Pollution doesn’t deter the Delhi Half Marathon participants
The Delhi Half Marathon saw around 40,000 runners from all over the country40,000 participants run at the Delhi Half Marathon 2019From Lodhi Road to Parliament Street to Janpath, Delhi’s roads saw 40,000 runners from all over the country participate in the 15th edition of the Delhi Half Marathon on Sunday. Known for being the most colourful and creative of all the runs, the Great Delhi Run saw participants dressed in their expressive best to represent different social causes.
MoS (I/C) Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju and Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, in conversation
Minister of State (Independent Charge) Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju flagged off the Elite Half Marathons, the Half Marathon (21K) and the Police Cup in the presence of International Event Ambassador and American sprinter Carmelita Jeter, among others. Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia flagged off the Champions With Disability run and MP Manoj Tiwari flagged off the Great Delhi Run.
MP Manoj Tiwari
Cricketer Mohammad Kaif was also present on the occasion. “The fitness culture in our country is changing big time, and more people are moving towards a healthier lifestyle. The massive participation in this marathon is an evidence of the same,” he said.
Mohammad Kaif was present at the marathon
‘Skipped the marathon last year because of Delhi’s air pollution’
While Delhi’s pollution may be grabbing headlines, participants at the marathon said that the air quality was better than last year. “We had registered for the marathon last year but didn’t participate because of the pollution. This year, however, the air quality is much better,” said OP Manocha, 59, a 10K run participant from Dehradun who started running three years ago after surviving brain tumour.
International Event Ambassador and American sprinter Carmelita Jeter
Nimish Arora, an entrepreneur from Gurgaon who ran the 10K run for the second time, said, “Luckily, the storm a day before in the capital has brought down pollution levels. Nonetheless, pollution cannot stop me from running. Abb toh aadat ho gayi hai. However, if the air quality is good, you feel better.”
For those who visited Delhi for the first time, the pollution scare was real. “This is my first time in Delhi and back home in Jammu, everyone asked me not to go because of the pollution,” said Kritika Gangotra, a 10K runner from Jammu.
Mr India Supranational 2019 Varun Verma, too, participated in the run
Defending champions retain their title in elite category
The Ethiopian pair of Andamlak Belihu and Tsehay Gemechu bagged the first place in men’s and women’s Elite Half Marathon Overall categories, respectively. While Belihu defended his title, he missed the course record by four seconds. Gemechu retained her women’s title and broke her event record. “I am disappointed that I missed the course record. But overall it was a good race so I’m happy,” said Belihu. In the run’s Indian runners category, Srinu Bugatha won among men and L Suriya won among the women.
social themes dominate the marathon
As the 6km Great Delhi Run took off, over 17,000 participants from NGOs, schools and corporates took to the track to represent social causes. Dominant themes included environmental awareness, along with women empowerment and menstrual health. “I am creating awareness water conservation and I want to urge the public to save water as it is depleting day by day,” said Kirti Sharma, a Class X student of Adarsh Public School, Bali Nagar.
Participation of men’s rights activists also grabbed eyeballs. “There are many men in the city who are suffering due to gender-biased laws. This marathon is a great platform for us to make our voices heard and also to reach out to those who need us,” said Amit Lakhani, president, Men Welfare Trust.
Kirti Sharma, a Class X student, created awareness about water conservation at the marathon
A participant dressed up in plastic bags to spread awareness about the menace they cause
Environmental consciousness was a popular theme at the Great Delhi Run