The Great India Run conceptualized by ProSportify in association with MobieFit Technologies came to a close at the Bombay Radio Club in Colaba on Thursday morning. The closing ceremony saw Shri. Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra felicitate the ultra-runners
Also, present were Sir Ricardo Sugai De Castro Andrade, Chancery Officer at the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Rashmi Saluja, Member Governing Council-PWL (Wrestling Federation of India), Founder and Promoter iTV Network Kartikeya Sharma, Director ProSportify Vishal Gurnani, Head- Marketing, Consumer Products Business Tata Chemicals Mr. Sagar Boke, world’s youngest marathon runner Budhia Awooga Singh and COO MobieFit Technologies Utkarsh Veer Singh to welcome the runners close to the iconic Gateway of India.
The runners along with icon runner Milind Soman ran the final stretch from Dr. Dadabhai Naoroji Road, Dhobi Talao, CST at Fort to the Bombay Radio Club in Colaba on the Thursday morning, finishing the run two days ahead of schedule.
The participants of the 5k “Fun Run” were also greeted with a pleasant surprise as they got to run alongside all the runners, including Milind Soman.
The runners came from all over the world. The Great India Run, which was a run for a cause rather than a competition was aimed at promoting running and fitness as a way of life, ahead of the 2016 Olympics to be held at Rio De Janeiro. In order to achieve their objective, the runners persevered to make their way from Delhi to Mumbai, covering a distance of 1480 km over the course of 18 days. At major pitstops, namely Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Silvassa as well as the start and end cities of Delhi and Mumbai, “Fun Runs” were held.
These fun runs served the dual purpose of initiating enthusiasts into the sport, and also financially support future Olympians of the country, with proceeds from these runs going to the Go Sports Foundation. The contingent that started from Delhi consisted of Arun Bhardwaj, Siddharth Choudhary, David Bredo, Yuri Esperson, Meenal Kotak, Ranjana Deopa, Melanie Delainey, Joginder Chandna, Dinesh Heda, Sreekanth Reddi, Pia Hansson, Shweta Sharma, Sunil Sharma, Dhanaee Kumar and Kaushal Chauhan.
“The Great India Run has been an amazing experience. Quite like the Olympics, the run has been a test of our grit and determination. Like in any sporting discipline, we have had to fight to achieve our eventual goal which is to promote a culture of fitness in the country,” said an elated Arun Bharadwaj at the finish line.
With massive participation, The Great India Run also served to create awareness regarding the Olympics with formers Olympians such as Krishna Poonia and Anju Bobby George present at the flag off ceremony on more than one occasion. While the Olympic heroes served as inspiration at the flag off ceremonies, the runners themselves saw massive support across their route with locals running alongside the on quite a few occasions.
The message propagated by The Great India Run saw corporates flock to join hands with the event. Alongside Tata Salt as title sponsor, Aquaguard and Adidas also associated with the event. NewsX, the iTV owned and operated 24hour news channel served as the producer of the run, and telecast pivotal moments of the run along with a daily analysis of the run.
On his part, Kartikeya Sharma was ecstatic with the way the first edition of TGIR has panned out. “The Great India Run presented an excellent opportunity for us at NewsX to showcase the power of marathons in building up a cause. The TGIR is a testament to the spirit of human endurance and the spirit of sportsmanship. News X is committed to making the TGIR India’s largest multi city ultra marathon and we will increase our investments in building up the property year on year,” he said.
Speaking on the association, Mr. Sagar Boke, Head- Marketing, Consumer Products Business, Tata Chemicals commented, “The Great India Run has been an incredible journey for its participants as well as its viewers who have boosted spirits of our Indian Olympic athletes with their endeavour to achieve the incredible feat of running 1480 kms in 18 days! We are proud to be the title sponsors of ‘The Great India Run’ which aims to shed light on sports beyond cricket in India. India is sending its largest ever delegation to the Rio Olympics 2016 this year and as a nation of 1.2 billion people, there is a lot more that we can do to support our players. Over the last four decades, Tata Salt has gained the stature of ‘Desh ka Namak’ and taking this journey forward, the brand believes that it can play the role of a catalyst to fuel the conversations and support for Olympics by virtue of its connect, stature and reach across the nation and gather millions to cheer for Indian Olympics Contingent representing India at Rio 2016.”
Along with the team, two Ambulances, a Nutrition vehicle and a nutritionist, two Physiotherapists, and two Masseurs with a support staff of 40 have travelled with the team.