Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Nov 17 (ANI): The fourth edition of the Indian Oil Western Naval Command (WNC) marathon was flagged off here on Sunday with nearly 15,000 runners participating in the event.
The marathon was flagged off at Ballard Estate near the Naval Dockyard here, underlining the connection between the Indian Navy and Mumbai's historical maritime heritage.
The event has three timed runs -- Aircraft Carrier Run (21.1 kilometres), Destroyer Run (10 kilometres) and Frigate Run (5 kilometres). It is open for all civilians (men, women and children) including foreign nationals, the Indian Navy had said in a statement.
The minimum age for the race categories are -- 12 years for 5 kilometres, 16 years for 10 kilometres and 18 years for 21 kilometres.
"When we started four years ago, only 4,000 people participated. In the second edition, 8,000 people took part. 15,000 people participated in the third edition and now in the fourth edition, nearly 15,000 people are taking part. The runners' feedbacks were encouraging and positive," Rear Admiral G Srinivasan, Admiral Superintendent Dockyard, Mumbai, told reporters here.
He said that the marathon event was shifted to Ballard Estate this year due to metro construction and congestion at Bandra Kurla complex.
"Running a marathon organised by the Navy in a place which is so historically connected with the Navy is extremely relevant. Therefore, we thought of organising the marathon here as we were looking for an alternate location. This was because of the metro construction and Bandra Kurla Complex was crowded," Srinivasan said.
He noted that there were challenges to organise the marathon and thanked the government and other officials for their cooperation.
"There were significant challenges to conduct this marathon. We got a lot of cooperation from the Maharashtra government, especially from the sports division, Commissioner of Police and Home Secretary. 3,500 personnel from Mumbai Police are there for the event," Srinivasan said.
He also said that more than 3,500 people from Navy both in uniform and out of uniform are participating in the half marathon.
"The basic idea we want is to give the runners a memorable experience that strives to stride with pride with men and women in white," Srinivasan underlined.
He said that the marathon was organised for spreading awareness about the Indian Navy and making the people of Mumbai feel like part of the maritime heritage of the country.
Meanwhile, the sixth edition of Vizag Navy Marathon, of the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) kicked off in four categories today. The categories are Courage Run (Full Marathon), Destiny Run (Half Marathon), Friendship Run (10 kilometres) and Run for Fun (5 kilometres). (ANI)