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Mumbai Marathon: Media professionals run for a cause

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MUMBAI: On the day that Mumbai runs, it’s another city altogether. No honking, no mad rush to reach somewhere, but an army of runners, who want to test their limits, painting a healthier sight of the maximum city.

Keeping aside the usual business suits, a whole bunch of executives right from broadcast companies, media agencies to marketers and advertisers will once again don their running shoes as they join others for the 2015 edition of the Mumbai Marathon.

The largest marathon in south east Asia, which will take place on 18 January, will see media veteran Bharat Kapadia running half marathon; his 12th marathon, overall. “Last year, I ranked 47th in my category. I started running at the age of 54. I have been training with a group called 'Be Fit' and we have been practicing on alternate days from 6 am to 8 am at Juhu Beach,” he says proudly.

Kapadia believes that for people, who are hesitant to run, it’s all a mind game. “Anybody can run. 75 per cent of it is a mind game. No one is a born athlete. Also, the benefits of running versus that of visiting a gym can’t be compared,” he adds.

Agrees his follow runner, HDFC Life marketing, product, digital and e-commerce senior executive vice president Sanjay Tripathy. “It is a great way to test your limits and prepare your mind for bigger challenges in the life. One can also see it as an opportunity to meet like-minded people,” he says, while adding that he will be running his seventh marathon for which he has been preparing for three months now.

For Spatial Access founder Meenakshi Menon running the dream marathon is like child’s play. A regular runner, Menon will be running for her NGO Vanashakti along the likes of film director Namita Roy Ghose. “Lately, running has become sexy so a lot more people are up for the challenge. I believe everyone should run for a cause because the country lacks social compassion and to be great country it is a must,” she opines.

India chairman and managing director Sunil Lulla will be running the half marathon with two partners of which one is physically handicapped. “I will be running for Children's Movement for Civic Awareness,” says Lulla who is running his sixth marathon.

Media agency Vizeum India managing director Yesu Yesudas is running the marathon. And he has taken to social media to raise funds for two of his causes: an old age home and orphanage Swagat Ashram in Mumbai, and a tribal school Vidya Vanam in Tamil Nadu.  "I have a desire to raise Rs 500,000 for these two causes. I am making a personal contribution of Rs 100,000," he announced on Facebook.  And he went on to urge his friends to contribute Rs 2,000 each to help him reach his goal.

GroupM ESP entertainment, sports and live events national director Vinit Karnik says that the property has been evolving over a period of time and it is highly commendable. “The organisers i.e. Procam have done a fantastic job and it is one of the most well respected and well organised sports property in India. Right from the registration of the participants to the doubts of the participants on the actual day about their well being is taken care of completely by the organizers,” he highlights.

This year five new brands, namely Cigna TTK, Jabong.com, Volini, TUI, and India Cares Foundation have associated with the event as health insurance, online retail, recovery, travel and philanthropy partners, respectively.

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