Manipal Marathon: A Short Burst of Adrenaline

Whilst the 21.1K half-marathon might have been the most romantic and eye-catching of the races on Sunday, with everyones eyes glued on the orange bib that would streak across the finish line first, Manipal also played host to a number of other fun facets of the Manipal Marathon.

The 10K Race:

One of the most common types of road running events, the 10K is widely considered to be the stepping stone from short runs (3K and 5K) to the long runs such as half marathon and marathon. The 10K is the only event which combines the best of all that road racing has to offer – speed and endurance. In the words of Coach Pete Rea, an elite athlete coach who has trained many USA Olympians; running a 10K feels like “dealing with a mild hangover from start to finish”. However, it remains a popular event since for most adults, the distance of 10 kilometres is long enough to be challenging but short enough to be attainable for an amateur.

On 5th March, the running enthusiasts of Manipal geared up to run to promote the cause of a ‘stroke-free world.’ The 10K run had three categories – the open category (16-35 years), senior (35-50 years) and veteran (50+ years). In each category, the male and female winners were awarded with a cash prize of Rs 10,000. The 10 kilometre run started at 6.45 AM from KMC Greens, flagged off by Kishore Alva. The route for the 10 kilometre run led the runners from KMC Greens to Syndicate Circle via End Point Road followed by a steep descent downhill to Perampalli and back.

Winners:

Female (Open) – Kumari Mamita

Male (Open) – Pravin Khambal

Female (Senior) – Yulia

Male (Senior) – Shankara

Female (Veteran) – Arunakala

Male (Veteran) – Hosur Udayakumar Shetty

Running for fun:

Almost every day perhaps, scores of people start running for the very first time. Not an infants first hurried steps, which is an invigorating experience as well, but running for pleasure and out of a desire to better oneself. Manipal Runners Club itself was born out of the same passion of a student of MCOPS, Siddharth Jain.

Manipal Marathon saw a lot of people taking to the asphalt and dirt for the very first time, and from the smiles that followed, it seems the streets will be filled to the brim for quite some time yet.

In keeping with the uplifted spirit and sheer happiness of racing, Manipal Marathon also had a few events to revel in sheer unadulterated fun. There was the extraordinary Carnival de Manipal with its many interesting stations, such as a photo booth and a kids counter. A wonderful Zumba session took over Greens amidst good cheer, whilst to one side football and cricket served to burn off some more adrenaline in good company.

The 5K Run:

The 5K run consisted of three different categories namely the Open, Corporate (for Senior Citizens) and Children. With most of the large student population of Manipal registered for the fun runs, the 5K and 3K runners themselves comprised around four-thousand of the six-thousand participants of the Manipal Marathon. The run was flagged off by Dr H S Ballal.

While the confident 10K and half-marathon runners were basking in the afterglow of their finish with their finishers medal and certificate, the scenario wasn’t quite the same for the first-time runners of the 5K and 3K category. In conversation with the amateur runners, many of them stated with a sheepish grin “the free t-shirts” as one of the sole reasons for their participation. They recounted their sloppy experience on how they sprinted at their maximum speed at the start, their lungs giving up halfway through the route and they were left walking back the remaining distance to the finish line.

In our busy student lives, the maximum daily physical activity we manage to achieve consists of the run we make in our half-asleep state from our hostels to the lecture halls to claim our attendance for the morning lectures. With this as the case, running the marathon did create quite an aftermath for the first-time runners. For them, the phrase “feeling dead on ones feet” carried a whole new meaning.

Running for a cause:

Running for fun is a commendable pursuit in and of itself, however, much like the Terry Fox run, Manipal Marathon had another element layered on it, in form of spreading awareness about cerebro-vascular accidents, i.e. strokes. The constitutive colleges of MU had set up stalls along the side of Greens with detailed information on the various aspects of stroke including its preventive care.

Stroke or cerebrovascular accident is an entity with an incidence of over 1 million cases in India alone. It is caused by damage to the brain due to reduction of blood flow to the organ. As a result of this, the symptoms manifest as numbness of the face, speech difficulties and muscle weakness. Awareness about stroke is especially important as it is sudden in onset and requires prompt medical attention. Although it cannot be cured, treatment often alleviates the symptoms such that quality of life is maintained to a certain degree.

Another consequence of these runs was to provide appropriate information on how to warm-up before a run as well as cool down after. The spirited Zumba session, alongside a vibrant tune set by DJ Roshan set the runners’ blood pumping and the Department of Physiotherapy coached the finishers on relaxing in the post-race elation.

The 3K Run:

The shortest run that took place in the morning was the 3K run. It had a large number of participants, close to over 2300 runners. The 3K runners were split into three batches, the open event, the kids marathon, and the corporate marathon. Each batch was designated by a separately coloured bib. The open event participants wore purple, the kids wore pink and the corporate participants wore yellow. The run was flagged off by Dr H Vinod Bhat.

Ms Tim Tim Sharma was the announcer for the day. She did a fabulous job of keeping the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd on a crest in spite of the marathon beginning in the wee hours of the morning on a Sunday. Being one of the shorter runs, the participants were only given certificates at the end of the marathon. Although the participants knew that they were far from the glamour of completing the half marathon, yet spirits were high because as we all know, every little bit counts.

By Shrabasti Dey, Sindhuri Sriraman, and Anirudh Gupta for MTTN

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