The second edition of ‘Punjab Half Marathon 2017’ was being organised in Chandigarh on 24th September, 2017. The marathon saw immense participation from people representing different walks of life and from all age groups. The spirit of participants was commendable, who were infused with enthusiasm to spread awareness regarding the importance of maintaining physical health. This year’s edition of marathon was based on the theme of ‘Say no to drugs’. With increasing drug abuse amongst the youngsters, the marathon wasn’t merely a fitness-promoting but also a social awareness event.
The event was hosted by the State Legal Services Authority, UT Chandigarh; Narcotics Control Bureau along with national level trust Thrill Zone. Thrill Zone is an organisation working towards the establishment of running as a serious sport by means of marathons and extensive training. The marathon aimed towards promoting healthy living by catering the running fraternity was such an event. The members of the Legal Aid Clinic of University Institute Of Legal Studies, Panjab Univerity which is an affiliate of the State Legal Aid Services also worked from heart and soul in making the event a success. Students of Panjab University and its affiliated colleges also volunteered for the event in great numbers.
The marathon was flagged off by Balbir Singh, District and Sessions Judge, Chandigarh; who after appreciating the relentless spirit of citizens of Chandigarh for participating in the marathon in such great numbers also enlightened the participants about the importance of being fit irrespective of your age and about the harmful effects of using drug. Justice Surya Kant inspired the participants by giving away prizes to the winners at the valedictory ceremony and also stressed on the need for Drug Free Society. Asian Marathon Champion (1992), Sunita Godara was the Marathon Ambassador for the event.
The marathon had three categories covering the distance of 5 km, 10 km and 21 km. The marathon was open for both males and females. Within each distance category, there were further 4 age groups– 18 to 30 years, 30 to 40 years, 40 to 50 years and the last catering 50+ age groups. The marathon also comprised of a 42 Kms distance as a practice run for Tata Mumbai Marathon, however this was a non-competitive slot as the participants didn’t had any time chip on their bibs; and wouldn’t be given any prizes. Rest all the participants of the former 3 categories were awarded with medals and certificates and were also given t-shirts, refreshments and energy drinks to boost their morale.
The marathon commenced from Chandigarh Club, Sector 1 at 5.30AM which then crossed Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake, Kishangarh, and IT Park and ended at the point from where it had started. There were route marshals on the entire route to support the runners participating in the event. Also there were refreshment stations on regular intervals along the route to provide water and energy drinks to the participants. Taking every measure to ensure safety, there was an ambulance and a medical team on the venue to call for, in case of any mishappening, and medical stations were set up at the starting and the finishing point.
Balbir Singh, who was the chief guest on the occasion, gave away the prizes to the winners. The winners were given trophies, shoes, t-shirts and certificates. He also motivated the winners and all the participants to continue participating in such health promoting activities and stressed upon the need of adopting a healthy lifestyle in todays’s world. While congratulating the winners, founder of Thrill Zone, PC Kushwaha said, “The marathon witnessed overwhelming response. The support from police, traffic department made it more successful. We will be back to the city beautiful with a new cause soon”.
About the Author:
I’m pursuing B.Com L.L.B. (Hons.) from UILS. I am a bibliophile who loves to entangle with difficulties. I believe “life is what you make out of it”; and I’m here to leave my imprint.
About the Photographer:
Lavish Tageja (PGGC 11)