Organised by the Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation and the Vasai Taluka Kala Krida Vikas Mandal, the event gained National status in 2012 and this edition promises to be bigger and better, with the organizers committed to giving a satisfying running experience to all participants.
Permission to conduct the event on a National level has been sought from the Athletic Federation of India (AFI), who in turn, has assured the organizers of their complete support. Online Registrations, enhanced prize money, timing chips for full and half marathon participants and improved facilities for the participants are some of the initiatives that the organisers have committed to provide for the third edition of the event.
These announcements were made by Shri Narayan Mankar, Hon'ble Mayor of the Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation (VVMC) at a press conference on Wednesday, in the presence of Shri Kshitij Thakur, the MLA from that region, and Shri Rajiv Patil, First Mayor of VVMC. Also present was Milind Soman, avid marathoner and the ‘Face of the Event' along with Adille Sumarilwa, President, Athletics Federation of India, and other elected representatives of the VVMC, besides prominent members of the organising committee.
For the third year running, the theme of the Vasai-Virar Mayor's Marathon will be the welfare of the girl child and its motto will be "Save the Girl Child and Maintain Nature's Balance". In order to promote this cause as well as encourage more and more people to experience the joy of running, for the first edition the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation had invited the "Golden Girl of Indian Track & Field", Payyoli Express P T Usha as the Event's Ambassador. Last year saw the participation of another track legend Shiny Abraham and Wrestling star Sushil Kumar as ambassadors to promote the event. This year too, efforts are on to get renowned sports stars of the country to fulfill the same role.
Online and physical registrations for all the events will begin from Monday, August 19, 20123. Online registrations can be done from the event website www.vvmcmayorsmarathon.com. Physical copies of the registrations form will be available at different locations in Vasai-Virar. Forms can also be downloaded from the event website www.vvmcmayorsmarathon.com.
The timing chip is mandatory for all participants of the Full Marathon and the Half Marathon and registration fee for the same, inclusive of the cost of the Timing Chip, has been fixed at Rs 300. Completely filled forms, along with the timing chip fee in the form of cash or cheque/DD can be sent by post/courier to the Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation (Mayor's Marathon office) Head Office, Bazaar Ward, Virar (East), Post-Vasai, Dist-Thane, Pincode-401305. The cheques should be drawn out to the "Vasai Virar City Municipal Corporation - Mahapour Marathon. Registrations will shut on October 10, 2013 or whenever running places are full. Forms are also being sent to all the District Athletic Associations in the state as well as to sporting clubs and associations in Mumbai to invite participation for the different race categories.
"The Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation is committed to provide a satisfying running experience to all the participants of the 3rd Vasai-Virar Municipal Mayor's Marathon and invites athletes from all over the state as well as other parts of the country to come and participate in the Open Marathon for men and the Open Half Marathon for men and women. The event also wants to reach out to the entire population of Vasai-Virar as well as other districts to propagate the message, "Save the Girl Child and Maintain Nature's Balance," said Hon'ble Mayor, Shri Narayan Mankar.
"A mass participation event like the marathon is the best platform to promote health and fitness and encourage more and more youngsters to start running. The first two editions of this event passed off successfully, yet there is scope for a lot of improvement. The organising committee is determined to strive towards making this event one of the best marathons in the country," said MLA Kshitij Thakur.
"The Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation is active in organizing sporting events at various levels, covering many disciplines. The Vasai Taluka Kala Krida Mahotsav will see its 24th edition organized in December 2013. The Marathon is the latest feature event and efforts will be made to improve the event so that it enjoys pride of place in the hearts of serious runners and running enthusiasts," said Shri Rajiv Patil the first Mayor of the Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation.
"It's a wonderful initiative by the Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation and will go a long way in promoting health, fitness and communal harmony in the region. The running movement has caught up in a big way and I am sure this event will grow from strength to strength in the years to come. I am honoured to be a part of this event and appeal to people from Mumbai to register in large numbers and join me on the start line on October 27," said Milind Soman.
The Open Full Marathon for men will offer a first prize of Rs 2 lakh, with the second and third place finishers winning Rs 1,10,000 and Rs 60,000 respectively. The Open Half Marathon for men and women will offer a first prize of Rs 1 lakh, with the second and third place finishers taking home Rs 60,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively. The top three winners will also be provided with trophies. There are also attractive cash prizes for men and women above 50 in the full marathon and half marathon, besides prizes for the other age categories as well.
