, Thane / Mumbai, 10 December, 2017 (GPN) : Karan Singh made a remarkable return to competitive running by clinching the top prize, winning the men’s full marathon (42kms) in the 7th Indiabulls Home Loans Vasai Virar Mayors Marathon, organized in association with Cigna TTK, and which is recognized by the Athletic Federation of India (AFI), on Sunday. Event ambassadors, Rahul Bose and Mandira Bedi, both fitness icons and Bollywood actors, were present to encourage the runners.
The 24-year-old Karan from Bombay Engineering Group (BEG), Khadki, who is returning after a two-year hamstring injury lay-off, won a close race as he beat back a strong challenge from another armyman Mohit Rathore of Artillery Centre, Hyderabad. Making his maiden appearance in this event, Karan produced a late strong burst and managed to pip Rathore at the post, to take the Gold medal, clocking a time of 2 hours 24 minutes and 26 seconds.
The 26-year-old Rathore who trains in Hyderabad and running his first full marathon, did well to keep pace with the champion for the entire distance. But in the final kilometer, Karan who had some extra fuel in the tank decided to go flat out by increasing e the pace and outsprinted past the inexperienced Rathore, who had to settle for second best as he finished closely behind in second place with a timing of 2:24.32secs.
Defending champion, 32-year-old Rashpal Singh of Army Sports Institute, Pune finished third with a time of 2:27.56, which was much lower than his personal best of 2:20.23 at the National Marathon in Delhi recently.
Karan ran away richer by Rs 2.5 lakhs, while Mohit received Rs 1.25 lakhs and Rashpal had to settle a purse of Rs 75,000.
However, Indian Railways athletes completed a clean sweep in the women’s half marathon with Swati Gadhave successfully defending her crown by clocking a time of 01:18.26 secs. First-timer Chinta Yadav picked the silver in 01:19.07sec ahead of bronze medal winning Monika Raut in 01:20.23secs.
Meanwhile, 24-year-old Ankit Malik who was also making his debut completed a grand double for BEG by winning the men’s half marathon (21km) clocking a time of 1:05.56secs ahead of favourite Pradeep Singh of Army Sports Institute, Pune, who clinched the silver in a time of 01:07.13 secs. Shankar Man Singh also of ASI 15 second slower to win the bronze medal.
Both Malik and Gadhave were presented with the Gold medals and the winners’ prize of Rs 1.25 lakhs each.
The Haryana-born Karan, a two-time Mumbai Marathon champion (2014 & 2015) was excited to win in his first race after coming out from injury. “I have not participated in any race for almost two years and winning here, give me a very good feeling and I am very happy. It was a bit warm as I started to prepare for the race. But, the weather helped to warm-up perfectly and although I started at the back I managed to stay with the lead pack till the 24k mark. Later, Mohit went in front, but I managed to stay abreast before deciding to make a charge in the final kilometer and went on to win the race,” Karan said proudly.
Rathore stated that it was great to finish on the podium in his first big race. “I have never competed in a full marathon as I have earlier race some 3k and other events, but I am glad to complete win the silver medal in my first marathon,” Rathore said.
The event was organised by the Vasai Virar City Municipal Corporation and the Vasai Taluka Kala Kreeda Vikas Mandal and promoted by Aryanz Sports PR & Events, the Indiabulls Home Loans Vasai Virar Mayor’s Marathon provides a prize fund in excess of Rs 40 lakhs, which is the richest in the country for Indian athletes and amateur runners.
Men’s full marathon: 1. Karan Singh (BEG, Khadki) – 02:24.26secs, 2. Mohit Rathore (Artillery Centre, Hyderabad) – 02:24.32secs; 3. Rashpal Singh (ASI, Pune) – 02: 27.56secs.
Men’s half marathon: 1. Ankit Malik (BEG) – 01:05.56secs, 2. Pradeep Singh (ASI, Pune) – 01:07.13secs, 3. Shankar Man Singh (ASI) – 01:07.28secs.
Women’s half marathon: 1. Swati Gadhave (Railways) – 01:18.26secs, 2. Chinta Yadav (Railways) – 01:19.07secs, 3. Monika Raut (Railways) – 01:20. 23secs.ENDS