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Run... don’t wait for sunrise, Calcutta’s biggest race is on

The sixth edition of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K, partnered by The Telegraph
Participants in the sixth edition of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K, partnered by The Telegraph, pose with their bibs on the eve of the run.

TT Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 14.12.19, 07:09 PM

The city’s biggest road race is back.

The sixth edition of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K, partnered by The Telegraph, will see around 15,500 participants on the starting mat before sunrise on Sunday. The maximum registrations (5,695) this year have been in the Open 10K run, unlike the past editions when the non-timed 5K Ananda run had most runners. “This shows the city is generally moving from running for run to serious running,” said an official of Procam International, the organisers of the event.

Red Road was a riot of colours on Saturday, with scores of workers busy giving finishing touches to the venue.

Barely two kilometres away, Hernan Crespo, former Argentine goal machine and international ambassador for this year’s race, was at the customary pasta cook-off at the Oberoi Grand in the afternoon. Carb-loading is a must before a marathon. The Khudiram Anushilan Kendra, next to Netaji Indoor Stadium, brimmed with excitement throughout the day as runners kept dropping in to collect their bibs.

No matter you run on Sunday or not, here is all you need to know about the race.


The sixth edition of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K, partnered by The Telegraph


Red Road is the start and finish points but the route has been changed this year. For the first time, the runners will venture into the leafy lanes of Southern Avenue by the Rabindra Sarobar Lake. Park Street, Syed Amir Ali Avenue, Asutosh Chowdhury Avenue and Gariahat Flyover are some new additions on the map.

Mohammed Abul Hasan, a Bangladeshi banker and his friend M. Sarvar Ahmed arrived on Saturday and headed straight for the bib collection centre. “We will check into the hotel later. First we need to collect the bibs,” said Hasan, who was in Vietnam this October to run a marathon.

Jasmijn Loos and Ezra Spinner, who hail from the Netherlands and are volunteering with a Calcutta-based NGO, said that they were quite surprised to see so many runners queuing up for the bibs. “The atmosphere is electric here and we can’t wait to be at the start line,” said Spinner.


Open 10K: 5.40am

25K Elite: 6.25am

25K Open: 6.26am

Champions with disability: 8.05am

Senior citizens’ run: 8.10am

Ananda run: 8.40am


  • The following roads may be temporarily closed from early morning on Sunday till the end of the marathon: Strand Road, Red Road, Park Street, Amir Ali Avenue, Southern Avenue, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Road, Hazra Road and Belvedere Road
  • Commuters headed to the airport should take AJC Bose flyover, Parama flyover or the EM Bypass, police have advised
  • For Howrah station, the suggested route is JL Nehru Road- Park Street flyover-R.R. Avenue-Dalhousie
  • For Sealdah railway station, the suggested route is JL Nehru Road-Park Street flyover-Lenin Sarani


The sky is likely to be foggy early in the morning. The minimum temperature is likely to hover around 18°C, said a Met official.

Doctor’s advice

Sanjukta Dutta, head of emergency medicine at Fortis Hospitals, medical partner for the event, had the following tips for runners:

  • Light meal in the morning
  • Run at your own pace without being influenced by others around you. Don’t push yourself if you are feeling sick
  • It is essential to warm up before the race. Make sure you exercise at a slower pace during the first five minutes of your warm-up
  • Cool down over the last five minutes of the race. Do not stop suddenly
  • Consume water or other fluids for hydration at regular intervals

Help at hand

A base camp at the start and finish point will have ventilation support and other ICU-like facilities.

Seven medical centres have been set up at strategic locations. Eight ambulances and medics on motorbikes will respond to any emergency, said Dutta.


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