Drishti Lifeguard Akash Agarwadekar and electronics and communications engineer Pragati Garg won the male and female categories respectively in the 21-km open event at the Goa Tourism Nuron Rotary Rain Run 2023 on Sunday, while two students, 21-year-old Babu Gaonkar from Sanguem and Ayan Soares (18) from Margao, topped the male and female categories respectively in the 10-km open category event.
While Agarwadekar won the run in the men’s category clocking a timing of one hour, 22 minutes and 49 seconds, Garg emerged as winner in the women’s category, timing two hours, six minutes and 34 seconds.
“I had a wonderful experience and the climate was good. I had participated in the 10-km run and had come in second place in the previous edition. I look forward to participating again next year,” said 26-year-old Akash Agarwadekar from Assonora, who works as a lifesaver with Drishti Marine.
“It was amazing though it was my first time participating in a 21-km open category. I had participated in the 10-km category earlier and won it,” said 38-year-old Garg from Bambolim.
In the 10-km men’s open category, winner Babu Gaonkar clocked a time of 37 minutes and 23 seconds, while Ayan Soares won the women’s open category with a time of 50 minutes and 0.8 seconds.
Over 2,000 participants participated in the event, which took the runners through the rain-soaked roads from the Sports Authority of Goa athletics stadium, Bambolim to Miramar circle and back. The event witnessed 320 men and 30 women participating in the 21-km run, while the 10-km run involved 495 men and 85 women. The 5-km run consisted of 527 men and 223 women participants, while 272 men and 113 women took part in the 2-km fun walk. No winners were adjudged for the runs in the last two categories, which were not formally timed.
“The runners demonstrated remarkable determination and ran with utmost dedication,” said Avinash Singh Parmar, chairman and spokesperson of Rotary Rain Run, after the event. Recognised as a ‘certified measured course’ by World Athletics, a global sports governing body, in collaboration with the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races, the event was assisted by Indian army and navy personnel.
“The army and navy’s provision of excellent logistical solutions significantly contributed towards the smooth success of the event,” Parmar said.
The Rotary Rain Run also served as a fundraising initiative for the ‘Prakash Cancer Aid Project,’ an organisation dedicated to promoting women’s health.
On early Sunday morning, the warm-up session for the 10km and 21km runs consisted of a yoga session, participants in 2km and 5km runs engaged in a lively Zumba session to prepare themselves before the run. Lavina Soares, a renowned singer also performed live ahead of the event. Arrangements were made for a Rain Shower at two places – one at All India Radio and another at Manipal Hospital which was appreciated by the runners.
The highlight was a Coast Guard chopper hovering and clicking pictures of the participants at the venue.
The 21-km and the 10-km runs were flagged off by Brigadier Arvinder Singh Sawhney, commandant of 2 STC and Nasir Bordaswala, district governor of Rotary District 3170 respectively.