HYDERABAD: Over 22,500 runners–men, women, children and seasoned athletes–put their best foot forward, braving morning chill and gusty winds to make the eighth edition of Hyderabad a grand success.

The Full Marathon started at 5am, but families and athletes from Hyderabad and outside of the city and the state had thronged an hour earlier.

Nearly 50 music bands and large-scale entertainment kept everyone’s spirits high. Hundreds had lined up the marathon route to cheer the participants.

“It was inspiring to be there,” said Divya Raghawan, a 41-year-old singer who competed along with her family. “The weather and the route made the marathon a real challenge. After 6am it was warm while uphill roads made it a demanding affair. I ran the Half-Marathon and enjoyed it thoroughly,” she said.

Nearly 1,250 athletes ran the Full Marathon (42km) which was flagged off by Anjani Kumar, commissioner of police, Hyderabad.

The Half-Marathon (21 km) was flagged off by M Dana Kishore, Commissioner, GHMC, and attracted 6,000 runners.

Over 8,000 runners turned up for the 10K Run, flagged off by V C Sajjanar, Commissioner of Police, Cyberabad, in the presence of dignitaries from the government, corporate houses and the organising team from Hyderabad Runners Society.

Elderly ladies, clad in salwar kameez and putting on sports shoes, caught many an eye. “It was fun. I ran 10K. My daughter-in-law inspired me to be here,” said Y Laxmi, a 60-year-old resident of .

By fielding 1,200 runners, Optum, the health services business, won the trophy for Maximum Employee Participation for the fifth successive year.

At 62, Amarjeet has a vision to run

Neither age, nor physical impairment could stop this ace mountaineer and runner. Even at the age of 62, Amarjeet Singh Chawla has run 89 half marathons and is the only visually impaired mountaineer to scale the 19,830 ft Dolma Pass in Kailash Parikrama, Tibet.

The sexagenarian, who hails from Mumbai, joined the on Sunday. “The marathon route was full of slopes, making it a challenging task. In my case, it was tougher but I enjoyed the run as I always do. This is my third marathon in Hyderabad, I hope to participate next year as well,” said Amarjeet.
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