Tanzanian athlete Alphonce Felix Simbu (24) and Kenyan runner Bornes Kitur Chepkirui (31), flew past all competition to bag the top spots in the men’s and women’s category respectively in the full marathon at the 14th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) here on Sunday.
Indian athletes, army soldier Kheta Ram (31) and Jyoti Shanker Gawte topped the men and women’s category in the full marathon which saw participation of over 6,000 runners.
While Simbu clocked 2:09:32 hours, the first runner-up Joshua Kipkorir (23) of Kenya came a close second at 2:09:50, and fellow Kenyan Eliud Barngetuny (43) claimed the third spot at 2:10:39.
The international women’s topper Chepkirui clocked 2:29:02 to bag the women’s title, Ethiopian Chaltu Tafa (28) came second clocking 2:33:03 and her fellow countrywoman Tigist Getachu Girma (23) — who won the Beirut Marathon last November — stood third with 2:33:19.
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Among the male Indians, Kheta Ram stood first clocking 2:19:51, followed by Bhadur Singh Dhoni at 2:19:57 and T.H.S. Luwang third at 2:21:19.
In the female Indians section, Gawte bagged the gold by clocking 2:50:53, followed by Shyamali Singh at 3:08:41 and Jigmet Dolma at 3:14:38.
In the Half Marathon (21.097 km), the winner in the men’s category was G. Lakshmanan and in the women’s category it was Monika Athare.
Incidentally, five rehabilitated cardiac patients from the Asian Heart Institute (AHI), aged between 52-67 year, also joined and completed the Half Marathon.
The winners were welcomed by Bollywood star John Abraham who felicitated and posed with them for selfies. Other film stars present included Sonali Bendre and Juhi Chawla.
The annual glittering 14th SCMM was concluded with the participation of a large dose of glamour personalities, top sportspersons, corporate bigwigs and commoners enthusiastically running, braving the Mumbai chill.
Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao flagged off the SCMM near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus while Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his wife Amruta, several state ministers, Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel, Western Naval Command chief Vice-Admiral Girish Luthra, Mumbai Mayor Snehal Ambekar and Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar, film stars and other dignitaries cheered the participants along with over 300,000 onlookers en route.
A large number of government employees led by Chief Secretary Swadhin Kshatriya also enthusiastically participated.
Later, the top dignitaries felicitated and congratulated the winners in different categories of the event.
Other top Indian athletes who participated included Elam Singh, Mohammed Yunus, and Ladakh’s self-trained runners, Jigmet Dolma and Tsetan Dolkar.
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This year, the SCMM notched the highest turnout with 6,342 men and women running for the full marathon (42.195 km), 14,663 for Half Marathon and 19,980 for the Dream Run, including many foreigners, representatives from the defence forces and Olympians.
Several film personalities, top corporates, the Asian Heart Institute (AHI), several NGOs, public organisations, physically-challenged persons and others took part in different capacities for what is billed as Asia’s biggest marathon event with highest prize money and gold, silver and bronze medals.
Around 2,500 exhausted runners required medical attention which was provided by a team of AHI medicos led by its medical director Vijay Da Silva at two base camps set up on the marathon course.
A vast majority suffered from dehydration-related symptoms, many were sent off after first aid and others would be under observation till late in the evening.