Pune: On a cool and breezy Sunday morning, around 16,000 runners thronged the streets in Balewadi and Baner to test their fitness and stamina at the Pune Half Marathon at Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports Complex, Mahalunge, popularly known as Balewadi stadium. The turnout was a massive push to the Health Day celebrations, which is observed on December 9.
Pune is emerging as a city of runners, who are always on a lookout for races where they can test their timing and improve their previous best. Giving this opportunity to all age groups, the Sakal Media Group along with partner Bajaj Allianz had organised the Half Marathon (21 km) which was flagged off at 5.15 am.
The massive turnout included celebrities, sportspersons, police officers and politicians, encouraging Punieties to be fit and go green.
Guardian Minister, Girish Bapat; Mayor, Mukta Tilak; Pune Police Commissioner, K Venkatesham; Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Tejaswi Satpute; cricket all-rounder Kedar Jadhav; and actress and television presenter Mandira Bedi graced the occasion. The marathon was flagged off by Bapat.
More than 600 police personnels from all over Maharashtra participated in the Half Marathon. Venkatesham, said, “It is for the very first time that the police fraternity has participated in the marathon. We are sure that next year the police personnels from all over India would participate so that they would also get a chance to stay fit and gel with people.”
Satpute, said, “150 teams from all over Pune and 50 to 60 teams of Pune police and five to six teams of traffic police department had participated in the marathon today. This is a great thing that has happened and we are happy about it,”
Bapat said it is a proud moment that so many runners have turned up for the marathon which depicts that the city is health conscious.