Mumbai: Narendra Ugale and Payal Khanna on Sunday won the inaugural edition of Indian Navy Half Marathon here in men and women’s categories respectively, with the event eliciting a good response from citizens.
The inaugural event organised at MMRDA Grounds got a good response and it was a resounding success with over 5,000 runners of all ages and genders participating, a defence spokesperson said in a release.
The half marathon was part of a wide spectrum of activities being organised by the Western Naval Command to commemorate the Navy Week 2016.
Vice-Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command, presided over the event and gave away prizes.
Luthra said the event will strengthen the Navy’s connect and bonding with people, especially the youth. It will now be conducted every year.
The runners, who had registered for the event across three categories – The Aircraft Carrier Run (21.1 km), the Destroyer Run (10km) and the Frigate Run (5km) – began assembling at the MMRDA Grounds at the Bandra Kurla Complex since the wee hours.
There was a palpable sense of excitement in the air as professional and amateurs alike gathered for the programme with great enthusiasm.
The Naval Band performed at the venue before the start of the race. A Zumba dance routine provided the perfect warm up and the deep drone of bikes enthusiasts injected the adrenaline at just the right time.
The participants ran with enthusiasm and spirit of sportsmanship, bringing to life the motto of the event “Matching Stride to Stride with Pride”.
Ugale, with a time of 1:16:19, and Khanna, who clocked 1:51:17, won the half marathon (Aircraft Carrier Run of 21.1 km) in men and women’s categories, respectively.
Shailesh Gangoda (00:33:59) and Shweta Gawade (00:43:25) won the Destroyer run (10 Km) in men and women categories, respectively.
The winners received attractive nautical prizes and every participant was presented a medallion.
The event is an attempt at promoting physical fitness and healthy living while interacting with the civilian community during the Navy Day Celebrations.