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Government Mulling over Panchayat-level Marathons: Sports Minister

In Kochi
February 12, 2024

The Kerala government is considering organizing marathon in every villages of the state in a bid to spread awareness about healthy life and drug menace, Sports Minister V. Abdurahiman said today.

Such an endeavour also aims to send a message against increasing use of drugs in society, he said at the prize-distribution function following a GTECH Kerala marathon held by the state’s IT community, marking the second edition of one of Kerala’s biggest sporting races.

As many as 6,000 runners took part in the GTECH Kerala Marathon of 21 km, 10 km and 3 km in three categories: senior veteran, veteran (45-59 years) and open (up to 44 years). The races, which began at Sanskara School in Phase-2 of Infopark at Kakkanad, were flagged off by Hibi Eden, MP; GTECH Chairman V.K. Mathews; oncologist Dr V.P. Gangadharan and former cricketer Tinu Yohannan. The race, from the front of the school, proceeded along Gems School, Chithrapuzha Bridge, Infopark Phase-1, Police Station, Carnival IT Park and SmartCity.

Cine actors Indrajith Sukumaran and Aparna Balamurali, besides GTECH Secretary V. Sreekumar and senior Excise officials, too, participated.

In the 21-km ‘open’ category, Joby Paul and Bincy Jith finished first in the male and female category respectively. The ‘veterans’ category saw Aji Kumar and Meenakshi Sankar emerging the toppers (male and female categories), while Nalinakshan Kizhakedath, Jyothi P. Balan came first in the ‘senior veteran’ category.

Finishing first in the 10-km ‘open’ category (male and female respectively) were Hemant Kumar and Vinitha Varghese. Ramesh Kanjilimadhom and Reena Job emerged the winners in the ‘veteran’ category. Purushothaman P.V. came first in the ‘senior veteran’ races for men, while Zeena Firoz was the topper among the women.

As for the 3-km race, the prize went to IBS Software for the biggest participation.

Today’s races saw even more runners vis-à-vis last year’s, with residents’ association, students, IT firms and friendship clubs besides families participating in a big way. Minister Abdurahiman, while particularly lauding the veterans who completed the 21-km race, said they will be fitness models for the youngsters. Uma Thomas, MLA, too spoke.

Mathews, who is chairman of both IBS Software and GTECH Kerala Marathon, said the sporting event will be held in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi in every alternate year. He also announced the dates of the 2025 and 2026 Marathons in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi respectively.