Sunday dawned on an energetic note for Hyderabadis as enthusiastic people headed for the Jamba Cloud 10K run at the Necklace Road. The usually laid-back weekend morning made way for an electric atmosphere at the venue where around 8,500 participants from across the city gathered for the marathon. People’s Plaza at Necklace Road, where the run was flagged off, started buzzing with activity as early as 6am with participants pouring in for registrations, warm-ups and a chance to catch a glimpse of celebrities at the flag-off.
At the Jamba Cloud 10K run, for which The Times of India was the print partner, tennis star Sania Mirza, Tollywood actor and Union minister Chiranjeevi, chief coach of Indian badminton Pullela Gopichand, AP assembly speaker Nadendla Manohar and commissioner of police, Anurag Sharma were present. “It’s great to see people of Hyderabad coming together in such large numbers. This run is not just about health and fitness, but also about supporting various causes Hyderabad believes in. The event was proof that the city is united, regardless of caste, creed, religion and gender,” said Chiranjeevi.
Smartly dressed young boys and girls cheered as they went past the podium after the flag off for both the 10K and 7K races, watching the celebrities waving to them and giving words of encouragement. Families, groups of youngsters, school students, college-goers and professionals comprised colourful crowd, donning sporty shoes and track pants, with many wearing t-shirts with the company’s or institution’s name and holding up banners and waving flags. The event was organised by Procam International in association with Hyderabad 10K Run Foundation.
Among the many runners were two participants on wheelchairs who completed the entire 10 kilometre course. One was Madasu Srinavas Rao, Arjuna awardee for wheelchair badminton and the other, Anji Ramanjaneyulu, also an international wheelchair badminton player. “Youth nowadays are very lazy and I am here to show them the importance of physical fitness,” said Srinivas Rao. Anji added that he too wanted to raise awareness about differently-abled sportspersons.
Other than participants from various walks of life in the age group of 13 to 70, the event also saw many corporate groups come forward in large numbers to run for a particular cause. “It was a great experience and we were really inspired by seniors and other elderly people who kept cheering us along the way,” said Monisha Batra of Delloite, adding that she and her friends were trying to spread awareness about the lupus disease. Many others carried banners of their company’s CSR initiatives and shouted slogans in support of various cause like human rights, alcohol and drug abuse, education for underprivileged children and veganism etc. Several NGOs too used the run as platform to raise awareness about their causes. Some volunteers were seen even wearing costumes in support of animals. A large contingent from the state police was present too, waving the tricolour and holding up banners announcing 130 years of the state police.