The 37th Pune International Marathon, India's oldest marathon, is set to mark its legacy once again, but this time with a notable schedule adjustment. In response to the need for minimising daytime traffic disruptions in Pune, the marathon, renowned for its historic significance, has undergone a significant change in timing. In the past two years, the race commenced after midnight, ensuring that all participants completed their runs by 8 am. However, this midnight start posed challenges for city traffic management.
This year, the marathon is scheduled for December 3, kicking off at 3.30 am. The traditional route remains unchanged, with the full marathon spanning 42.195 kilometres and the half marathon covering 21.0975 kilometers. The event caters to runners of all levels, with 10 km races starting at 6 am, followed by 5 km races at 6.30 am, open to both men and women. A three km wheelchair race is set for 6.45 am, followed by a three km family run at 7 am, all concluding at Sanas Ground. The prize distribution ceremony is slated for 8 am.
Run for Environmental Awareness
The theme for this year's event is "Run for Environmental Awareness."
With more than 12,000 participants expected, including men, women, and families, registration is available on the official website www.marathonpune.com, with a deadline of November 25, 2023. Early registrants are eligible for discounts, and corporate or group bookings can be arranged through email@example.com.
Generous cash prizes, totaling Rs 35 lakh, will be awarded to the event's winners, courtesy of the Pune Municipal Corporation.
Unique to this year's marathon is the introduction of specific marks (points) for runners in the full marathon category. These marks will be based on recorded times and will be considered for entry into the prestigious Wanda World Championships Marathon held in Chicago, USA.
The race route adheres to world-recognised standards and is in accordance with the rules of "World Athletics" and the guidelines set by the Athletics Federation of India, New Delhi. Participants will have access to water stations, syrups, fruits, energy drinks, sponging points, medical aid, ambulances, motorcycle pilots, cycle pilots, police presence, and facilities for journalists. The route also boasts proper street lighting and mobile toilets, with a temporary hospital stationed at Sanas Ground.
The Pune District Amateur Athletics Association's technical officials and route umpires will ensure smooth race operations. Additionally, volunteers from Ganesh Mandals and various sports groups will support the Organizing Committee on the Sinhagad Road-Marathon route, aiding athletes and assisting traffic police with route management.
Key figures in this year's marathon include Race Director Sumant Waikar, Technical Race Director Baptiste D'Souza, Joint Technical Race Director Vasant Gokhale, and Joint Race Director Gurbans Kaur.
Medical support will be led by Dr. Rajendra Jagtap, with over 400 members from Pune's 108 Ambulance Medical Team, Bharati Vidyapeeth, Symbiosis Deemed University, Sancheti Hospital, and Navale Medical College/Hospitals providing care to runners along the route and after the competition.
70 international runners
Expectations for this year's marathon are high, with over 70 international male and female runners representing countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mauritius, South Africa, America, and Europe. Additionally, runners from across India, including national champions and representatives from the Army and the Railway Board, will compete against international counterparts.
Notably, the first three winners (both men and women) of the 6th Sarhad Full Marathon held in Kargil (Ladakh province) will also participate in the 37th Pune International Marathon, underscoring the event's growing stature. These details were shared during a press conference by Pune International Marathon Trust's Trustee, Adv. Abhay Chhajed, and Trustee and Joint Race Director, Rohan More.