well. Entries for the marathon itself are just under 10,000 runners which means that the anticipated number of finishers in the race will have more-or-less doubled in the last five years. A similar upward trajectory can be seen in the half marathon which has more than 15,000 entries, with an expected increase in finishers which will have increased by approximately 20% in just two years.