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Mumbai marathon: All for a cause...

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January 06, 2005
Inidatimes News Network
Times Of India

Salman SachinCelebrity sportspersons including batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, athlete Anju George, cine star Salman Khan, industrialist Anil Ambani, champion cueist Geet Sethi took part in the 'Dream Run for Give India', the official charity partner of the Standard Chartered Mumbai International Marathon on Sunday.

Jaya Sunil AzharOther prominent personalities to participate in the race were former Test captains Kapil Dev and Ajit Wadekar, cine artists Nandita Das, Tara Sharma, Diana Hayden and Rahul Bose along with master chef Sanjeev Kapoor, industrialists Sajjan Jindal and Ashok Kurian.

Not to be missed were former hockey Olympian M M Somaya and mercurial forward Dhanraj Pillai besides Tendulkar's wife Dr Anjali, who ran not to win medals but to raise a fund of Rs five crore.

Amitabh HemaMeanwhile, superstar Amitabh Bachchan along with his wife Jaya and Rajya Sabha MP Hema Malini were there to cheer Abhishek Bachchan participate in the marathon.

For the first time 26 wheelchair athletes participated in the 3.4 kms run specially organised for them.

AmitabhThough marathons organised in London, Boston and New York have disabled participants on wheeelchairs, the Mumbai Marathon had left out the disabled last year but the organisers decided to include them this time around after organisations like ADAPT, Disability Rights Group (DRG) and NASEOII approached them.

JayaJulius Sugut of Kenya and Mulu Seboka of Ethiopia won the men's and women's full marathon races respectively in the Standard Chartered Mumbai International Marathon.

The 24-year-old Sugut made a decisive kick at the 28-km stage of the race and held off the strong challenge from Tanzanian Christopher Isegwe, who led at the halfway mark of the 42.195-km event, to cross home in 2 hours, 13 minutes and 20 seconds.

AbhishekThe winning time of the Kenyan, a married man with two toddlers who hails from a place called Eldored which is 200 kms from Nairobi, bettered last year's winning time of 2:15 and also earned the new champion USD 30,000 in prize money.

It was a close battle for supremacy between the winner and Isegwe, who clocked 2:13:29 in finishing second to win USD 20,000, after the former took a clear lead of about 25 metres at the 32-km mark.

Anil AmbaniThe third position went to Ethiopia's Malese Gashaw (2:13:59), who took home USD 12,500 for his effort. In fact, the top four finishers dipped under the previous year's winning time set by South Africa's Hendrik Ramala.

The women's saw a one-two by Ethiopia as Mula, meaning full, who clocked 2:35:03 was followed home by her compatriot Leila Aman (2:36:19). In third place was Russia's professional marathon runner Irinia Timofayeva.

Tina AmbaniThe top three women received USD 20,000, 15,000 and 10,000 respectively and the top five finishers went under last year's winning time clocked by Poland's Violetta Uryga who finished a distant 11th.

Balaram and Indresh Dhiraj were the best finishers among the Indians in the full marathon clocking 2:25.27 and 3:04.33 respectively and earned USD 2000 each.

The men's and women's half marathons were clinched by India's Deepchand (1:07.11) and Kenya's 32-year-old three-time Olympian Tegla Loroupe (1:18:50) respectively.

Men's winner Sugut, who had a personal best of 2:12 coming into this event, later said he was very happy with his performance.

"I decided to accelerate at the 28-km mark and never looked behind. My pacemakers did a wonderful job", said Sugut for whom this was his fourth victory in seven marathons.

"The weather was good with the temperatures lower than last year (when he finished second). The route was also easier," said the Kenyun runner who took to marathon running five years ago.

He also praised the big crowd of spectators who had lined up the route on both sides of the roads. "They did not disturb the runners unlike last year. I am definitely coming back next year," he said.

"I was sure I will win as I had prepared well for this race. I sued to run 300 kms a week," said Sugut who has a sports good manufacturer to sponsor his distance running professional career.

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