Even the elderly were not left behind in all the excitement
The energy was palpable at Kanteerava Stadium here on Sunday morning where more than 20,000 runners, including professional athletes, senior citizens and persons with disabilities, had gathered to participate in the TCS World 10K Bangalore Run.
Right from trading tips to cheering others to run, the camaraderie among strangers during the run elevated the spirit of the event.
The Open 10K run saw the participation of 13,200 people. Employees of many leading technology firms organised themselves into running clubs, and joined the marathon run.
Shruthi S., who works with IBM, said that she was a member of the Runners Club in her firm. “I have been participating in the marathon for the past two years and it is fun,” she said.
Gokulanth G., who had come from Chennai with a group of friends to participate in the run, said, “Running is very liberating. We run for a high.”
Christian Ackeret, a Swiss national and a national-level runner in his country, now on a student exchange programme in the city, also took part. “The weather is very hot and humid here unlike that in our country. That hindered me from performing better,” he said.
In all the excitement that was seen during the run, the elderly were not left behind. Many of them, also laughter club members, participated. S. Ramakrishna (84), a resident of Chandra Layout, said that he has been participating in the senior citizens run of 4.2 km for the past three years. “I go for a walk to a park nearby. So, covering 4.2 km doesn’t pose a big challenge,” he said enthusiastically.
Latha, a resident of Kengeri, admitted that it was for the first time that she was running and she found the exercise liberating besides making her feel young.
Actor Puneeth Rajkumar ran the complete lap of 10 km. “I had a banana and came for the run. Though my finishing time was not good, it is a kind of a celebration. A young girl was running beside me. I was amazed by her stamina,” he said.
Bollywood actor John Abraham and leading athlete and event ambassador Carl Lewis encouraged the participants.
Poor arrangements for persons with disabilities
Many people with disabilities participated in the run organised as part of the TCS World 10K Bangalore Run here on Sunday. Some participants complained that the arrangements for them were far from friendly.
Atul H. Chokshi, professor at the Indian Institute of Science, who was one of the participants, said that people with disabilities were forced to alight from their vehicles some distance away from the starting point of the run, and they were expected to cover the distance on their wheelchairs.All the roads leading to the Kanteerava Stadium were blocked from 6 a.m. as they were part of the routes for other events of the run. “The police were insensitive,” Suresh S., another participant added.
Aarti Chokshi, Atul Chokshi’s wife, said that people with disabilities were made to stroll along for long distances to enter the venue and then they were put on the 4.2-km wheelchair run. Besides, toilets were not provided for persons with disabilities. “The disability run should not be reduced to tokenism and an exhibition,” said Atul Chokshi.