This Sunday, the streets of Vadodara will be teeming with participants of the 11th edition of the MG Vadodara International Marathon (VM). Over a decade since its inception, the marathon has grown to become the largest in any non-metro city in Asia.
Organizers have confirmed that over 1.34 lakh people have registered for this year’s marathon. “When we started the Vadodara Marathon in 2009, I had no idea that it would grow this big,” said Tejal Amin, Chairperson of VM. “Barodians supported us and made it possible to put the Vadodara Marathon on the international map.”
This year, the marathon will see 289 runners in the 42km full marathon, 1,591 in the 21km half marathon, 9,018 in the 10km run, and 3,415 in the 5km timed run. The rest will participate in the 5km fun run category. “Vadodara Marathon has now become Asia’s biggest non-metro race in terms of overall participation,” stated Laxman Karanjgaonkar, Secretary of the Gujarat State Athletics Association.
The marathon, the only professional one in the state organized by the citizens for the citizens, is a testament to Vadodara’s sporting culture. “People here come together for a cause and that spirit has helped in making the Vadodara Marathon a success. It’s a great leveller where people from all walks of life run together,” Amin added.
The 11th edition of the marathon will commence from Navlakhi compound at 4.30 am on Sunday, with Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi flagging off the timed races. This year, the marathon will also see participation from over 40 international athletes from countries like Nigeria, Ethiopia, USA, Somalia, UK, Brazil, and other African countries.
Sameer Khera, Co-Chairperson of Vadodara Marathon, assured that all necessary facilities, including medical booths, will be provided to the runners on the route. A team of cyclists, CPR volunteers, and 28 pacers will manage the route and assist both professional and amateur runners to finish the race in a certain time.