Department of Sports, Government of Punjab and Daily World, India’s first international newspaper from Chandigarh, have teamed up to organise an international standards chip-timed full marathon run on March 31. While the main state-level event comprising 42-km (full marathon), 21-km (half marathon), 10-km and 5-km open fun runs will be held in Mohali, similar 5-km events will be simultaneously held in all districts across the state on the same day. The theme of the event is “Energising the youth for a Tandrust Punjab”.Punjab Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Additional Chief Secretary Sports and Youth Services Punjab Mr. Sanjay Kumar and Daily World CEO Mr. H.S. Gujral announced this at a joint press conference here today. Director (Sports) Mrs. Amrit Kaur Gill and other senior officers of the Sports and Youth Affairs Department were also present on the occasion.The event, which will be third annual marathon being organised by the Daily World Group of Newspapers, will carry attractive cash prizes of Rs 20 lakh in different categories for the winners.As per preliminary estimates, over 5,000 national and international runners are likely to participate in the main state-level event in Mohali while almost 50,000 runners are expected to take part in the simultaneous 5-km runs in the 22 different district headquarters in the state.With the theme and message, “Energising the youth for a Tandrust Punjab”, the main state-level event will be flagged off from Sports Complex, Sector 78, Mohali, said the Sports Minister. The Sports Department would select and ensure participation of several thousand runners form all the Districts of Punjab in the main event in Mohali he added. Besides the Main Event, all the Deputy Commissioners along with the District Sports Officers will organise similar and simultaneous 5-Km runs in their respective districts to be coordinated by the Daily World team, informed the Sports Minister.
Sanjay Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary Department of Sports and Youth Services, Punjab said that energising the youth for a Tandrust Punjab is a high priority and important objective of the State Government which requires sustained efforts to achieve the desired results. The events would be professionally organised with proper route closures, hydration and other arrangements to facilitate the participants and ensure that they had a memorable event said Mr Sanjay Kumar.Daily World CEO Mr H.S. Gujral said that the newspaper was the first to organise an international standard Full Marathon event in association with Chandigarh Administration in 2017 and has already held two highly successful events in 2017 and 2018. Over 1,000 volunteers will be oriented and deployed for facilitating all aspects of organising the main event as also for the pre-event works and expos added the CEO. With the immense boost the event would receive due to the Sports Department joining hands with the Daily World, a truly magnificent and world-class event would be delivered this year too, added Mr Gujral.Divulging the details of the prize money, the Sports Minister disclosed that in all 90 Prizes totalling above Rs 20 Lakhs would be awarded. The winners of the Full Marathon (Male / Female) would be awarded Rs 2 Lakh prize money each while the winners of the Half Marathon (Male Female) would receive Rs 1.25 lakh each. There would be separate Prizes for veteran participants in the Age categories of 45-50 years; 50-55 years; 55-60 years; 60-65 years and above 65 years age with a total of 60 prizes for the veterans of different age categories.
He also divulged that in future similar events for the encouragement of differently abled persons would also be organized.The entire route of the marathon will carry proper signage, refreshments, medical stations and mobile toilets at designated points and micro-management at all the support stations along the routes. Besides the Prize money to the winners, all participants will be given T-shirts with customized chip-timed running Bibs, attractive Medals, Certificates and refreshments. All volunteers, including cycle crews will be provided T-shirts, certificates and mementoes.The elite runners from overseas and India constitute a major attraction for the running community participating in marathons. A special unit will be set up to invite and look after such runners in order to boost the appeal of the event. Likewise, pacers who are also well-reputed runners in different long distance events are deployed to head pacing buses which complete different events in pre-designated fixed times. It is planned to have 50 such pacers for the event.Exhaustive planning will be done to ensure smooth operation of all the organising units and a strong contingent of experienced and senior persons for handling all emergencies and providing backup to any of the other ground teams facing difficulties will be deployed to take care of unforeseen eventualities on the event day.Cultural performances will also be organised at the main state-level event venue to enthral the audience and boost the runners.The Sports Minister requested the media to support the cause of Energising the youth for a Tandrust Punjab by widely circulating the event and its themes.