The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2006 received a tremendous boost when celebrities from various walks of life got together at the Hotel Hilton Towers in Mumbai on Tuesday to promote Asia's biggest marathon and the various causes benefiting from the event.
Also present was the race director Hugh Jones, who briefed the media on the preparedness of promoters Procam International, along with officials of the Maharashtra Amateur Athletic Association to stage this grand event. Also present were officials from Standard Chartered Bank, Associate Sponsors Essar, besides Anil Singh and Vivek Singh of Procam International.
Speaking on the evolution of the event, Jones, who has been associated with it since its inception in 2004, said, "The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon has become a movement from an event."
Jones was referring to the huge response the event has received from the city of Mumbai and the high standard of professional participation.
Putting to rest fears about the condition of roads along the marathon route, Jones said he had spoken to officials from the Mumbai Police and assured the people that the roads dug up would not cause any problems to the runners but the thing that they might have to worry about would be the weather of the city for Sunday's race.
"The weather conditions are not the best, but we hope that the weather improves by Sunday," he said.
Jasmine Wadhwan of Give India, the official Charity Partner of the event predicted a figure of Rs 5 crore as the positive spin off from the event and lending credence to her claims were celebrities like Yana Gupta, who is running for the NGOs Umeed and Victory Foundation, which supports street children.
Also supporting the cause of charity were Suchitra Krishnamurthy, who is running for Saathi, an NGO involved in providing shelter for girls, former Test cricketer Vinod Kambli, who would be promoting the event for the NGO Apnalaya and actress Mita Vasisht, supporting the NGO Akshara, along with Rahul Bose, which works to prevent the trafficking of minor girls
While elaborating on the medical arrangements, Dr Ashish Contractor of the Asian Heart Institute said there would be nine ambulances and eight medical stations placed throughout the racetrack for the safety of the runners.
"There are two base camps and 250 personnel covering the event," he said.