Mysuru: A total of 36 visually impaired athletes, along with Guide Runners, participated in the 11th edition of Celebration Mysore Marathon, which was flagged off from Balarama Gate of Mysore Palace yesterday.
The Marathon, organised by Life is Calling, a Sports Management Company, as part of its Celebration Run Series, had a total participation of over 1,800 runners including the visually impaired athletes who along with their assigned guides ran varied distances from 5 km to full marathon of 42.2 kms. All completed the run successfully.
A pre-event workshop was also organised on Nov. 13 to help new athletes learn the techniques and running gear-shoes. Guide Runners have plans to continue the training at Mysuru for the entire year.
Guide Runners India Trustee-Founder Dr. Bhumika Patel said: “I wish to thank local Mysuru volunteers, guides and corporates for the excellent support to launch the training programme and race.”
Among the visually impaired participants, mention should be made of Nandeesh, who completed full marathon second year in a row with an impressive timing of sub 3:30 and wishes to target international marathon time of 2h30 min.
Another visually impaired athlete Manjunath, who works in public sector bank, says: “The training I am getting from Guide Runners has helped to keep myself mentally and physically fit. The team is not just teaching running but also covering other areas like injury, health, physio.”
Visually impaired N. Siddaraju, a State Government employee, said: “I am happy with the training that has started in Mysuru and I wish to continue participating. I would also like to encourage more people to participate in the programme.”
Guide Sudha Muniraju, Corporate employee, says: “I was happy to volunteer and assist the team in kindness activities and that such a great programme is launched in Mysuru.”
About Guide Runners India: Guide Runners India is first-of- its-kind initiative pioneering the cause of empowering visually impaired through fitness, running and kindness community work. “Currently we have Kindness Locations across India and abroad for Service to Humanity with focus on COVID support to all. Activities of Guide Runners India spread across several cities and towns,” says the Founder.
This team has been active for 7 years and set several Indian Records in Marathon and Ultra Marathons with visually impaired and guides. This is sustained by a large pool of trained volunteers from across corporates and running communities in India. In 2019, India recorded highest number of visually impaired athletes completing the Ultra Marathon.