244 - Jan 24
It's a bit long narrative but DO read till the end, there's a request...
The sixth Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon took place on Sunday, 19th January 2009. This was the first major public event since the terrorist attack in November 2008 and people responded in thousands. There were 35000 participants with hundreds of thousands lined up along the routes, cheering and lending support.
The race categories were Full Marathon (42.195 km), Half Marathon (21.097 km), Dream Run (6 km), Senior Citizens' Run (4.3 km) and the Wheelchair Event (2.5 km). The Full Marathon carries a prize money of $31,000 and has been won by Kenyan athletes in the last four years. Beside professional athletes, the participants included those who ran for different charities or NGOs. There were corporate teams and individuals too. Most of them carried some kind of message and the common theme was peace and anti-terror unity.
All the events started from CST the train terminal, one of the sites of the terror attacks. There was heavy security with extra metal detectors and scanners & helicopters. The route also passed the Trident-Oberoi hotel, another terrorist target.
As most of you may know, my daughter Vinati (Vini) is a downs-syndrome child. She is now 25 and after passing out from Sadhana school works at Om Creation, a sheltered workshop for mentally challenged. Om Creation & Sadhana School also took part with a contingent of workers, students, parents and well wishers. I have attended three previous Marathons — mostly as a photographer — and it has always been an exhilarating & humbling experience.
This year they had entered the Dream Walk event and I was there with Vini. She amazed me by walking more than 7 kms (besides the 6 kms walk, had to walk quite a bit to reach the venue and to get back home) without a complaint.
Needless to say it was an event that will remain in my memory for a long time to come.
The first shot shows Vini (24477) with Mandira Bedi, the brand ambassador of Om (also a TV, Stage and movie star) and a friend with other supporters. The second shows her walking with the Trident-Oberoi in the background.
REQUEST: Vini will be thrilled if you will spare a minute and include a message for her here.
More pics of the Marathon at