Smooth run: treat for feet and eyes

Professional sprinters, fitness enthusiasts, weekend revellers, students and senior citizens were all on the starting line of the IEM-UEM Kolkata Marathon, in association with The Telegraph,at City Centre Salt Lake on Sunday morning.

By Snehal Sengupta
  • Published 19.02.18
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Participants at the IEM-UEM Kolkata Marathon in Salt Lake on Sunday. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta

Salt Lake: Professional sprinters, fitness enthusiasts, weekend revellers, students and senior citizens were all on the starting line of the IEM-UEM Kolkata Marathon, in association with The Telegraph,at City Centre Salt Lake on Sunday morning.

More than 1,500 men and women converged on the ground next to the Salt Lake mall before first light. At 5.30am, the place was abuzz with activity as people limbered up to take part in three different categories, including the 21km half marathon, the 10km run and 5km fun run.

The turnout, which organisers said had tripled since last year, proved yet again that road races have caught on in Calcutta - a city where weekends are generally laidback.

Smooth roads and a scenic route set the marathon apart.

Maitreyee Banerjee, 29, of Golf Green, a marathon regular who took part in the 10km race, said the painted pillars supporting the East-West Metro corridor were pleasing to the eyes.

"The icing on the cake was running down Sector V Ring Road, the city's marine drive," said Maitreyee , who rows regularly at the Lake Club.

Rowing enthusiasts Shreya Iyer, 23, and Maitreyee Banerjee, 29, participated in the 10k category and finished third and fourth, respectively. The duo said the route was a welcome break and the roads well-laid and free of pebbles.

Alok Sinha, 28, a TCS employee who participated in a road race for the first time, said: "When I told my friends I was taking part in the run, they laughed at me. I clicked several photographs to show them how many people have actually turned up."

Ashok Bakshi and his friends walked as others ran past them and even stopped at a roadside tea stall for refreshment. "I am not used to running. The event gave us a reason to get together," he said.

Ballygunge resident Arun Kumar Singh, 65, surprised many by finishing the 5km run first. He took up hurdling at 55 and there has been no looking back since.

Satyajit Chakrabarti, the pro-VC of University of Engineering and Management, said funds from the registration will be given to charity.

It was a great experience. I had expected bad roads and a lot of traffic but I was mistaken
Jagannath Mahato, 24 
The second-year BSC student from Keonjhar district in Odisha took part in the 10km category of the marathon
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Although it would mean carrying extra weight (a smartphone in a wearable armband), I carried the phone as it helped me keep track of our timings. I also used it to play music
Gaurang Agarwal a student of La Martiniere for Boys