Mumbai, Jan 9 (IANS) In a first in Indian distance running history, 55,322 runners will stand in unison at the start line of the 17th edition of Asias prestigious World Athletics Gold Label Road Race Tata Mumbai Marathon (TMM), scheduled to be held on January 19.
There will be 9,660 runners in the full marathon, 15,260 runners in the Half Marathon, 19,707 runners in the Dream Run, 8,032 runners in 10K, 1,022 runners in Senior Citizen Run and 1,596 runners in Champion with Disability.
Women participation has surged to 35 per cent, while the outstation participation and full marathon participation saw a growth of 22 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.
The USD $420,000 event will see in action defending champions Cosmas Lagat of Kenya and Worknesh Alemu of Ethiopia headline the international elite athletes’ line-up.
Their winning timing of 2:09:15 and 2:25:45 are the second fastest timings in Mumbai Marathon history.
Leading the Indian elite men full marathon line-up is the Army’s Srinu Bugatha, who won the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon and the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K 2019 editions, finishing the races in 1:04:33 and 1:18:31, respectively in the last two months.
Challenging him will be Rashpal Singh, silver medallist in the Kathmandu South Asian Games 2019 along with Rahul Pal, winner of the Pune International Marathon 2019.
The women’s full marathon line-up has Olympian and Arjuna Awardee, Sudha Singh, eyeing to add to her 3 TMM titles and firmly set on a hat-trick this year. Sudha won her first title in 2016 and after a year’s gap, she was champion in 2018 and 2019.
Sudha will be challenged by Jyoti Gawte who won the Mumbai Marathon in 2017.
In the men’s half marathon category, Avinash Sable, 3,000 steeplechase national record holder who shattered his own national record at the World Championship at Doha in October and qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, will lead the field along with Shankar Man Thapa, who was the runner-up in 2019.
Likewise, in the women’s half marathon, veteran athlete Swati Gadhave will face stiff opposition from 2019 runner-up and winner of the 2018 edition, Monica Athare.