The full marathon for men and half marathon for women are expected to attract the leading long distance international and national athletes from the state, while the total participation for all the events is expected to be in the vicinity of 15,000.
Last year saw the participation of some of India's best long distance talent in the full and half marathons. Armyman Elam Singh won the full marathon in a time of 2:21.58, which was a new course record, bettering the 2:28.03 set by Deepchand in 2011. Elam was followed home by Lyngkhoi Bining, with Air Force runner Girish Chandra Tiwari taking third place.
The half marathon for women saw Kavita Raut and Monika Athare finish in a dead heat, clocking 1:22.03, while defending champion Kiran Tiwari finished third in 1:24.53.
There will be separate starts for the Full Marathon and the Half Marathons, with both races finishing at the New Viva College, Virar West.
There will also be separate prizes for the top finishers from Vasai-Virar Taluka.
All finishers of the full and half marathons will receive finisher's medals, besides timing certificates.
To promote health and fitness through the simple task of running and foster communal harmony, this mass participation event will target people of all age groups, castes and communities through the 16 race categories.
Besides the open Full Marathon and the Half Marathons, races will be held for men above 50 (full marathon); men & women above 50 (half marathon); Boys under-18 (11 kms); girls under-18 (7 kms); boys 12 to 14 (3 kms); girls 12 to 14 (3 kms); boys 10 to 12 (1.5 kms); girls 10 to 12 (1.5 kms); men & women above the age of 50 (3 kms), men & women above 60 (1 km) and a Wheelchair event (1 km). Besides these races there will be a Fun Run of 3 km, targeting people from all strata of life. This Fun Run will encourage social groups, housing societies, clubs and individuals to come dressed in costumes and there will be prizes awarded to the best dressed individual as well as the best dressed groups.
Elaborating on the arrangements to be put in place for the 3rd Vasai-Virar Mayor's Marathon, Shri Rajiv Patil said that the participants would be provided a traffic-free route, with adequate water stations and energy drink along the route. Medical stations and fully equipped ambulances, staffed with well-trained medical personnel would also be present to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants. Free shuttle bus service to and from Vasai and Virar stations to the start/point will be provided on race day to facilitate participants to reach the venue without undue hassle.
The 3rd Vasai Virar Mayor's Marathon will be planned and executed by Aryanz Sports PR & Events.
The 3rd Vasai-Virar Mayor's Marathon has got the sanction of the AFI as well as the Maharashtra Athletics Association and officials from all over the state will be deployed to oversee the technical conduct of the event. The event will also enjoy the complete support of the Thane Rural Police to ensure the safe and successful conduct of the event. Besides the technical officials, there will be around 100 pilot bikes and around 1000 volunteers on Race Day to assist in its smooth conduct.
The 3rd Vasai-Virar Mayor's Full Marathon for men will be flagged off from New Viva College in Virar and traverse through a majority of the villages before finishing at the New Viva College. The half marathon for men and women will be flagged off from Vasai in the backdrop of the Vasai Fort and will finish at New Viva College.
Young athletes will also be invited from the Adivasi pockets of Wada, Mokhada, Jawhar, Palghar, Dahanu, Talasiri, Shahapur and other rural pockets. Travel, accommodation and food will be provided to these participants.
The Vasai-Virar region has produced a great number of sportsmen who have done International and National duty for the country and they will now have n important roles to play in the conduct of the first Vasai-Virar Mayor's Marathon. Some of the prominent names are Olympian Anand Menezes, Vijay Choudhary, Kelzi Dias, Macson D'Silva, Gautami Raut, Meghana Dewang, Harshad Mhatre, Rohan Rewale, Ramashankar Bharti, Darshana Khandekar, Ankush Padwale, Saraswati Jaiswal, Kajal Dalvi and Priyanka Golipkar, to name a few.
While the Vasai-Virar Mayor's Marathon may be the latest entrant into the running family, the organizers are committed to ensure that the event also ranks among the best organized events in the state. While the motto of the event is "Save the Girld Child and Maintain Nature's Balance", the event also hopes to spread the message of fitness and good health through running. The event will also be a platform to unearth and identify young athletic talent from the interior, rural areas of the district and state.